Christie Brinkley Makes Splashy Return To Sports Illustrated

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Photo: People/Instagram

Is this what 63 looks like? The formerly retired supermodel has returned to the pages of Sports Illustrated for their annual swimsuit edition—and it’s her first bikini shoot in 13 years.

Thirty-eight years ago, Christie Brinkley made her debut for the annual swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. The supermodel-actress later did dozens of similar bikini shoots over the years, the last of which was 13 years ago when she officially “retired” from the bikini biz. Now, at 63, Brinkley once again graces the SI cover although she initially held some reservations.

Christie Brinkley in her Sports Illustrated debut in 1979.

“My first thought was, ‘At my age? No way!'”, she told People. “When I turned 30, I was like, ‘This is the last time I’m posing in a bathing suit!’ I thought, ‘Those days are over.’ But to get to do it with my girls, I thought, ‘One last go!'”

That’s right, Brinkley was ultimately coaxed out of retirement to return for a special shoot alongside her two daughters, Alexa Ray Joel, 31, and Sailor Brinkley Cook, 18.

Brinkley teased one of the photos on her Instagram account, writing: “Thank you 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!”

But it wasn’t only the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to model with her daughters that inspired Brinkley to do it.

“In a country that’s very ageist, people love to put you in little boxes,” she told People. “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.”

And in the Sports Illustrated article that accompanies the photo shoot, Brinkley said she was “out to prove that age is nothing more than a number.”

But there’s no denying that Christie Brinkley just keeps getting better with age.