Christie Brinkley talks to us about beauty double standards and how her dogs help her stay young
Christie Brinkley is a force of nature, specifically a human ray of sunshine. Even after being in the public eye for over 40 years, Christie has achieved icon status, while still remaining humble, cheerful, and positive. The legendary supermodel is so much more than a pretty face, she’s busy making 60 the new 40, and she’s not slowing down anytime soon.
Christie is a supermom to three grown children, an activist, author, actress, animal lover, fitness pro, designer, skin care purveyor, wine merchant, painter…and probably a bunch of other stuff we don’t even know about. How does she do it!? She has more energy and liveliness of people half her age. And let’s be real, how the heck does she look so young???
Pretty sure this is the definition of “living your best life.”
We had a chance to chat with the star at an event for Purina Pro Plan, whom she’s partnered with to show how humans and their pets can stay active and healthy as they age together. Christie is a devoted dog mom to two beautiful blonde puppers, who keep her on her toes.
We picked the supermodel’s brain about health, beauty, and the double standards facing women in society and in the spotlight. Christie is warm, engaging, and really funny!
Christie credits her longtime vegetarian lifestyle for her youthful looks and energy.
"I've been vegetarian since I was 13. I've raised all three of my kids as vegetarian. Over the years, because I've been a vegetarian for so long, I've been every kind of vegetarian. I've been macrobiotic, I've been vegan on and off. I'm usually an aspiring vegan until I come face to face with some Italian food! (Laughs) Mozzarella, all bets are off. Life's too short."
HelloGiggles: Do you do leather? (Regarding vegan fashion.)
CB: No. I mean I try…like Stella McCartney does some cute things in non-leather. I take sort of the American Indian way of saying, if an animal has died, then use the whole thing, use every part of it. Until they stop eating cows, then I think that we should use the leather on it. I know that a lot of people don’t believe that, but my feeling is, if that animal has sacrificed its life, I don’t want to be a part of that happening, but I think we should use all parts.
HG: What’s that on your nails?
CB: It’s a very odd color. We sort of stumbled across it. I was doing a shoot last week where they wanted a Brigitte Bardot kind of look. So we thought, “What would Brigitte do?” Maybe something kind of pale, because she didn’t look like she was ever wearing nail polish. And we thought this kind of looked like it was from the period back then, the ’50s or ’60s. She had great sexy, beachy style. I love that whole kind of Bohemian look that always looked like she was on vacation.
HG: We should ask you some questions about the Purina Pro Plan…
CB: I say to people, “Before I tell you the name of the cat food please put your plastic poncho on to save you from the fine spray.” Purina. Pro. Plan. Prime. Plus. I think they should call it “P5.”
HG: So you’ve got the two pups, Maple and Chester…
CB: Maple, Chester, and then we have a weekend cat, because when (daughter) Alexa comes for the weekend she brings Stella, her cat. They are joined at the hip.
HG: Are the dogs Doodles?
CB: Maple Sugar is a Labradoodle, she hails from Australia. She’s just the sweetest dog in the world, and a hambone! She’s probably had as many, if not more covers than Lassie. We do a lot of shoots out at the house and whenever she sees a camera, she immediately starts draping herself. I mean, she’s got some very good moves. She does the ankle cross over here…at a certain point the photographer is always like, “Okay that was great, but now can we do a couple without the dog?” I’ll be like, “Okay Maple, here” and I’ll set her up and she’ll come right back over. (Christie poses in imitation of the pup and it’s kind of breathtaking to watch a legend werque it.)
Chester’s a rescue pup from Chester, Pennsylvania, that’s how he got his name. We think he’s a Maltipoo. He’s so tight with Maple that they’ve really started to resemble each other. People always think they’re the same breed.
HG: How old are they?
CB: Chester is 4 and Maple is 14. I had no idea, I just learned that dogs and cats become seniors at 7! That’s why (the pet food) is 7+, because it’s specially formulated for your pet that is 7 and up.
Maple would DIE if she knew she was a senior! It’s like me when my AARP magazine comes, I get it in the trash so fast! I did a cover — I didn’t even notice I was on the cover — I tossed it before I even realized that was my cover. It’s a great magazine and they do really excellent articles and I wouldn’t know because I won’t read it until I’m at least 70!
HG: So you’re not ready for retirement?
CB: I don’t want to start thinking like that. I think that you have to continue to think young and feel young and not give in to any of that stuff you know? Don’t stop moving, keep moving. And that’s where Maple and Chester are really great because they remind you all day long. If I get into answering emails and all of that, they’re like, “C’mon, time to go out, let’s do it!”
HG: Right now it’s a pretty wild time to be in entertainment, media, beauty, fashion, the standards are really changing in a refreshing way. Body acceptance, people of different gender identities…
CB: And that’s beautiful. That’s the most beautiful thing that I’ve seen happen to the beauty industry. They’ve opened their arms to everybody. When I started out, there was a very narrow definition of what they thought would sell magazines. And in recent years, they’ve seen that people want to be able to relate. Magazines are not just meant to be for tall, skinny people, magazines are not just meant to be for young people. People want to be able to relate, they want to see people that are like them. And I think that it’s so great.
HG: With that being said, the focus a lot of the time is still on very young people, and if they’re dealing with people who are more mature they’re going with people that are 80 and up and it’s almost a novelty….
CB: One other pet peeve on that age thing. Every article that a man does, they don’t even mention his age, his marriages! But for a woman? You have to get through this whole thing of your age, who you were married to, and…divorced from…(laughs) before you can get to the meat and potatoes! That’s not a good expression for a vegetarian. Before you can get to the quinoa and kale!
HG: Which of your physical features is your favorite?
CB: My favorite feature is my smile. Because it makes me feel good when I do it! I’ve always said that if you just put your lips in a smiling position, it literally makes you feel better, instantly! And recently science has proven that that’s not just a feeling, it’s a fact. Putting the lips in that position releases endorphins! The same feel-good chemicals that you get from jogging. So I would say the smile.
You’re never fully dressed without a smile.
This interview has been edited for clarity.