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Sailor Brinkley-Cook on Being the Daughter of Supermodel Christie Brinkley: ‘I Grew Up Very Insecure’ (Exclusive)

Sailor Brinkley-Cook With Mother Christie Brinkley
Sailor Brinkley-Cook with her mother, Christie Brinkley. Broadimage/Shutterstock

Sailor Brinkley-Cook is beautiful, dynamic and successful in her own right. But the 22-year-old model didn’t always feel comfortable with herself or her body.

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“I grew up very insecure,” the Dancing With the Stars season 28 contestant told Us Weekly at the show’s taping on Monday, September 30. “I grew up very doubtful of myself in a lot of ways and I went into modeling, which is, like, not — I don’t want to say that — it’s the most challenging thing to take on as someone who is quite insecure.” She added, “But you know, you find your way in it, you find your groove in it, and I ended up loving it.”

Having a model for a mom — and supermodel Christie Brinkley at that — certainly didn’t help. When Us asked if that added to the pressure, Brinkley-Cook said it did. “I mean, definitely, Like, of course,” she said. “Anyone who does something that their parents did before them feels that pressure.”

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Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy 'Dancing with the Stars'
Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ ABC/Eric McCandless

While the star, who’s paired with pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, acknowledges that her mother may have helped her break into the industry and is generous with her advice, she’s had to survive in it on her own. “You know, I always say that someone can open a door for you, someone can open a door for you but it’s you who has to keep it open,” she said. “At the end of the day, no one cares who your parents are. No one cares where you come from. It’s about the work that you put in and the attitude that you bring forward.”

Competing on the ABC elimination show has also helped the young model’s confidence. “Doing dancing, like, Oh my gosh. Showing up to rehearsal every day and being able to really work my body to the bone and, like, really try and improve in a physical way and athletic way is so rewarding,” she said. “And it also makes me feel a lot better about myself because I feel like a machine.”

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Brinkley-Cook replaced her mother as a contestant on DWTS after Brinkley, 65, announced on the show’s premiere date that she would leave the show due to the broken arm she suffered during rehearsals. In her September 16 Instagram post, Brinkley wrote, “Sailor always meets her challenges head on and realized she did not want to be defined by her fears so with just hours to learn my routine she is turning my defeat or should I say two left feet [sic] into her own victory of courage!”

With reporting by Kayley Stumpe

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