Looking at the past differently. While addressing the backlash that she received after appearing in a 1980s Calvin Klein jeans campaign, Brooke Shields revealed why her interview with Barbara Walters left a lasting impression.
During an interview with Dax Shepard on his “Armchair Expert” podcast, Shields, 56, responded to his claim that the infamous interview was a “maddening” experience.
“It’s practically criminal. It’s not journalism,” the New York native admitted on Monday, December 6, referring to the attention she received from the ad. “The [interviewers] never wanted my answer. They just wanted their point of view.”
Shields originally made headlines after she modeled in a pair of jeans when she was 15 years old with the tagline, “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
The Blue Lagoon star recalled feeling as if people were shaming her and sexualizing her at the same time, saying, “They were mad at themselves for not figuring it out and taking it out on me.”
At the time, Brooke was joined by her mother, Teri Shields, during the interview with Walters, 92, where she was asked intense questions including, “What are your measurements? Do you have any secrets from your mother? Would you be a mother like your mother?”
Looking back at it now, the model wasn’t sure why the broadcast journalist took that approach.
“As a mom, was she taking the mom tactic? There’s jealousy and there’s anger. It’s such a difficult thing to really decipher,” Brooke admitted on Monday, adding that she still receives invasive questions about her past roles that she doesn’t know how to answer.
“The worst part about it is that now there’s this, ‘So you’ve got two daughters. Now would you let them …’ And I’m just thinking that there’s no way to answer that question without it being a headline that they want,” the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit alum shared. “Then you try to say that times are different. Do I want to see my 11-year-old nude [in] a movie? No. It’s a different child and I’m a different person.”
Brooke, who shares daughters Rowan, 15, and Grier, 18, with husband Chris Henchy, explained that she wasn’t “traumatized” by her childhood career the way that others expecting her to be, saying, “The experience for me was not traumatic and the piece that people can’t seem to wrap their minds around is that I didn’t feel victimized.”
The Golden Globe nominee previously opened up about how “ridiculous” she found the public backlash towards the Calvin Klein campaign.
“I was away when they all came out, and then started hearing, ‘Oh, the commercials have been banned here, and Canada won’t play them,'” she said during a Vogue video interview in October. “It just struck me as so ridiculous, the whole thing.”
She continued: “They take the one commercial, which is a rhetorical question. I was naive, I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think it had to do with underwear, I didn’t think it was sexual in nature. I would say it about my sister, ‘Nobody can come between me and my sister.'”
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For Brooke, the outcry over the modeling job made her feel like people thought she was “much more savvy than I ever really was.”
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