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How Alexa Ray Joel went from singer to model and the best advice from mom Christie Brinkley

By Tionah Lee

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Alexa Ray Joel needed some convincing to pose in a bikini for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and go from musician to model next to her mother, Christie Brinkley and sister Sailor Brinkley-Cook. "You know for my sister, this is her life long dream, so she didn't need any convincing," she told HELLO! at the magazine's launch event in New York City on Thursday. "I'm a musician; I'm new at this. I'm not really a model, but it's a good thing to step out of your comfort zone. Me being an introvert, I don't do that often, so it was a surprisingly exhilarating and refreshing experience."

Alexa admits it took a little convincing to go from musician to model for SI Photo: Rob Kim/FilmMagic

The 31-year-old, who is also the daughter of Billy Joel, knew that the experience wasn't just about her, but celebrating women of all shapes and sizes. "I'm 5'3 and not often you get to see that in a magazine," she continued. "I think that what is so cool about Sports Illustrated is it's all different body shapes, all difference sizes. You have actresses, sports figures, musicians, so it's all about skin deep beauty sort of radiating to the outside, and that's what's so special. I had to be a part of it."

Alexa appeared in the 2017 SI Swimsuit Edition Photo: Emmanuelle Hauguel/Sports Illustrated


Having Christie, 63, as a mom doesn't hurt, especially when she needs a slight boost of confidence. "She always reminds me about my posture," Alexa shared. "That's the big thing. Shoulders back and to smile. She's like 'smile, you look beautiful smiling,' that's her number one beauty tip." Alexa's proud mom, who appeared on three consecutive SI covers in 1979, 1980 and 1981, was all smiles as she talked about making her return to the magazine with her girls by her side and witnessing a major moment for them. "You know it's really wonderful to see Sailor's dream coming true right before my eyes," she said.

Christie shared that she was happy to see Alexa challenge herself Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

MORE: Christie's best beauty secrets

"To be able to see that and be there is really special. And for Alexa it wasn't like her dream come true, it was a challenge for her and she accepted it and did it beautifully and I'm just so proud of her," the mom-of-three said. As for the one thing the supermodel mama told her daughters in order to keep them calm during the "colorful" shoot, "I just told them, you know it's not about what everybody else thinks. It's you feeling good about yourself," she explained. "Both of them knew that they had been eating right and exercising and this is their body, so rock it."

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