“I had a very strong disconnect to my body,” the actress, 54, told Yahoo Lifestyle about growing up in the spotlight while simultaneously having her own doubts about how she looked. “I was the face on the covers, I was the eyebrows or the face or whatever the thing was that people and the press and everybody focused on. And because I was never really skinny, I never did runway. So I was always the one that was doing the magazines but often never fit into the samples.”
Shields, who felt “that I didn’t look good, that I didn’t have a good body,” also wrestled with the emotions that came with being considered a sex symbol while also being idealized as pure.
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“It was said that I was the most famous virgin, which is really great to live with,” the former “Suddenly Susan” star quipped. “How do you justify sexy screen siren and famous virgin? It’s a real disconnect and it’s really hard. And so, I look back and I think, I’m still surviving and I can’t believe that I didn’t turn into a train wreck. Seriously.”
Shields, who rocketed to fame as a teen modeling for Calvin Klein Jeans and starring in films like “The Blue Lagoon” and “Pretty Baby,” has learned lessons that she hopes she can pass on to her daughters, ages 13 and 16. It takes on added importance when you consider Shields had to endure body-shaming from her own mother while growing up.
"My mother would get drunk and say: ‘Why don’t you move your fat ass?’ So, I’ve always believed I had a fat ass," she told Porter Edit last year.
“I’m trying to present to them the image of a whole woman, which was very different from the way I grew up,” Shields told Yahoo Lifestyle about her kids. “I don’t want them to have any of that shame but I want them to maintain a sense that their body is their body, it’s their own.”
The actress also says her girls are behind her decision to share bikini photos on social media.
“Those pictures always get a gazillion likes. And it was my daughters who actually told me to do it because I felt very embarrassed,” she explained. “My girls were like, ‘Mom, this is current. This is what the world is now and you should be proud because you do work hard.’”