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"Today feels like sunshine and rainbows and all the most beautiful colors," the 22-year-old model recently wrote on Instagram, alongside a smiling selfie. "I feel so happy and hopeful. Crazy to think just 2 days ago I was scared and hurting because I was feeling the darkest I’ve felt mentally in a long time. In that moment I didn’t think I’d feel this good again. This is your sign to keep going because tomorrow could be the most beautiful, bright day. The world NEEDS you around. I LOVE YOU!"
Commenters highlighted Cook's positive message writing, "Hope your post is seen by someone who needs it .So many don’t see the beautiful day just around the corner" and "Been going back and forth with my depression lately and I very much needed to read this."
Cook occasionally shares insight on her mental health with warm and motivational messages. "This is me, feeling down," she wrote on Instagram in November. "But the sun shone right into my window and some birds flew right next to my car, at the same moment. They were my reminders today that it’s all alright. And to anyone who’s going through it right now. Here's your reminder. You are an important part of this universe and I love you."
And last May, she opened about how social media can harm body image. "I’m so fucking sick and tired of the photoshop," she wrote on Instagram. "I’ve been so down on myself recently. Crying about my cellulite, letting the fat on my body ruin my day, getting mad that I’m not as skinny as I once was. The body dysmorphia and left over eating disorder tendencies have been coming in strong." Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder characterized by a fixation on self-conceived imperfections and can involve "repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day," according to the Mayo Clinic.
Cook wrote, "…I go on instagram and scroll through photos of girls that look 'perfect'.. shiny skin with not a bump to be seen, tiny little waist and thighs that look like chopsticks. And I compare myself, as if how someone on an app on my phone looks should directly correlate to how I feel about my body?"
Promising to appreciate her body for all it can do, Cook wrote, "I’m so tired of thinking anything that makes up ME is something to be ashamed of. So as most 21st century girls would do, I’m putting this out there on instagram. Declaring that I have cellulite, and a stomach that doesn’t always look 'pleasant' (whatever the fuck that means) and I am 100% imperfect human. And I’m proud as hell of my body! If you’re out there hating on yourself, stop!! Appreciate yourself. Your body is so magical."
Later, Cook appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the aforementioned post. "I've been having these moments of just looking in the mirror and being disgusted with myself for the tiniest little things," she told news correspondent Deborah Roberts.
However, considering the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic, Cook wasn't satisfied with the segment. “I think the interview came off as extremely tone deaf," she wrote on Instagram. "There is so much going on in this world between POC being murdered by policemen to COVID-19 taking beautiful souls from this earth too early," adding that she would have preferred a more inspirational news angle. "Again, I did NOT want this interview to become me whining about what I've been through."
She wrote, …"I wanted to be a voice for people who are facing their mental illnesses and body image issues head-on right now in isolation and tell these people who strong each and every one of them are."
Cook's latest modeling gig is a family affair with Brinkley, 67, and singer Alexa Ray Joel, 35, Cook's step-sister and the daughter of Brinkley and Billy Joel. The trio appear in a new NYDJ campaign to promote the "powerful bonds between women everywhere."
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