Brooke Shields Opens Up About Overcoming Criticism and Body Insecurities

Brooke Shields, one of the most recognizable actors of her generation, has always been admired for her amazing beauty. However, she has recently started speaking openly about the unwarranted criticism she has faced throughout her life. Despite the challenges, she has managed to overcome them and thrive in her career. Let’s delve into her life experiences and learn more about her journey.

Overcoming the Criticism

Brooke Shields, now 57 years old, has faced her fair share of critics who have tried to undermine her accomplishments. One of the most heartbreaking critics in her life was her own mother, Teri, who also served as her manager since she was a child. Shields recalls her mother’s hurtful words, saying, “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.” It is truly disheartening to hear that she experienced body-shaming from her own mother, which deeply impacted her self-perception.

Sadly, Shields’ mother lost her battle with alcoholism in 2012 and passed away. However, the actress was left with lasting scars from her mother’s hurtful comments. It took her years to undo the damage that had been done to her self-esteem.

Embracing Her Body and Finding Support

Fortunately, the actress found solace and support in her husband of 17 years, screenwriter Chris Henchy. He played a crucial role in helping her embrace her body as it was and recognizing her inherent beauty. Shields shared, “I would walk backwards out of rooms, and he’d say: ‘No, I want to grab onto you.’ He really celebrated my womanliness and my body. And I needed a man to celebrate me.” Having a partner who appreciates and celebrates one’s beauty can make a world of difference in boosting self-confidence.

The Journey to Acceptance

Brooke Shields’ acting career began when she was just a teenager, but it was her iconic Calvin Klein jeans ad, shot by Richard Avedon in 1980, that solidified her status as a cultural icon. Despite being viewed as beautiful by the masses, she reveals that there was always criticism surrounding her. She says, “I modeled swimwear when I was 15, and even then I didn’t think I had a swimsuit body. 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 constant criticism and comparisons took a toll on her self-image.

Finding Strength in Difficult Times

A few years ago, Shields embarked on another swimsuit campaign, once again teaming up with Calvin Klein. She was dedicated to the role and made sure she looked her best. Shields shared, “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.” It is surprising to learn that someone as stunning as Brooke Shields still had insecurities. Despite the tremendous pressure to look perfect, she persevered and found the strength to show her true beauty to the world.

Overcoming a Traumatic Experience

Recently, Brooke Shields revealed that she had been a victim of sexual assault over 30 years ago. In a recent interview with People, she spoke about being attacked by a Hollywood executive shortly after graduating from Princeton University. At the time, she blamed herself for what happened but, over the years, she has come to realize that the blame lies with her assailant. Shields shares, “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.” It is heartbreaking to hear that she kept this traumatic experience to herself for so long, feeling that if she spoke up, no one would believe her. However, she is determined to be an advocate for women to speak their truth and hopes that her story will help others feel less alone.

A Story of Survival and Resilience

Brooke Shields’s life has been filled with challenges, but she has managed to overcome them and thrive in her career. Despite the adversities she has faced, she remains a strong and resilient woman. In a soon-to-be-released two-part documentary, “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields,” her story, unfortunately all too common in Hollywood, will be told in more detail. Reflecting on her journey, Shields shared, “Doing the documentary, you see it all together, and it’s a miracle that I survived.” We can only admire her strength and send her our well wishes.


In a world that often focuses on superficial beauty and criticizes those who don’t fit societal standards, Brooke Shields has faced her fair share of challenges. From her own mother’s hurtful comments to dealing with body insecurities, she has endured a great deal. However, with the support of her husband and her own determination, she has overcome these obstacles. Shields’s story serves as an inspiration to us all, reminding us to embrace our bodies and speak our truth, no matter the circumstances.