That dazzling smile is instantly recognizable. No wonder: Supermodel Christie Brinkley has appeared on some 500 magazine covers around the world. Today, at age 63, the Malibu-raised surfer girl is an environmental rights advocate, humanitarian, TV host, Broadway star, New York Times best-selling author, and entrepreneur. The longtime Long Island resident spoke with the Long Island Press about Christie Brinkley Authentic Skin Care products, Hair2Wear extensions, Bellissima Prosecco sparkling wines, and the creativity and gratitude that sustain her.
Long Island Press: What would other people be surprised to learn about you?
CB: Some people say, “You should stay silent,” or, “Oh, just be pretty—that’s your job.” I’m an Aquarius. We believe that one individual can make a difference. It’s your responsibility to leave this world a bit better than you found it. As a kid I marched against the Vietnam war, but I support our troops and the people who stand up for us. I marched against putting nuclear weapons on fault lines in California. I led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Los Angeles Democratic convention. I am patriotic. I think the NFL should support players who take a knee. They respect the right that that flag represents. I do, too. But it’s got to be equal for everyone.
LIP: You have a long history of activism. What do you think about our country today?
CB: I’m really distressed by everything I see. I think President Trump is a divider. We have to be really, really careful to not allow that to happen. I think the segment of people that makes us feel like we’re terribly divided is much smaller than we’re led to believe. I could cry about this, I feel so strongly about it. I’m really apoplectic that we can mention nuclear war so casually, as if this is something we could recover from—because we can’t. Nuclear war is not an option. It’s immoral, it’s unethical, it’s like a death wish. Nothing good can come from that. Nothing. I’m distressed about what this
administration is doing to our environment. All the initiatives put in place to protect our health are being removed. I’m a very protective mom and even though my kids are grown, they’re still my babies. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let this administration destroy our children’s rights to breathe the air. A million children die every year in China because of the pollution—but they’re doing something about it.
LIP: With your kids grown, have you become an empty nester?
CB: Last year, Sailor, my last child at home, left. This is her second year of college. She was back that weekend with half the class that were new friends. So the house became a nest full of even more kids. When they do come home, they come home with a crowd. I really haven’t had time to get empty-nest syndrome yet.
LIP: What do you enjoy most right now?
CB: My life is so very full and busy. I feel so grateful that I have so many opportunities. I love spending time with my kids. When I do have spare time, I have wonderful friends. I love the fact that I have no routine to my life. I really do thrive on all the change, and every day is different. I work with different people all the time, whether it’s a group of people I work with on Prosecco, or all the wonderful people at Christie Brinkley Authentic Skin Care and Hair2Wear.
LIP: Why did you get into the wine business?
CB: My mom taught me to be grateful. If I felt low or sorry for myself, she said, “How dare you? Just count your blessings.” To that end, we loved to pop a cork and turn any situation into a celebration. It makes you look at life through a prism of gratitude. We’re certified organic and vegan, gluten free with no added sulfites, non-GMO, and delicious. A normal glass of wine has 52 chemicals. Unless certified vegan, wine is filtered through animal parts.
LIP: If you could live a different life, what would it be like?
CB: I wouldn’t change anything about the life I’ve lived because everything I did got me to my three children. Though it’s not always easy, they were the prize. If someone waved a magic wand, I’d love to spend more time on a giant schooner sailing from island to island. I’d love to raise the sails, harness the wind, and explore places I’ve never been. I’d dive off the bow into crystal-clear waters and swim up to beautiful islands.
LIP: After several marriages, you’re currently unattached. Is there anyone special in your life?
CB: No one really, right now. I’m just sort of dabbling.
LIP: What’s always in your refrigerator?
CB: Tons of fruits, vegetables, and acidophilus—a healthy gut is a happy gut. And a bottle of Prosecco.