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“Pretty Baby” by Brooke Shields Would Look Good on Your Watch-List

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter.

Whether you’ve seen her movies, her modeling campaigns, or just know her name, you probably know who Brooke Shields is. But have you heard her story? Not the story of her life as told by the media or Hollywood. In her new 2-part documentary on Hulu, Shields tells the story of her life in her own words for one of the first times ever. Let me just say it is a story worth watching…

Brooke Shields was in the spotlight from a young age, 11 months old to be exact. From then on she stared in numerous commercials. Her first major role which one in which she played a prostitute, which is where the series gets its name; Pretty Baby. The catch– she was only 11. In another one of her major roles, The Blue Lagoon, Shields is even more sexualized; appearing nude on more than one occasion, despite the fact that Brooke was only 15 at the time. In her documentary, she reveals how her mom (and manager) was an emotionally abusive alcoholic, and explains how at the time she never understood how the situations she was in were sexualizing her. She felt like being on a movie set was the one place she could get away from her mom.

In the 1980s, Brooke appeared in a series of Calvin Klein Jeans commercials, another very sexualized experience for her. Again, she didn’t realize it at the time. She just saw It as another opportunity to act. After high school, she went on to college at Princeton University. People were shocked at the fact that this overtly sexualized young girl could go to such a highly notable school. It is infuriating to watch honestly. Can women not be both beautiful and smart? The rest of the series is about Brooke finding her own way in the world away from Mother. Shields reveals that in her early 20s, she was sexually assaulted by someone high up in the industry. In a lot of ways she blamed herself, something many women do; I know I did. She learned thought that that does not define her and she was a fighter. She went on to marry a man, after an abusive previous marriage. She now has two daughters of her own. Despite her traumatizing childhood, and surviving it, Brooke Shields came out on top of it all.

Looking back at her story is one of empowerment. She overcame so much and was subjected to so much at such a young age it’s hard to believe she overcame the criticism and hardships. I genuinely enjoyed watching this film and learning more about her side of the story. She really is someone I think every woman can look up to and relate to in one way or another. She really highlights the difficult parts of being overly sexualized as a woman. I highly recommend everyone watch this series or just look into her story more.

Brooke McSeveney

Bowling Green '24

Brooke and a third year here at BGSU. She is a Political Science and Sociology double major. In her free time, Brooke enjoys writing, reading, art, listening to podcast and more. Brooke is passionate about social issues, mental health, government and women's rights. She is also our Social Media Director.