Brinkley is joined by her daughters, Alexa Ray Joel, 31, and Sailor Brinkley Cook, 18, in the magazine, on newsstands Feb. 15, and she says their encouragement was key to getting her back in her bikinis.
“My first thought was, ‘At my age? No way!'” she tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “When I turned 30, I was like, ‘This is the last time I’m posing in a bathing suit!’ When this issue comes out, I’ll be 63. I thought, ‘Those days are over.’ But to get to do it with my girls, I thought, ‘One last go!'”
In the sexy spread, the trio wears coordinating black swimsuits, including a cutout mesh one-piece on Brinkley, as they stand on the shoreline of an idyllic Turks & Caicos beach. Brinkley also poses solo in a number of skimpy two-pieces, including the show-stopping red bikini below.
Sailor, Brinkley’s younger daughter with ex-husband Peter Cook, who has already dipped her toe into the modeling world, says the SI Swim experience was “very empowering and liberating.”
Alexa, however, had a different reaction when asked to participate in the shoot and “needed to be talked into embracing new experiences.”
And even though Brinkley admits to battling her own insecurities, she hopes her bikini-clad return will spark a conversation on ageism in the industry. “In a country that’s very ageist, people love to put you in little boxes,” she says. “Women feel very limited by their numbers. On a personal level, I thought, if I can pull this off, I think it will help redefine those numbers and remove some of the fear of aging.”
Christie Brinkley, 63, poses for SI Swimsuit Issue with daughters
Christie Brinkley is returning to the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue at age 63. And this time she's appearing with her two daughters.
Brinkley shared a picture on Instagram of herself with 31-year-old Alexa Ray Joel, her daughter with singer Billy Joel, and 18-year-old Sailor Brinkley Cook, in the issue coming out this month.
In the Instagram post , Brinkley thanks Sports Illustrated "for sending the powerful message that good things come in packages of every size and we do not come with an expiration date."
Brinkley told People magazine she had thought her days of posing in a bathing suit were over when she turned 30. But she said getting to pose with her daughters convinced her to do it again.
Joel shared a picture of herself solo on Instagram saying, "This was a lesson in learning to let go, take the plunge, and embrace myself from both the inside AND out- which is something I struggle with each and every day."
Cook commented on Instagram, "I now have grown to know that my body is worthy of so many great things. I don't need to be a size 0 to believe in myself."
Brinkley first appeared on the cover of the Swimsuit issue in 1979.
Christie Brinkley, 63, makes splash in 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue
The year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is a family affair for Christie Brinkley and her two daughters.
The timeless beauty who turned 63 this month, shared an Instagram Monday night posing in the water next to her daughters, Alexa Ray Joel, 31, and Sailor Brinkley Cook, 18. Brinkley previously graced three consecutive covers of the magazine's issue dedicated to swimwear in 1979, 1980, and 1981.
"Yes! I am excited to announce that I am back in @si_swimsuit," Brinkley captioned a photo of the trio all dressed in black. "I figured with my gorgeous daughters @alexarayjoel and @sailorbrinkleycookby my side, whose going to be looking at me!"
Brinkley also thanked the magazine "for sending the powerful message that good things come in packages of every size and we do not come with an expiration date!"
Brinkley was not the only model to preach about the importance of self-acceptance. Her daughters also took to the picture sharing app to talk about self-image.
Sharing the same photo as her mother, Brinkley Cook wrote that she had "a plethora of awkward phases," and that she "always somehow found something to pick on" when looking at her own reflection.
"My body and I have been through it all," Brinkley's daughter with former husband Peter Cook said. "But recently I have been liberated. I am healthy, I treat myself well, and for that I'm happy. I've looked in the mirror and been able to LOVE the things about my body that beauty norms deem 'undesirable'. I now have grown to know that my body is worthy of so many great things."
Brinkley Cook's sister, whose dad is Piano Man Billy Joel, also preached about embracing the body you are in.
"I don't have a completely flat tummy, or cellulite-free thighs...," she captioned a close-up shot of her wearing a bikini, "nor am I a model's height or shape. Neither are hundreds of millions of other beautiful women out there. SO WHAT? Does it really matter, in the end? All that matters is how YOU feel about yourself. Set your own standards of beauty; both internally and externally."