The new powerful documentary Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, is what the actress used as a way to take a look back at how far she’s come in her life and her career. Making a name for herself as a model who found herself on the covers of many prestigious magazines and continuing to stare in a number of movies, she has a lot to brag about.
Although she has been regarded one of the most beautiful women of her generation and beyond, Shields hasn’t always seen the beauty in herself mainly because she was criticized of her looks from early age by her mother Teri.
“My mother would get drunk and say: ‘Why don’t you move your fat ass?’ So, I’ve always believed I had a fat ass,” the actress recalled. She had troubles building her self-confidence but then she met someone who has changed that and helped her embrace her beauty; her husband of 22 years, screenwriter Chris Henchy.
“I would walk backwards out of rooms, and he’d say: ‘No, I want to grab onto you,’” Shields said. “He really celebrated my womanliness and my body. And I needed a man to celebrate me.”
Before marrying Henchy in 2001, Shields was married to tennis legend Andre Agassi. Their marriage lasted for 2 years only.
As a 15-year-old girl, Shields was discovered by fashion designer Calvin Klein and was featured in commercials, but even then, she felt self conscious about her looks.
“I modeled swimwear when I was 15, and even then I didn’t think I had a swimsuit body,” Shields recalled in a recent interview. “I was a cover girl, not a supermodel. I was ‘neck up’ — the face, the eyebrows — and I was always described as ‘athletic’; ‘not rail-thin’; ‘not a runway model.’ Those messages, they seep into your consciousness,” the actress finished.
A few years ago, she teamed up with Calvin Klein yet again and they did another campaign together. “I knew that if I didn’t look my best, I’d be embarrassed and mad at myself. I stopped drinking beer and wine, and I worked out three times a week. I was the best version of myself,” she said, adding, “I was also hungry.”
One would say that it is unexpected that someone as praised for their beauty and as famous as Shields has had insecurities, but before everything else, she’s just a human, like all of us.
In a recent interview with People, she opened up about a horrific experience which took place around 30 years ago when she was assaulted by a Hollywood executive soon after graduating from Princeton University. “I’m more angry now than I was able to be then. If you’re afraid, you’re rightfully so. They are scary situations. They don’t have to be violent to be scary.”
She believes that she fell victim because “People weren’t believing those stories back then. I thought I would never work again.” On top of that, she kept blaming herself. “I kept saying, ‘I shouldn’t have done that. Why did I go up with him? I shouldn’t have had that drink at dinner,’” she said.
At the time, she shared the horrific experience with her close friend and former security consultant Gavin de Becker only, but she now speaks openly about it in hopes of helping others not to feel alone. “Everybody processes their own trauma on a different timeline. I want to be an advocate for women to be able to speak their truth.”
Even today, Brooke Shields looks as stunning as ever and has an incredible career.
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