Christie Brinkley is a mama bear when it comes to her girls.
The 63-year-old supermodel and her daughters, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook, visited the Today show on Wednesday, where they opened up about posing for the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and the media scrutiny Alexa and Sailor faced growing up in the spotlight.
"I have to tell you it was excruciating," Brinkley said of the critical comments that followed her daughters as they grew up in her spotlight. "As a mom, I could cry now."
"There's nothing worse [than seeing your children attacked by the media]," she added, tearing up.
Yes! I am excited to announce that I am back in @si_swimsuit ..I figured with my gorgeous daughters @alexarayjoel and @sailorbrinkleycook by my side whose going to be looking at me! Oh and My kids think I walk on water, so let's not mention the apple box concealed just under the surface. For a preview check out @people.com ..and thank you Sports Illustrated for sending the powerful message that good things come in packages of every size and we do not come with an expiration date! 🌸🌴psI can’t wait to see everyone at VIBES on Feb 17th and 18th in Houston! #proudmomhere! #vibes
For Alexa, whose father is singer Billy Joel, it's hard to forget the types of comments made about her appearance.
"Not to rehash too much -- I don't want any pity, I have a great life and I'm very privileged to be where I am -- but I certainly went through it," she recalled. "They did used to call me 'bow-wow face.' So I went through it. I grew into myself later in life."
~She's the day to my night / The sunshine to my dark / She's the energy to my calm / She's my complimentary other half, my other part / She's the doer to my dreamer / Quite contrary, from the start / And to see her flourish and shine, as her dreams come to life / Has warmed this big sister's heart.~🌛🌹👑🌞🌷
"I went through every phase. I went through too skinny, too fat. I don't like using those words but I went through everything and then you just sort of get to an age and you get to a time where you say this is my body…who cares if I don’t look a certain way," Sailor added.
"If I could urge one thing for the media: Lay off the kids," pleaded Brinkley, as 18-year-old Sailor has also found herself the target of online comments. "It's like, we're celebrities, we're fair game, say what you want. But lay off the kids. Let them have their moment to grow up and become who they're going to be."
"When they decide to step out, then they're fair game," Brinkley said.
See more on the trio's Sports Illustrated photo shoot in the video below.