Supermodel and activist Christie Brinkley has long been empowering women to live, feel and look their best at any age. Since partnering as an ambassador with Merz Aesthetics in October 2017, she’s also letting women in on some of her own aging secrets.
The Long Islander was not coy about being a believer in cosmetic treatments. She admitted to treating lines between her brows with Xeomin and using a non-surgical skin tightening and lifting treatment, Ultherapy, on her neck and décolletage. “There are things out there you can do that will help you face that meeting with confidence,” she said at a presentation at Avra Madison in Manhattan. “There are so many great non-invasive ways to give you the perk that can help you look as good as you feel inside.”
Brinkley spoke more about her age group, changes in the modeling industry and how to face the world with confidence as a woman.
How has the modeling industry changed for women over the years?
Modeling is completely different from other industries in that women are paid more than men, and women are truly appreciated for the work that they do. As an older woman in modeling, though, I can see some of that, “Maybe we can get her at a lower price because she’s an older model.” But we are 100 percent as relevant as anyone else…My age group matters! Look at Maye Musk, Elon’s mom. She’s a model and she is photographed everywhere, looking fabulous with her shock of gray-white hair…We have to keep on keeping our foot in the door, pushing ahead.
The industry has changed, though. When I first came in, it was based on graphs and studies. Glamour magazine, for instance, would have figured out that the February issue, every year, should have a blonde with blue eyes standing sideways looking over her shoulder. Then March was the same formula…except she was holding a kitten! Now, people want to see themselves. That’s been the most beautiful thing to see, the diversity that keeps showing up. Tall models, petite models, relics like me! [Plus-size model] Ashley Graham has made women everywhere feel gorgeous.
Why do you think celebrities stand up and speak out for causes so much more than in the past?
These days, we are all connected through social media, and we want to share meaningful things. We want to use these huge platforms for good. I think it’s a beautiful trend. I’ve spoken out about nuclear power plants and the nuclear radiation that surrounds the New York area and the Hamptons where I live.
Is it hard to find yourself taken seriously as a woman, given the range of roles you’ve had?
I’ve been a model for 40-plus years. I’m a mom of three, and that’s my favorite job. I played Roxie Hart in Chicago the Musical on Broadway. I was a boxing photographer for a while. I’m all for just going with it. I believe in seeing what life has to offer and running with it.
I spoke at a Senate Sub Committee, and you could just feel the senators rolling their eyes when I stood up. But I used it to my advantage. I [invoked] the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act…Although on another occasion, I went to the UN to speak, and there was media there. When the article came out, it started out, “She was dressed in a chic suit by this designer and her shoes were this style with her hair loosely pulled to one side.” My appearance can be relevant when I’m talking about beauty, but not nuclear radiation. I bristle sometimes. And do you ever notice articles always start with age when it’s about a woman? They always mention my age and how many times I’ve been married. Never with men.
What is your best advice for women?
During every encounter with people throughout the day, leave them smiling. Also, I have women tell me, “I don’t know what I should wear because there aren’t any women in magazines or in ads that look like me, are my age. I don’t know what will work for me.” I tell them, “You should wear whatever you want!”