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- American actress and model
Don’t mess with Brooke Shields.
At 56 years old, the actress, model and entrepreneur has seen several reinventions. From her career-changing role in 1980’s The Blue Lagoon to co-founding Beginning is Now, a lifestyle platform for women over 40, it’s clear that Shields is in her prime — and she’s picked up many life lessons along the way.
In a new interview with MSNBC, the multi-hyphenated mogul opens up about society’s youth-obsessed culture, explaining that she's in a much better state now than she was in her 20s.
“It's an interesting thing to be 56 and saying, ‘Now I'm ready to start,’” Shields said of her life now. “I just now feel as if I'm my most powerful and vibrant, and I'm not bogged down by the same insecurities or the same pettiness. I don’t give a sh— the same way I did when I was a kid. I think I look sexier. I feel more myself. I feel like I'm living my life, according to my terms.”
Shields became a sex symbol following her iconic (and controversial) Calvin Klein ad in the early ’80s. But when she turned 40, she said Hollywood told her she was “done.”
“You’re marketed to if you’re 20 or if you’re in dentures. But the margin in the middle is a very, very full, vibrant generation,” she explained. “Every time a door closed to me, I just looked for another outlet. I still am ahead of the game because I learned from this.”
Now the newest face of True Botanicals, a clean skincare brand, Shields wants to use all of her platforms to remind women that it’s OK to pivot in life when you don’t feel like you’re getting what you deserve.
“Every woman that I know who is over 40 has pivoted in some extraordinary way,” she said. “Once you come into this period of your life, you actually have more options.”
“We all have so much more value than society gives us credit for,” she added. "I feel lucky because I have belief in myself. And when I lose that belief, there are people around me who remind me of it.”
The star has criticized the industry and society at large for creating false narratives about aging. At the same time, she’s been an outspoken advocate for mental health, routinely sharing her personal journey with postpartum depression.
"I believe that it's a misconception that women can't be sexy over a certain age," she told Yahoo Life last month. "The acceptance of our bodies comes at a later date. I live much more in my body now than I ever did. My body actually feels like it belongs to me and I can't say that about my youth."
"Sex for me has really evolved. My 20s, I was always terrified of it because I was a virgin till I was 22. You know I thought I was committing an offense to humanity for being Catholic, not married. I had so much guilt," she added. "My 30s, it wasn't really about being sexy. It was having your body work to create something. So that, that was like a 10-year kind of journey. And it wasn't until my 40s that I started thinking of sex as my experience, not someone else's experience that I just navigated."
The star also spoke candidly with Yahoo Life about how she coped through postpartum depression.
“I think you never know what's going to help you through the tough times,” she said in February 2021. “I think being seen and not hiding but being able to be witnessed — and sometimes that's the hardest thing because of shame, et cetera — that can save your life. And I think the takeaway is that, even if you are completely and utterly convinced you're the only one, you're not.”
She continued, “I think it's when you realize that there is a community out there, I think it changes the way you approach the whole thing. And I think we're coming much closer toward relieving ourselves of the stigma. I think we have a long way to go, but just knowing that I wasn't the only one that had gone through something like that really fueled me. And then I became really fueled to talk about it, because I didn't want to talk about it [before] And I thought, well, that's not going to work, because if someone hadn't talked about it to me, I'm not sure I would be here today.”