Sunday, October 31, 2021

Brooke Shields & Calvins: Naive or Complicit Sexualized Teen

Vogue posted on its YouTube channel "Brooke Shields Tells the Story Behind Her 80's Calvin Klein Jeans Campaign" (Oct 28, 2021). In the video, Shields shared that, unsurprisingly, no extras were allowed on the set and that Richard Avedon, the photographer, was nervous:

"The shoot itself, nobody was allowed on the set [...] I think he [Avedon] was a bit nervous." 

Unbelievably, Shields said that she was naive about the sexual nature of the "Nothing Comes Between Me & My Calvins" video, and she mentioned her body double in Blue Lagoon to justify her naiveté:

"I was naive. I didn't think anything of it. I didn't think it was - [it] had to do with underwear. I didn't think it was sexual in nature [...] I was a kid. And where I was - I was naive. I was a very protected, sequestered kind of young woman [...] in Blue Lagoon I had a body double [for the completely nude scenes]."

Interestingly, Shields thanked Harpers Bazaar for naming her 14-year-old topless Blue Lagoon swimsuit scene iconic. Body double? 

Brooke Shields | Pretty Baby (1978)

And are we to assume that Shields didn't realize that her role as a pre-teen prostitute in Pretty Baby (1978)where her virginity was sold for a whopping $400, was not of a sexual nature. 

Although, Shields claims that she was naive at 15, at 56 she appears to condone the Calvin advertisements by admitting that (teen) sex sells:

"Yeah, at 56, I can go back and look at the camera, and say, "Oh well it's zooming in. And yeah, it's sort of on my crotch area. And then it comes to my face." Like, okay, but sex has sold since the dawn of time." 

As for her second contradiction, Shields reminded the viewers that there was something in her eyes on her magazine covers, but then she states that at 15, she was sans sexuality. 

"Every single cover I've been on, I don't care it I was 15 or whatever, there's something in the eyes."

"And there is an assimilation of sexuality now, which I certainly didn't have when I was 15."

Wait, what about Shield's 13-year-old "womanly" bikini pose in Life magazine that was written about in the Vanity Fair piece "The Photo That Changed My Life". 

And I won't mention Richard Prince’s Spiritual America exhibit at the Guggenheim where a photograph of a nude 10-year-old Shields was on display. (Interestingly,  Shields' mothers sold the photograph to Playboy Press for a whopping $450.)

Lastly, Shields admitted that, due to the allure appeal of nymphets, her Calvin campaign was "extremely successful", she admitted that Avedon and Klein "knew exactly what they were doing", and she shared that her Calvin campaign was life changing for her and Klein. #rightplacerighttime:

"The campaign was extremely successful."

"There's an appeal to it that is so undeniable. And they tapped right into it. You know, they knew exactly what they were doing."

"[...] he [Calvin Klein] said it changed his entire career and life. And it put Calvin on the map [...] which was what I think they had hoped for it."

"He said, 'You know, you changed the course of my life and my career.' And I said, 'Well, you did mine too.' We were in the right place at the right time."

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