The model-turned-entrepreneur said she wants to be a conduit to a larger conversation on the sexualization of young women.
Trigger Warning: The following article mentions sexual assault which some readers may find distressing.
Most documentaries are written as career retrospectives. Brooke Shields's documentary tries to go beyond it and start a larger conversation about the sexualization of young girls. Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields premiered at Sundance Film Festival on January 20. The documentary traces her life back to her earlier modeling days and includes the assault that occurred in her 20s. Shields recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her documentary and said “I’m not interested in famous-person problems. What I am interested in is how fame can amplify and supercharge relatable problems."
According to PEOPLE, the 57-year-old model turned entrepreneur spoke about the assault by an unnamed Hollywood professional, which took place in a hotel room when she was in her 20s, after graduating from Princeton University, and experiencing a lull in her career, "I did not know if or when or if at all I was ever going to bring this up."
"It has taken me many years of therapy to even be able to talk about it," she continued. "I definitely have worked very hard through it, and I've learned to process it. And I've come to a place, and we've come to a time in our society, where we can talk about these things much more openly. I had no idea I was going to say it," Shields added.
Standing ovation for Brooke Shields at the Sundance premiere for her doc Pretty Baby: “This is a whole new chapter for me” pic.twitter.com/ANbIefHNUj— Mia Galuppo (@miagaluppo) January 21, 2023
The mom of two girls added that she finally arrived at a place where she thought sharing her experience could help her be an advocate for others who have similar struggles. Shield said, "Where I was coming from, it was as a woman, as a mother, as someone who has lived with the guilt of this for so long and had continuously tried to learn how to process it. I wanted to share this story with other men and women who might possibly be struggling or trying to survive this, hoping that at least if I share the incident and the story then it helps others to work through whatever they need to work through. I'm hoping to be that type of an advocate."
Brooke Shields on how she has managed her emotions as she dealt with society/Hollywood's wild generalizations about her life. “It was always never really about me... I didn’t have anger I had pity.” | Variety Studio presented by @audible_com #Sundance https://t.co/d5UuJL4qP3 pic.twitter.com/43Gg7Ft74q— Variety (@Variety) January 21, 2023
Shields is excited about the documentary and looking forward to what comes next, "I'm so excited to start the new chapters in my life. And despite it all, I love to be in this industry. It's a gift to be excited about what I do. I’m not really dreading any part of it because, to me, the story is so much bigger. The incident [assault] that will undoubtedly be focused on is five minutes [in the film], but there’s a whole other hour and 45 minutes. I’m so proud of looking at my body of work and saying, “I accomplished that and I kept learning and I kept growing.” I’m still here."
Shields' traumatic experience is one among many harrowing moments recounted in Pretty Baby, which is directed by filmmaker Lana Wilson. The two-part documentary will stream on Hulu later this year and explores Shields' meteoric rise as a child model and the troubling way she was sexualized from a young age.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Theo Wargo