Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Sailor Brinkley Cook defends nude photos: 'It hurts my heart'

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Christie Brinkley’s kid is speaking out.

Sailor Brinkley Cook, who stripped down for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, responded to online bullies Tuesday after critics claimed the 19-year-old was objectifying herself with the nude spread.

Cook, along with several other models, transformed into living canvases for the magazine’s “In Her Own Words” feature, where empowering words and phrases, such as “trust yourself,” “live for you” and “abuse is never okay,” were written on their naked bodies.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue 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 CHOSE 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, including her, 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 zero 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.”