43-year-old Brooke Shields is cover girl for May 2009 More magazine.
Brooke Shields has spent all 43 of her years in the spotlight, from her debut as a baby Ivory Snow model to her most recent gig on Lipstick Jungle. In the May issue of More, the celebrated beauty tells all about her turbulent childhood, her first wrinkles, how her tendency to just “jump in and worry later” has made her resilient and why she won’t become “a Hollywood casualty.”
Explaining her mom’s early micromanaging: “She came from Newark, New Jersey, from the opposite side of the tracks. My dad came from the upper-crusty side of the tracks. The tracks weren’t even in his neighborhood. And my mother was always adamant about being perceived as having class, not having been born into it. It plagued her, and I think she didn’t want me to know the insecurity of being rejected. She didn’t want me to grow up as the daughter of someone from Newark. The flip side, though, is that she would constantly throw it out at me. She wanted me to not forget where I came from, and how she was a “I always felt loved, but it’s never enough. You’re like a hamster on a wheel."
About how she was “kept so naïve” about her sultry image: “My mom was probably so afraid it would change me. My brain was doing one thing, my body another, and I really became paralyzed by it. It was awkward, sexually, because I felt cut off from the neck down."
About feeling “complete detachment” from her looks: She recalls being in a jazz dance class and falling whenever she tried to turn. The teacher chided her that she never watched herself in the mirror. “She said, ‘Look at yourself,’ and I didn’t want to. What if I didn’t like what I saw? What if I didn’t look like I did in magazines."
About how her pregnancy helped her face the mirror: “It was life, and my body had this purpose so far beyond just being there to look at, or tan or shave. Suddenly I realized how good it had been to me over the years, and what it had sustained. And I was in my thirties at the time."
About how she now celebrates her body: “I’m proud of my longevity more than anything else. There’s a lot to be said for endurance. I’m trying to find the beauty in the whole picture rather than the crow’s feet. Sure, I wish I had the face I had a decade ago, but I don’t. People say, ‘I love my wrinkles.’ I don’t love my wrinkles – come on! But when you see certain women that we knew when we were younger, like Angelica Huston and Isabella Rossellini, and they’ve grown older in the public eye, what you’re responding to is their whole life imprinted on them."
About growing older in the public eye: “For years, I’ve been the youngest person on the set, and it occurred to me recently that I wasn’t 26! I’d read a script and say, ‘Oh, that’s a great character, that’s something I’d love to do.’ And they’d say, ‘Um, no, we’re thinking of you for the mother.’ And then I’d say, ‘Oh, of course! Of course! I knew that."
About caring for her aging mother: “I’ve spent a huge portion of my life taking care of my mother anyway. As an only child of an alcoholic, you’re the caretaker; it just happens. Then you think you’re done with it, you have your family and priorities, and all of a sudden, I’m doing it a hundred percent all over again. There’s no martyrdom – it’s a pain in the ass but it has to be done. I just think, you’re only given what you supposedly can handle."
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