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Brooke Shields, 57, on fighting ageism in Hollywood: ‘Comparison is the kiss of death’


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Brooke Shields gets candid about life after 50 years in Hollywood.

On Monday, the actress appeared on the “Verywell Mind” podcast and spoke to host and licensed therapist Amy Morin about her experience of aging in the public eye.

“I’ve been fighting ageism in Hollywood since I was about seven,” the 57-year-old said. “It starts in Hollywood then, but it’s really…sex appeal doesn’t just have to be the reality of a young person, the product of being sexy and being vibrant and not being weighed down by so many things that overwhelm you, whether it’s your biological clock, or the way things are laid out for you, because that’s what’s traditionally done.”

“All of these burdens really change… They take on a different look and a different meaning when it starts in your 40s,” she shared. “That’s when I started not wasting time on things that didn’t serve me or make me feel good about myself.”

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Although she had a successful decades-long career as an in-demand actress and model, Brooke Shields said aging in the public eye wasn’t easy.
(STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Although she had a decades-long career as a sought-after model and actress, Shields admitted that it was not easy to feel accepted for her age.

“I think it has a bit to do with just procreation historically,” Shields explained. “And…then speaking of menopause, we look at it as you are…this withered, withered entity. And I think…the type of message is something that we’ve grown accustomed to accepting because it’s all for the younger ones. It’s flashy and it’s made fabulous.”

“And that’s the idea,” Shields continued. “And the idea is, oh, that’s the only time you’re really alive and vibrant. And I think we got used to it. And I obviously didn’t think to question it when I had 20s. It wasn’t until I was past 50 that I thought, ‘Wait a minute, there’s no one there talking to me. They’re neglecting me.'”

Despite the challenges she’s faced, Shields said she’s proud of her age and the journey she’s been on that has brought her to this moment.

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Brooke Shields, 57, on fighting ageism in Hollywood: ‘Comparison is the kiss of death’

Brooke Shields (right) and her daughter Grier Hammond Henchy at the Salvatore Ferragamo fashion show on September 25, 2021 in Milan, Italy.
(Marco Piraccini/Archivio Marco Piraccini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

“…Ageism obviously exists in my industry, and you expect it from my industry, but you shouldn’t expect it,” Shields said. “But…I finally feel a lot more confident and less complicated, and very clear about what I want and who I am. And that only comes with the years.”

“Find people who are in that age range and find people who inspire you and who are that age,” Shields advised. “And try to learn from them and try to find similarities to yourself in them…try to find inspiration from people who are professing and explain why they are comfortable…And just say, ‘Don’t am I not lucky to have another year?’ Or, “Isn’t it amazing that I can still wake up in the morning, and still have to do…” There are a lot of things. We forget that. My God, if it’s not fair in our face now, with what’s going on, how can we complain?”

“…If someone has achieved something, or if they’re physically fit in a way that appeals to you, or that’s what you want, learn from them, ask questions,” Shields explained. “But in the end, you will only be able to find happiness, trust, peace and acceptance of your uniqueness within you…Comparison is but the kiss of death. And we all do. And I I have to remind myself daily not to.”

In 2020, Shields told Fox News Digital that she had no interest in slipping into her coveted Calvin Klein jeans again.

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Brooke Shields, 57, on fighting ageism in Hollywood: ‘Comparison is the kiss of death’

Brooke Shields caused a stir when she posed for Calvin Klein.
(Alamy)

“I can get into it, but it looks painful,” Shields said at the time. “I found them recently, [but] I think the last time I fit in there comfortably was probably while I was in ‘Wonderful Town’ on Broadway [back in 2004]. They’re so high waisted.”

“When I was that age, I was built like a little boy,” the star continued. “I have no desire to fit in. I had two kids and took on a more feminine form that I feel comfortable in and proud of.

“I celebrate who I am now, I’m not trying to have the body I had when I was 15. One of the messages I want to share with other women is to celebrate you. Own your curves and your strengths rather than trying to look like someone else or be skinny. I’d rather be strong and fit than anything else.”


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