Brooke Shields Barbara Walters
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Brooke Shields was, at one time, considered the most beautiful woman in the world. A model practically from birth, Shiels grew up in the spotlight. She was also highly sexualized as a young woman in a fashion that we would find disturbing today.

Shields, however, does not regret her background in modeling. In fact, she embraces it. However, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t situations she regretted. Particularly, Shields isn’t a fan of an interview she granted to famed reporter Barbara Walters in the 1980s.

Brooke Shields Speaks Out

The former model-turned-actress has spoken out recently about the interview with Walters. Shields and her mother sat down with Walters following the controversial “Nothing gets between me and my Calvins” ad. Shields was 15 at the time and the ad caused a fair bit of outrage. As it should have.

But during the interview, Walters crossed some lines. She asked the teenaged Shields increasingly invasive questions about her body, including her measurements. While on a recent podcast, Brooke called the interview “practically criminal.”

Shields admits she was naïve about the nature of the ad:

“I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think it had to do with underwear, I didn’t think it was sexual in nature. I would say it about my sister, ‘Nobody can come between me and my sister,’”

Related: Jenny McCarthy Reveals Barbara Walters Told Her to “Act Republican”

I would like to think we’ve progressed a society past this sort of sexualization, but I really don’t believe we have.

Barbara Walters is infamous for her intrusive questioning and getting the answers she wants out of her interview subjects. It has earned a lot of flak.

Fairly or not, Walters was doing her job and her job was to get to the bottom of this controversy. Was it inappropriate to ask a girl these questions? Of course. But it was also inappropriate for Shields to even be in this situation. 

Watch the interview below:

It’s Not OK

Personally, I think the entire situation is suspect. Those who made the ad knew exactly what they were doing – taking advantage of and sexualizing a 15-year-old girl. I know it was 40 years ago, but that still doesn’t make it OK. 

Brooke Shields never had a fair shot. Her mother put her in show business almost immediately.

Frankly, it is a miracle Brooke Shields turned out as normal as she is. How many child celebrities go off the deep end. The fact that Shields has led a mostly normal life is a testament to her personal strength of character. 

Even though she was one of the world’s top models, Shields opted for college. She graduated from Princeton with a degree in French literature before returning to her modeling and acting career. 

Apart from speaking out about the exploitative tolls of celebrity, Shields has also been open about her struggles with mental illness, including a particularly bad bout of post-partum depression.

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