Brooke Shields has been omnipresent for so long that’s hard to pinpoint just one thing she’s known for: She started out as a model, then evolved into an actress, then an author, and she’s also made waves for so many other things in between. But, as the #MeToo movement has made abundantly clear as of late, just because someone leads an iconic life complete with a prolific career doesn’t make them immune to situations of feeling compromised or intimidated. And, according to Shields, that’s exactly how she felt while composing her first book, published in 1978, The Brooke Book.
“I made a promise to myself to only pen my own [thoughts]. And I was lucky enough to be given that opportunity.” —Brooke Shields
At the launch of her new size-inclusive QVC line, Brooke Shields Timeless, the actress shared that while writing her first book, she was put in a demeaning position that led her to prioritize her authenticity. “I wrote the first chapter by myself, after my first year at Princeton. It was deeper and much more of an exploration of what it is to be insecure the first time you’re away from home. I gained 20 pounds within the first semester and all of that, and they rejected the entire chapter [for being] too serious,” Shields said of her publishers.
Shields shared that following the scrapped chapter, a ghostwriter took over, and though “all of the actual technical things are real” ultimately, she didn’t think the book was representative of herself. For her next five books (two of which are for children), Shields said, “I made a promise to myself to only pen my own [thoughts]. And I was lucky enough to be given that opportunity.”
Let this serve as a reminder that even someone who seems fearless and is exceptionally honest about tough topics like postpartum depression can struggle to find her voice.