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Model Christie Brinkley stopped by “Today” Monday morning (Oct. 21) where she talked about 50 years of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which is being celebrated by the release of a new book, “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful.”

Brinkley started posing for the iconic swimsuit issue in 1975, with her first cover coming in 1979. She graced the cover three years in a row, which is a record that still stands — though if Kate Upton is the cover girl in 2014, she’ll tie Brinkley.

Anyway, Brinkley talks about her first issue, which was incredibly racy at the time.

“When I did my first issue … I did a picture sort of from the side in a thong and it was so racy at the time,” she says. “The magazine came out in America and everybody started calling me in Paris and going, ‘Oh my gosh, everybody’s talking about you. You’re in a magazine, you’re practically naked!'”

“Even a little picture like that changed my life and then the cover? Forget about it. Day and night,” she says, of how it launched her career into the stratosphere.

Brinkley also shares a funny story of her first time posing for the magazine where she got a sunburn and had “Harpo Marx” hair. And the bubbly, blue-eyed beauty seems to be totally cool with turning 60 years old on Feb. 2, 2014.

The Sports Illustrated “50 Years of Beautiful” book hits shelves Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."