Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, from director Lana Wilson, takes a look at Brooke Shields life and career from her point of view now as a woman in her 50s who has survived as a famous icon for her entire life.
Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields explores her childhood, her career, her relationships, and her life now. Not long ago I watched Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over. Like that film, this 2 part series on Hulu tells the story of the star from her own perspective and includes the details she wants emphasized. I don’t know if this is a trend for women to take control of their own narratives and documentaries, but I certainly hope it is.
Starting from the age of 11 months, Brooke has been in our magazines, on our screens, and in the news. Her mother was her manager and led her child through a tumultuous childhood where her beauty was exploited and sexualized. There were photos and clips from early films. There were cringe inducing interviews from male talk show hosts asking her about her virginity and other inappropriate questions.
The number of talking heads with things to say about Brooke was limited to a few good friends such as Laura Linney and Drew Barrymore. There were some authors who talked about Brooke’s life in terms of how women are treated in society.
Brooke has been through so many experiences that exemplify every woman’s life. She’s been objectified, exploited, disrespected, sexually assaulted, suffered postpartum depression, and much more. Now, in her late 50s, she’s gained wisdom and experience and has taken control of her own life and her work. Because of the way she was raised by her single alcoholic mother, it has been slow going, but she’s come to a good place within herself.
Telling her own story, as she did with her book about postpartum depression, is a smart move. It’s not the sensational press. It’s not some famous male director who thinks nude images of an eleven year old girl are art. It’s not some insensitive talk show host. It’s Brooke herself with her inner struggles and real life.
If you are at all interested in this woman’s story, it’s worth the watch.