Christie Brinkley: I Used to Feel "Very Fat" in Old Modeling Photos

Celebrity Body Jun. 25, 2013 AT 7:00PM
Christie Brinkley recalls feeling "very fat" when she was a younger model. Christie Brinkley recalls feeling "very fat" when she was a younger model. Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Even supermodels have their "fat" days. Industry veteran Christie Brinkley has graced the covers of more than 500 magazines, landed the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl spot for three consecutive years, and even managed to maintain a 25-year partnership with CoverGirl, but the 59-year-old blonde beauty admits that even she has had her moments of doubt regarding her own body image. 

"I came across an older picture of me that someone had posted on Facebook and I totally remember squirming and feeling very fat while I was shooting it," she tells the new issue of Haute Living. "And I look at it now and think, I was actually really thin! How is it possible that I felt so uncomfortable in that body?"

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Brinkley, who is mother to three children -- Alexa Ray Joel, 27, Jack, 18, and Sailor, 14 -- explains that she got her start in modeling completely by accident when she was discovered by a photographer in Paris at age 18.

After signing with Elite Model Management in the summer of 1972, however, she snapped up three national advertising campaigns almost immediately, a testament to her natural modeling abilities.

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As a result of the chance meeting, she says, she has been able to experience and explore so many different opportunities that she wouldn't have been able to -- which has "made all of the fluffy and embarrassing moments worthwhile," she says.

Now, she tells the magazine, she is proud to see Joel, a singer-songwriter based in Manhattan (dad is iconic piano man Billy Joel, whom Brinkley divorced in 1994) grow and mature into a confident woman.

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"Alexa is an outspoken person who has shown that she has substance," she says. "She will not be put in a box or labeled as anything, which is something that I always tried to pride myself on throughout my career. I listen to her and Joni Mitchell whenever I paint or do my sculpture dolls."

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