Imagine being so much in the public eye your whole life that your college transcript is printed in Life magazine. Which The New York Times then uses to slam the quality of your Princeton education because of what classes you did and didn’t take. All of which was just barely after you graduated and just weeks after you turned twenty-two; your modeling career was already itself old enough to drink. Your mother had started talking about helping your career when you were five days old. Your first experience with paparazzi was when you were twelve; you’d been a teenage regular at Club 54. Top that all of with the fact that the drug you would get the most criticism for using—from someone whose debut was in one of your own movies, yet—would be Paxil.
When actress and model Teri Schmon announced to her boyfriend’s family that she was pregnant, they tried to pay her to get an abortion. She took the money and had the baby anyway. His family is full of “the [family] of [place]” references; his mother was an honest-to-Gods Italian noblewoman who married an American tennis pro. (Who appears to have been an abusive drunk, so I’m not sure what reputation the family had to protect at that point.) Teri did marry Francis Alexander Shields, though they divorced before their daughter’s first modeling job—she was five months old and wouldn’t appear in an Ivory Soap ad for six more months.
It’s honestly kind of shocking that Brooke Shields has dealt with life as well as she obviously has, all things considered. I know of no drug scandals, no history of alcoholism—hell, despite having appeared naked in assorted media as a child, she didn’t have sex until she was twenty-two (with Princeton classmate Dean Cain, she says). She did suffer a bout of postpartum depression, but I’m the last person to stigmatize her for that, given I did, too, last time around. She’s also been extremely open about it and talked about how, on top of hormones and so forth, her family history may have been a bit of a contributing factor there.
She is also, I think, one of those women whose extraordinary beauty has been diminishing to them. Because, yes, she’s beautiful; I’ve even seen Pretty Baby, and she’s simply ethereal in it. She’s still beautiful now, at 54, albeit in an earthier way. She’s seen a lot of life. However, that’s what people tend to talk about, and there’s more to her than that. I grant you an awful lot of young celebrities have gone to Princeton, and various other Ivy League schools as well, but I’ve never gotten the impression they’re allowed in because they’re famous. Arguably, Dean Cain is more likely to have gotten in for reasons other than academics, given he was a football player.
She’s also a talented actress, which doesn’t get talked about much. Okay, so she was probably cast in Pretty Baby (which formed part of her senior thesis, in fact) because of her beauty, but she gives a fine performance in it, and she’s only gotten more skilled as the years have gone by. It’s clear that she’s always known how to take care of herself; she was the youngest-ever guest star on The Muppet Show, and I happen to know that she spent her downtime on the show making puppets. Which is probably one of the most wholesome things I know about her, and that’s saying something.