Brooke Shields Used to Avoid Looking in the Mirror
"Living your biggest life doesn't mean arrogance."
Brooke Shields is no stranger to the trials and tribulations of the entertainment industry. The model, actress, and author has been in the industry since the '70s, and she knew since she was only 11 that the industry had the ability to chew her up and spit her back out. But she was determined to not fall prey to a pattern she saw consuming too many women around her. On this week's episode of Ladies First with Laura Brown, Shields opens up about the observations she made about the industry that have kept her on an even keel all these years.
"I remember even as far back as Pretty Baby [in 1978] and thinking on the one hand that this was such a beautiful, creative movie that was so luscious," she tells InStyle's editor in chief Brown. "In addition, it was my first real film. But I remember looking at the other actresses and watching them be so vulnerable and sad and needy and broken, and having relationships with people. One girl got pregnant, had to have an abortion. One was sleeping with this person, then another person, and I watched people's behavior get so caught up into this thing that was going to leave them in three months."
The Blue Lagoon actress added that from a young age, she was afraid of being left with nothing once her career ended. So she worked to build a life outside of her jobs, one which includes her children Rowan and Grier Henchy, and marriage to Chris Henchy.
"I guess I saw so many train wrecks," she says. "And I thought, 'God, Brooke, if you don't have something that's your own, it's all going to be constantly picked apart and taken away.' And that's why I think I was so adamant about having children and being married and having a house." It's also what propelled her to get an education while working, and eventually write, revealingly, about her relationship with her mother, and her own experience with postpartum depression.
Brooke Shields on Perspective: Episode 11: February 9, 2021
Duration: 29:08 minutes
This podcast may contain cursing that would not be appropriate for listeners under 14. Discretion is advised.
She also tells Brown that keeping her ego in check was of the utmost importance to her — until humility became almost toxic to her.
"It can really serve you. The problem with it is, done overtime, you start to believe all of the self-deprecation," she tells Brown. "So you then opt for 'I'm slightly less. I'm always less than. Well, I'm the clown.' And I made myself so much smaller that it's taken me a while to be the bigger part of myself and own all of it, you know?"
Though it took a long time, Shields says she is learning to own the confidence she avoided for much of her career in an effort to remain humble. "Living your biggest life doesn't mean arrogance," she says. "It doesn't mean superiority. It doesn't mean not lifting up your fellow female, you know, it just means we all have so much more."
And now, she's ready to own it. "I'm ambitious, creatively, in a way that I used to possibly think was selfish. And now I just think it's my time. I feel blessed, but I want more and I'm ready for it now."
Listen to the full episode and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. And tune in weekly to Ladies First with Laura Brown hosted by InStyle's editor in chief Laura Brown, who speaks to guests like Michelle Pfeiffer, Emily Ratajkowski, Cynthia Erivo, Naomi Watts, La La Anthony, Ellen Pompeo, Rep. Katie Porter, and more to discuss current events, politics, some fashion, and, most importantly, the major firsts in their lives.