Brooke Shields has led a controversial life when it comes to onscreen nudity, but the 53-year-old actress would do it all again in the name of art. Shields recently revealed that she would rather be a nude model than draw in a sketchbook in front of a crowd.
The actress attended the New York Academy of Art’s Drawing Party last week and was so shy about her drawing skills that she joked that she would get naked in lieu of showing her artistic skills.
According to Page Six, when New York Academy of Art President David Kratz gave the crowd, which also included Ippolita Rostagno and Donna Karan, the option to draw or strip down, Brooke Shields reportedly raised her hand and said she’d “rather [get naked]!”
Brooke Shields knows firsthand what it’s like to be a nude model, although she would have to go back four decades to recall her experiences with it. Shields’ mother, Teri Shields, famously allowed her daughter to be photographed nude at the age of 10 and to play a child prostitute in Louis Malle film, Pretty Baby, at 12. Brooke’s provocative Calvin Klein jeans ads and controversial 1980 remake of The Blue Lagoon followed.
While Shields used a nude stand-in for her love scenes with co-star Chris Atkins in Blue Lagoon, she was still nearly naked in the film, save for a couple of strategically placed pieces of material on her body. In 1980, Shields explained to People that, unlike the nudity in her earlier film, Pretty Baby, she was concerned about taking her clothes off at age 14.
“I was not very developed, and I didn’t care much about taking off my clothes. Now I do.”
Brooke wore flesh-colored pasties taped to her breasts and part of her long wig was glued to each pad during the shooting of Blue Lagoon.
But of her first stint as a nude model—at the shocking age of 10—Shields has expressed outrage when thinking about it as an adult.
Shields, who posed naked for photographer Garry Gross as a pre-teen girl, later alleged he tried to cash in on the controversial image by selling it when she turned 16 at the height of her fame as a teen actress and model. Shields reportedly attempted to stop Gross from using the photo, but a court ruled the image didn’t breach child pornography laws. Artist Richard Prince later took a photo of the original image and featured it in his own work.
“Everything that happened that felt sordid (about the shoot) happened after the fact,” Shields later told Easy Living, per Express. “I was nine – I wasn’t uncomfortable doing it. When I was 16, I wouldn’t have done it. “
Shields also detailed that she later found “justice” in a backhanded way.
“That [original photographer Garry Gross] waited until I was 16 before he decided to publish it – he tried to take this famous person and sell her out,” Shields revealed. “My favorite part about the whole story is that Richard Prince photographed that picture and made millions of dollars, and the guy that tried to screw me to begin with is a dog walker, and has no money. That’s justice in a really weird way.”