Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby, Oversexualized Child

Brooke Shields is one of those names people just know, even if they don't know why they know it. I bought a People Magazine's 1000 Greatest Moments in Pop Culture, and she shows up in it at least four times in a 10 year period. She's more an element of pop culture than an actress.

She had her own TV show, Suddenly Susan, she guest starred on That 70's Show and Friends, and she played Hannah Montana's mom, but no one remembers much about her adult career. What people remember is a series of controversial appearances before she was even 16, Pretty Baby, Blue Lagoon, and the Calvin Klein ads. She was 12 when she starred in Pretty Baby, a movie about a child prostitute in 1917 New Orleans. For obvious reasons, this movie was wildly controversial, especially since the prepubescent actress had more than one nude scene. The movie has been edited on DVD versions to censor some of the nudity, especially direct shots of anything, which were not censored at all on the VHS.

I haven't seen it, and I want to but don't want to at the same time. I watched the clips on YouTube, but I think that's all I could handle of this. Even the clip I watched had me staring with my mouth open. It disturbed me and took me a little while to get over.

Looking at it as art instead of child porn, I think this movie is amazing. It does exactly what it was meant to do: it shocks people. Child prostitution was a problem in 1917 New Orleans, and people should be shocked. I think it was daring and intriguing, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing. I've seen interviews and pictures with her when she was 12, and she actually looks much older. You would think she was 15 at least, but in the movie, between the makeup and hair, they make her look even younger than 12 for the effect.

Why did the parents allow this? I shouldn't judge people I don't know, but it's pretty obvious what the mother was doing by allowing this: A controversial movie like this would skyrocket her daughter to fame and rake in the cash. Her mom was also her manager and was not only okay with it but had also had Brooke take part in nude photo shoots two years earlier when she was only 10 years old. These pictures have been exhibited in art museums in the US and England, which were recently taken down because, ahem, child porn.

Two years later, she starred in Blue Lagoon where she again was filmed naked and had sex scenes. I almost watched this movie. I recorded it, but I couldn't get myself to watch it.

14 years old, dude.

I posted her "No one comes between me and my Calvins" commercial yesterday. She was in many just like that. 15 years old. Shouldn't we have laws against oversexualizing children and creeping out the public? I guess not, since Toddlers and Tiaras is still kickin.

I'm going to end with this, just to keep up the theme of oversexed children.

Oh God, ew.

With an appropriate amount of love,

1 comment:

  1. im sorry to play devils advocate but this is just nature no matter what u may think human being are still simply animals and a girl around 10+ is attracted to older men and men are attracted to young girls. all the pictures u show here i find lovely not in a child predator way i mean to cause no harm only love.