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‘Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields’ is an Intimate Film about Growing Up in the Spotlight

{By: Lauren Trunfio} Lana Wilson’s “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” is an intimate look at the harrowing life of actress Brooke Shields, and how she was hypersexualized in the media from a disturbingly young age. As we all know, Brooke Shields is gorgeous, but Wilson’s film made it abundantly clear that her beauty made her appear to be almost like a commodity instead of a human being. Shields eloquently shares her story in this raw documentary, where they go into detail about her roles in Pretty Baby and Blue Lagoon, and how these roles specifically sexualized her at a young age to the point where she was constantly seen as an object in the lens of the media. In both films, she portrays a young girl acting the age of an adult, which disturbingly depicts the sexualization of minors. But as portrayed in this documentary, Shields wanted to escape the media and her overt sexualization, which is why she decided to go to college (Princeton University). However, as we are able to see, her time at University almost contributed to more harm than good, as she was rejected from her peers and constantly seen as a celebrity instead of just another student. Unfortunately, this stunted her growth in many ways. Unfortunately after she graduated, Shields did not have much of an easier time in the media, as she was dismissed from roles that she wanted and instead only found herself getting commercials. During this time, in a startling admission in the film, Shields opens up about how she was raped after graduating from Princeton from an industry insider after opening up to him about her struggles to find work in Hollywood. This extremely disturbing confession was heart wrenching. 

Fortunately in the documentary, we are able to see that Shields is doing extremely well today and she thrives as a wife and mother of two gorgeous daughters. Both daughters are extremely independent, and even though Shield’s mother was not the best parental figure as we are able to see in the film, it’s clear that Shields made it her mission to empower her daughters in any way that she possibly could.