Sailor Brinkley Cook doesn’t mind being compared to her mother, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover girl Christie Brinkley.
“I get it often,” the 20-year-old model recently told Confidential, as reported by U.K.’s Daily Mail. “It is not bad, I am fine with getting that compliment. It is a blessing in that it brings opportunity and meeting all of these incredible people.”
Cook added that not only does Brinkley, 64, support her modeling career, but she has advised her daughter to be mindful of the people who are working hard around her and “not get a big head.”
Cook is currently in Australia pursuing modeling projects. She made a major splash in February 2017 when she posed nude for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s new section, “In Her Own Words,” which aims to empower women through self-expression, voice and identity.
At the time, ETOnline reported the photo shoot, which was entirely female, from crew to editors, gave Cook and other models full control as art director, choosing the words that were painted on their bodies. For her photograph, Cook chose words like “artist” and “natural.”
But soon after Cook stripped down for the issue, she responded to online bullies after critics claimed she was objectifying herself.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue also drew backlash from those who mocked the magazine for attempting to empower women by having them pose nude.
“Hearing the backlash towards the In Her Own Words project hurts my heart,” Cook wrote on Instagram. “To know that we are in a world where if a woman chooses to embrace her body, strip nude and pose powerfully she is being told she is objectifying herself makes me not only uncomfortable but makes me really feel the need to say what I am about to say.”
Cook further explained, “This project, for me and for the other girls who CHOOSE to participate, was about TAKING OUR POWER BACK. In an industry where it is rare for models to have a say in the content they are being used to create, having total self control and creative control during the IHOW shoot was true and unbridled self empowerment.”
Cook stressed the project was significant because it involved a group of women working together to share important messages that spoke to them personally. She also added no one was forced to go nude for the shoot.
“If someone did not want to shoot that day and felt too emotional, she would come back the next day after we all grabbed some coffee and talked about it,” said Cook. “If someone backed out, all good, we understood how emotional it can be to strip yourself of not only clothes but an armor we all put up from exterior criticism. This project had the intention of showing women feeling POWERFUL in who they are. That’s that.”
Cook even admitted that growing up, she hated her body and struggled with insecurities throughout her teen years. Consequently, it wasn’t easy for her to bare all in front of cameras. Still, she has no regrets.
“Doing this project helped me turn a leaf in my confidence and insecurity,” she said. “I feel sexy I feel secure I feel badass I feel like I can pose naked and be respected just as much as anyone else.”