AARP The Magazine EXCLUSIVE: Brooke Shields Reflects on Aging, Beauty Positivity, and Seeing the Glass Half Full

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AARP The Magazine EXCLUSIVE: Brooke Shields Reflects on Aging, Beauty Positivity, and Seeing the Glass Half Full

Shields discusses aging, reckoning with her image as a sexualized child model-actor, and how she achieved the rare normal life as a celebrity.

WASHINGTON—“Want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” With these words spoken at the age of 15, Brooke Shields grabbed the attention of the world. In the April/May 2024 issue of AARP The Magazine (ATM), Shields, now 58, reflects upon her early career and the challenges she faced, and continues to face, as a mom, actor, model and author.

Shields’ life looks a little different now than when she was the youngest model to appear on the cover of Vogue or when she was cast at age 11 to play the daughter of a prostitute in Pretty Baby. Shields opens up to ATM about the pressure that came with her fame, her brief break from Hollywood to study at Princeton University, and the trials and tribulations that came with her return, including her eventual split with her mom as her agent and being sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive.

She also provides ATM a glimpse into her family life today, as she and her husband, Chris Henchy, prepare to be empty nesters after raising their two daughters. Shields’ next role will be in the Netflix rom-com Mother of the Bride premiering this May.

The following are excerpts from ATM’s April/May 2024 cover story featuring Brooke Shields. The issue is available in homes starting in March and online now at

On aging in front of the camera:

“You have to change the narrative. It’s an affront to people if Brooke Shields gets older. You can’t grow up, you cannot age. It’s disappointing to them that I don’t have the same face I had when I was 16.”

On what it was like being famous as a teenager:

“It only became clear to me how famous I was when we went out. If we went to Studio 54 or the Cannes Film Festival, there would be hordes of people and paparazzi screaming my name and sometimes rocking the car, and I’m like, ‘This is nuts.’ It was like facing a firing squad.”

On coping with the sexual assault by a Hollywood executive:

“It’s a universal problem. It doesn’t matter who’s doing it, it’s still happening. I was shocked and then surprised, then fearful, then dissociated, going like, ‘OK, what can I do to get out of here? What needs to happen so that I can leave?’”

On firing her mom as her agent:

“My mother kept calling it a divorce. And I was like, ‘Oh, Mom, I’m still your daughter, but if I’m going to do this, I have to do this on my own. I’ll make my own mistakes.’ But that meant I didn’t need her, and then who was she if I didn’t need her?”

On learning how to say no:

“I recently turned down a project, and it was hard for me because I don’t back out of things. But it was giving me such anxiety. There were other things I needed to do — get a foot operation, write a book, get my company off the ground. I felt such relief saying no.”

On comparing parenting to her own upbringing:

“From the time my girls were little kids, I spoke to them as human beings and made my best effort to switch it back around. ‘What do you think about that, or how does that make you feel?’ They’ve never felt judged by me, whereas I felt judged all the time.”

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit orñol, or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.