Sailor Brinkley Cook reflects on body image issues, encourages girls to 'stop looking outside of yourself and look inward'

Sailor Brinkley Cook is one of those kids who grew up in the spotlight but who took her time figuring out her own path to success. The daughter of supermodel Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook, the 19-year-old learned to develop a thick skin early on.

The young beauty, who is featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, opened up to The Morning Breath‘s Jackie Oshry about how she learned to love her body, stay in shape, and block out the haters.

“I have gone through a lot of stuff with my body and my insecurities and stuff like that,” said the Christie Brinkley doppelgänger. “I have now come to a healthy place where I’m like, ‘OK, if I don’t want to work out some days, that’s OK.’ I’m only human.”

Reflecting on the times when magazines and gossip sites would poke fun at her prepubescent body, Brinkley Cook said she eventually had a heart-to-heart with herself and arrived at a bold realization. Now she offers the same advice to young girls who have a hard time looking in the mirror.

“Truly stop looking outside of yourself and look inward. Believe you can’t please everyone.” She added, “There’s always going to be a critic.”

Fawning over Facetuned models and airbrushed celebrities can be a challenging habit to kick, but the teenager points out the obvious problem with aspiring to impractical standards.

“That’s a strange thing to have to burden myself with, is trying to get another body. That’s literally impossible.”

Brinkley Cook, having abandoned her former ways in exchange for a strong and empowering outlook on modeling, reported that her diet is not a diet at all. Adhering to a healthy lifestyle without abstaining from the necessities like cake and pasta, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model shared, “I try to live a balanced life so I can be sane.”