Brooke Shields Overcame Body-Shaming with an Empowering Response from Her Husband

Brooke Shields, renowned for her timeless beauty and exceptional talent, stands as an iconic actress of her generation. Despite her legion of devoted fans, she has endured her fair share of unjust criticism throughout her life.

Delve deeper into the actress’s personal journey to discover the obstacles she has faced. Hailing as one of the world’s most accomplished supermodels, Shields has left an indelible mark both on the catwalk and the silver screen, captivating audiences with her unparalleled grace and allure. Nevertheless, the 57-year-old beauty icon has encountered detractors who sought to diminish her accomplishments. Now, she courageously unveils the complexities of her relationship with her late mother, Teri, who had managed her career since childhood.

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Regrettably, her mother served as her first critic, and Shields recounts, “My mother would get drunk and say, ‘Why don’t you move your fat ass?’ So, I’ve always believed I had a fat ass.” Such body-shaming from her own mother distorted her perception of herself. In 2012, her mother passed away after a lifelong battle with alcoholism, but the impact of her hurtful remarks lingered, requiring years of healing.

Ultimately, it was her husband of 17 years, Chris Henchy, a talented screenwriter, who guided Shields toward accepting her body and recognizing her innate beauty. Reflecting on their journey, she shares, “I would walk backwards out of rooms, and he’d say, ‘No, I want to grab onto you.’ He truly celebrated my womanliness and my body. And I needed a man to celebrate me.”

Previously wed to Andre Agassi from 1997 to 1999, Shields made her breakthrough in Hollywood as a teenage actress. However, it was her iconic Calvin Klein jeans advertisement, lensed by Richard Avedon in 1980, that catapulted her to the status of an enduring icon. Despite being widely regarded as beautiful by the masses, Shields candidly reveals that criticism remained a constant presence in her life. She confides, “I modeled swimwear when I was 15, and even then I didn’t think I had a swimsuit body. I was a cover girl, not a supermodel. I was ‘neck up’—the face, the eyebrows—and I was always described as ‘athletic,’ ‘not rail-thin,’ ‘not a runway model.’ Those messages seep into your consciousness.”

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In recent years, she embarked on another swimsuit campaign, reuniting with Calvin Klein. Determined to excel in her role, Shields dedicated herself to achieving her best physical form. She recounts, “I knew that if I didn’t look my best, I’d be embarrassed and mad at myself. I stopped drinking beer and wine, and I worked out three times a week. I was the best version of myself,” she says, candidly adding, “I was also hungry.”

It is profoundly surprising to discover that even a figure of immense beauty like Brooke Shields grappled with insecurities. Despite being globally acclaimed for her beauty, her own mother and other detractors attempted to undermine her self-worth. It is heartening, however, to witness how her husband counteracted those beliefs, reminding her of her intrinsic beauty and guiding her toward self-acceptance.

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Recently, the actress unveiled a deeply personal revelation: a sexual assault she endured over 30 years ago. In a recent interview with People, Shields disclosed that she was assaulted by a Hollywood executive shortly after graduating from Princeton University.

In the aftermath, she blamed herself, but as the decades passed, she found the strength to process the traumatic incident. Reflecting on her experience, she states, “I’m more angry now than I was able to be then. If you’re afraid, you’re rightfully so. They are scary situations. They don’t have to be violent to be scary.” This marks the first time the former model turned actress has shared her experience as a victim of sexual assault, as she explains, “People weren’t believing those stories back then. I thought I would never work again.”


Her story, unfortunately, echoes the all-too-common narrative of Hollywood. In an upcoming two-part documentary, “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields,” her account, which details her struggles, will be told with greater depth. Shields remarks, “Through the documentary, you see it all together, and it’s a miracle that I survived.”

Following her graduation from Princeton University, Shields found herself at the “lowest point” in her career. It was during this vulnerable period that she encountered an unnamed Hollywood executive for dinner, anticipating a potential film offer or job opportunity. However, after their meal, he invited her to his hotel room.

Under the pretense of arranging a cab, he led her to his room, where he proceeded to sexually assault her. “I didn’t fight,” she reveals. “I just froze.”


Shields was burdened by immense guilt and blamed herself for the attack, questioning her own decisions. “I kept saying, ‘I shouldn’t have done that. Why did I go up with him? I shouldn’t have had that drink at dinner.'”

At the time, Shields confided in only one person, her close friend and former security consultant, Gavin de Becker. Now, however, she is ready to share her story with the world, with the hope of aiding others in their journey toward healing. “Everybody processes their own trauma on a different timeline. I want to be an advocate for women to be able to speak their truth.”

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