Why Sailor Brinkley Cook Felt So Comfortable Posing Nude for the 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' Issue

The 19-year-old explains why she felt so comfortable on set

Last year, Sailor Brinkley Cook, 19, made headlines for posing alongside her mom, Christie Brinkley, 64, and sister Alexa Ray Joel, 32, in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. And this year she got to be a part of another impactful photo shoot for the magazine where she posed completely nude.

“It was a really beautiful thing because it’s a female-powered project so I walked in [to the shoot] and it’s my friend Mary doing makeup and my friend Taylor doing the photos and my other friend Robin doing the videos,” she tells People Now about her experience on set. She felt so comfortable that she wasn’t worried about covering up in front of the camera. “I’m just like ‘what’s up gals?’ It’s like we’re in the locker room or something accept we’re making something really beautiful and important.”

Sailor Brinkley Cook CREDIT Taylor Ballantyne_SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

The nude shoot was part of the magazine’s project, “In Her Own Words,” in which Brinkley Cook and models Paulina Porizkova, 52, and Robyn Lawley, 28, wrote meaningful words across their bodies to send an empowering message. (The other women who are a part of the unique photo shoot, will be announced during the official launch of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018.) But choosing which words to write on herself was a little tricky for Brinkley Cook.

“I feel like I learn more and more about who I am and what I want to give to the world every day, so I could add a million words and take out a million words every day,” she explains. “But I put ‘work in progress’ across my back because I feel like that’s a big thing — we’re all just works in progress trying to better ourselves in a healthy way.”

It was a particularly poignant message to choose because the model revealed she battled body image issues her whole life. “I’ve grown up with pretty much every situation being called too fat or too skinny, too muscular, it’s been too everything,” she says. “What I’ve realized now is that the only thing that truly matters is if I look in the mirror and I’m OK with it.”

And she hopes her positive mindset empowers other women. “I want younger girls to look at me and feel like they can relate and feel like I’m not some super human and that I’m just a girl who’s trying to spread the right messages and let other girls know that they don’t have to be a certain size, they don’t have to look a certain way in order to respect themselves and to be respected.”

After a photo shoot this meaningful, she’s bound to empower many to adopt her same positive mindset.

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