Pop Culture | Celebrities | 80s

Never Forget The Time A Major Brand Wanted Us To Sexualize A 15-Year-Old Brooke Shields

- Page 1

At one point in the '80s, supermodel and actress Brooke Shields was arguably the most famous teenager on the planet. However, her road to stardom was paved with a number of controversies.

Managed by her mother, Teri, Shields had her first taste of the limelight as a model for a soap ad at the age of eleven months. She continued to appear in ads as a toddler, and at the tender age of 10, the child model posed nude in a series of photographs taken by Garry Gross. Teri commissioned the photos in 1975 because she wanted to turn her little girl into a star.

A few years later, Shields was 12 when she made her silver screen debut in Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby (1978). That’s also when she got caught in the middle of her first scandal.

See, Shields played the role of a preteen prostitute, Violet, in the red-light district of New Orleans, and although she garnered critical acclaim, many members of the public were furious.

In an interview she gave a few years ago, Shields recalled her mother saying that as long as she liked the role she played, “then f**k ‘em if they can’t handle it.”

With her mom cheering her on, Shields landed an even more controversial role as Emmeline Lestrange in the film adaptation of Henry De Vere Stacpoole's novel "The Blue Lagoon." She was just 14-years-old at the time, but had to film a number of nude scenes. The production team found it challenging to keep her covered so they had to tape her long hair on her breasts during topless frontal shots.

The infamously sexy film shocked the audience when it premiered in 1980, and decades later, an adult Shields was implicated in some legal matters concerning child sexual exploitation.

Famed film critic Roger Ebert gave the movie 1.5 stars, and said that it "made him itch," while popular gossip columnist Rona Barrett claimed “it borders on kiddie porn.”

The negative reviews did not seem to phase the film’s director, Randal Grease Kleiser or thousands of moviegoers, who helped make it a box-office success.

“It’s an R-rated film I hope parents take their kids to see,” said Kleiser. Well, he was right. The movie grossed over $58 million in the U.S. and Canada, and even got nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

Shields soon started appearing on the front page of newspapers and magazine covers, including The New York Times and People. All of these publications addressed Shields’s underage nudity, and the notorious sex scene that scandalized viewers.

Columbia Pictures

The film's creators and Shield's later testified in front of U.S. Congress that many of her nude scenes were done by a body double.

"You sort of desensitise yourself to anything sexual. In Blue Lagoon, I’m using a glue gun, taping my hair, anything I can so my body doesn’t show I have boobs," Shields said in an interview with The Guardian. And I didn’t realise I was doing it, because I was a kid. I was in a cocoon with my mom.”

However, amidst all the frenzy, Shields’s stage mother was negotiating a modelling contract for a provocative campaign that would change her life forever, and turn her into a household name for years to come.

Page 1 Next Page

More Throwbacks


Never Before Seen Photos Of Brad Pitt From Before He Was Famous

Brad Pitt is one of the most famous actors in Hollywood, but everyone has to start somewhere. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Missouri, Pitt went through high school and most of college before realizing what he wanted to do.Two weeks before completing his journalism degree in college, he wasn't ready to settle down. He decided to pack up and chase his dreams, even though his experience was limited to plays in school. He moved to Los Angeles and started taking acting lessons and working at different jobs. As his career was starting out, he took small roles in


'Men In Black' Reboot Reveals Who They've Cast As The Stars Of The New Movie

I know, I know, no more reboots! Everyone is sick of our favorite movies getting made over and over again, but Hollywood seems to be out of ideas and they've got to make something. This time it's going to be a remake of arguably the best Will Smith movie ever: Men In Black. Sony plans to go the Jurassic World route, and introduce new characters in the already established world. So I guess it's not so much a reboot as a spin-off. The new movie is not set to feature either Tommy Lee Jones's Agent K or Will Smith's Agent


Where Are The Cast Members From 'A League Of Their Own' Now?

A League Of Their Own was one of the most iconic movies of the 90s. I know for me, it would come on TV at least once a month, and every time I would find myself drawn in, watching it even though I probably should have been doing anything else. Between Geena Davis's confident Dotti Hinson, and Tom Hanks's cranky Jimmy Dugan, the movie was irresistible. Every character was well-developed and brought something to the movie, and together they told a story that touched a lot of hearts. It has been over 25 years since A League Of Their Own


The Trailer For The Mr. Rogers Documentary Has Been Released And It's Absolutely Heartwarming

Few things are as sacred as Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. The classic PBS children's show was on for 31 seasons, and even though it hasn't been filmed since 2001, it's still beloved to this day. Fred Rogers hosted the show with a kindness that can best be described as neighborly - at least that's what I think he would want to be described as. He was sweet, caring, and honest with his viewers, teaching them all the things they needed to learn.Every show started with the same song, while Rogers pulled on a cozy cardigan and asked us all if