Swimwear looks great on aging body

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, June 5, 2024

By Bonnie Brown



I’m no fashion expert, but through the years I have seen many changes in what was deemed acceptable or inappropriate dress.  Let’s start with my junior high school cheer outfit.  We wore a white sweater with a blue letter paired with a blue pleated skirt which landed at mid-knee length.  We also had gold cheer briefs, which were in actuality granny panties dyed gold. 

I must admit that when we attended out of town games, my fellow cheerleaders and I rolled our skirts up at the waist to achieve a look similar to the other cheerleaders whose outfits were less conservative than ours.  Much has changed since then.  Think Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  

This was a time when hot pants first appeared in London in the early 1960s.  This fashion item was scandalous!  Before long, almost everyone was wearing the “short shorts.”

The fashion statement of the Hollywood models and glamor girls has changed through the decades.  More skin, less fabric for sure.  And there’s a narrow window for most of these lovely ladies before Mother Nature steps in and paints wrinkles and places bulges on their once beautiful bodies.  

One such cover girl is Christie Brinkley.  You can’t have missed her since she was discovered in 1973.  She said of herself, “I was basically a surfer girl from California. I never looked like a model.”  Really?  But in truth she signed a 25-year contract with Cover Girl and appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers for three consecutive years in 1979, 1980, and 1981.  Christie Brinkley radiates good genes, good health (except for a recent skin cancer scare), and it’s obvious she has incorporated exercise in her routine.  

Why am I talking about Christie Brinkley?  Well, it seems that when she recently attended the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue launch party to celebrate the publication’s 60th anniversary edition, some criticized her, claiming “She is dressed inappropriately for her age. No need to have a slit up to there! She is a grandma.”  She is 70, but she is not yet a grandmother.    

For this event, she was dressed in a $225 gown that featured a thigh-high slit and extra-long, dramatic sleeves gracefully reaching the floor. Did she look 70?  Absolutely NOT!  She was her iconic self, flashing a beautiful smile with bright red lipstick with her trademark blond tresses floating about her shoulders.  And that slit in her dress exposed a well-toned, beautiful leg.  Let’s not forget that Christie Brinkley has given birth to 3 children!  Childbirth alone can rearrange an otherwise good figure, especially since she was 44 when she had her last child.  

It’s terrible that Christie would be shamed for wearing a fashionable dress suitable for the model she is.  Would we have her dressed in some dull dress from chin to shin?  I think not.  And to criticize her was just downright mean.  If I were fortunate to have those good looks, toned body, and long blond hair, I’d probably go around naked all the time!  

She has also participated in USO tours of Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Italy to entertain peacekeeping forces and visit refugee camps. She is an active and dedicated supporter of many organizations and worthwhile causes.  

So back off critics!  Allow Christie Brinkley to give other women the hope that they too can age gracefully and beautifully with her as their inspiration.