Christie Brinkley, Daughters Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook Dish on ‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Issue: Who Was Freaked Out?

Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook
Christie Brinkley alongside daughters Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook during 'Today' show 

Those genes! Christie Brinkley and her daughters, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook, dished about their stunning Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue photo shoot during the Today show on Wednesday, February 15.

SI revealed a sneak peek of their beach spread last week. In one shot, the iconic supermodel, 63, wears a mesh one-piece in a tropical location while Joel, 31, and Cook, 18, coordinate in black bikinis.

“I kind of thought, ‘I like the challenge.’ And with these two gorgeous girls next to me, who is going to be looking at me anyway?” Brinkley told Matt Lauer of being approached for the photo shoot.

Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook
Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook Emmanuelle Hauguel/Sports Illustrated

Joel chimed in: “Oh, please, mom. Everybody! Come on.”

The trio are happy with the end result, but Joel, whose dad is singer Billy Joel, was a bit nervous at first. “I was completely freaked out as the non-model,” she admitted.

“[I was] definitely more excited,” Cook interjected. “I’ve wanted this my entire life.”

The women came prepared for the shoot — thanks to Alexa. “Alexa is the boss. She takes over,” Brinkley said.

“I’m a bit of a control freak,” Alexa admitted. “I brought the extensions for everybody, I had the skincare masks. I had the bug spray, all organic.”

The trio also spoke about body insecurities and being in the public eye from a very young age. “I think growing up just as a girl, just as any young girl, you deal with body-image issues and you deal with seeing people on billboards that have these tiny bodies and these perfect airbrushed figures,” Cook said. “And you look at yourself growing up and you go through all these phases, awkward phases, and you don’t feel good enough. I definitely didn’t.”

Growing up in a famous family was especially hard for Alexa. The musician said that critics used to make fun of her face.

“The one thing that’s hard growing up in the public eye is when you happen to catch the criticism at about 9 years old for a girl. It’s crucial,” Brinkley said, tearing up. “That’s the age where they are sort of separating from their parents and gaining their own identity and to suddenly see a newspaper that calls you a name — and Alexa had to deal with that … It was excruciating as a mom. I could cry now.”

The three women as well as current and former SI cover models will be attending the VIBES Festival in Houston, Texas, and tickets are still available for this weekend.

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