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Christie Brinkley Was Told She’d Never Last In Modeling—Now She Has A “Sports Illustrated” Cover At 70

Christie Brinkley

People in the modeling industry told Christie Brinkley she had a timestamp on her career, and she certainly proved them wrong. 

The iconic supermodel got her start in 1973 when she was only 19. With so many women getting their starts much younger, critics already thought she was aging out. Their words planted self-doubt and gave her anxiety over aging.

“They told me by the time you’re 30, you’ll be chewed up and spit out of this business,” she told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview. “But 50 isn’t 50 anymore. Thirty isn’t 30 anymore.”

While many women, especially in the entertainment industry, have lost their jobs due to ageism, Christie did not get pushed out. After rising to stardom in 1976 with a CoverGirl contract, she graced the front of Sports Illustrated four times and went on to work in film. To this day, she has no trouble staying in the public eye.

In February, Christie Brinkley turned 70 and celebrated with her most recent SI cover. She admitted she never believed she’d be modeling into her golden years.

“It’s the start of a great decade,” she shared. “I’m hearing from women on my Instagram, like, ‘Now I’m looking forward to my 7-0. I was kind of dreading it, but you’re making it look so fun. And it is really important to make it fun and so far so great.”

Christie Brinkley Hopes Women Will Stop Fighting Time

Christie Brinkley admitted that at some point, she stopped worrying about the inevitable, and realized that growing older doesn’t make her less beautiful, exciting, or important.

More recently, she also realized that the industry seems to ditching its ridiculous standards, too, because she’s not the only star who is getting national attention past their “primes.” At 82, Martha Stewart made her SP debut.

“I think it’s really, really fantastic that Sports Illustrated not only has me, but Martha, who looks so great,” Christie gushed. “She has the distinction of being the oldest cover model on Sports Illustrated. I sat right behind Martha and I can vouch that her skin is perfection!”

The moral of the story? Christie Brinkley hopes more women get out there and “shine” and stop letting old standards get in their way.

“So many women are getting out there and changing the ideas of what these numbers represent. Women at 70 want to see women like me and that’s okay!”

This story’s featured image is by Romain Maurice/Getty Images.

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