Brooke Shields’ ‘Pretty Baby’ Doc is ABC News’ Greatest Hulu Hit Yet
Brooke Shields catapulted into the world of adult sexuality at 10 years old. Her new Hulu documentary, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, takes you behind the scenes of child acting in an industry that seemingly intended to serve men. Here's everything you need to know about ABC News’ most-watched Hulu program.
What is "Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields" about?
Before she even had an identity of her own, Shields became an ‘80s icon and household name. Her early career was dominated by provocative Calvin Klein ads and starring roles in exploitative teen shows The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love. Shields grew up overtly and overly sexualized by adults throughout the film and modeling industries, with her body used for views and the pleasure of straight men. She “was defined by a sexuality that she could neither claim nor comprehend,” the documentary describes.
“She was a young girl in an all adult world,” Laura Linney, who starred in Ozark, says in a brief cameo.
The two-part documentary tells Shields’ story through archival footage and media appearances from her past, exploring the truth behind growing up in the public eye. Shields details her life through personal interviews, revealing her sexual assault, a childhood plagued by complex familial relationships and an industry power structure that promotes a toxic culture of misogyny alongside the sexualization and objectification of young girls.
Above all, though, the documentary tells the moving story of Shields self-discovery despite the exploitation, and ultimately taking ownership of her body, agency, and life overall.
What is Brooke Shields best known for?
Brooke Shields starred in film and TV as early as 10-years-old. She acted in Blue Lagoon, Endless Love, and even as Miley's mom in Hannah Montana. Shields also modeled for Calvin Klein ads.
Where can I watch the Brooke Shields documentary?
You can stream Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields on Hulu starting on April 3.
What are critics saying about Brooke Shields' new documentary?
The biopic, spearheaded by acclaimed director Lana Wilson, was praised by the likes of fans and film critics alike.
“A supremely well-crafted piece of conventional documentary portraiture.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety“If Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields shows audiences anything, it's that the culture hasn't changed much at all. We owe it to ourselves to do better.” – Danielle Solzma
It’s a “galvanizing look at actor, model and icon Brooke Shields as she transforms from a sexualized young girl to a woman discovering her power. Holding a mirror up to a society that objectifies women and girls, her story shows the perils and triumphs of gaining agency in a hostile world.” – Variety
What do fans have to say?
The reviews are in, and they’re glowing. I mean – the doc just hit #1 in hours streamed in its first week out of all ABC News debuts on Hulu, so viewers clearly love it. Fans and celebrities alike are raving over the documentary, praising Shields for a lifetime of strength, vulnerability and perseverance.
#PrettyBaby: Brooke Shields is available on Hulu today. It's the rare celebrity documentary that challenges its subject on her own memories and evolving cultural truths - and, yes, it allows her to tell her own story. Revisit my #sundance2023 piece on ithttps://t.co/5Tlf93q1r7— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) April 3, 2023
With all of the praise comes a lot of rage, and rightly so. Many fans turned to social media to share their thoughts of disgust over grown men overtly sexualizing Shields as a child, and no adults stopping the abuse.
The way I am having to breathe thru my rage watching this Brooke Shields documentary is crazy. I feel like I’m gonna hyperventilate. It’s so infuriating watching all these grown ass adults take advantage of and sexualize this CHILD. Including her own mother.— Harlo 🏳️🌈 (@ultraviolet_end) April 3, 2023
watching the new brooke shields documentary and holy mother of god i cant put into words how much men disgust me— 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐦𝐢🌙 (@chrryicecream) April 3, 2023
I’m watching the Brooke Shields documentary and bawling my eyes out :/— Tomasito (@tommygj21) April 3, 2023
Watching the Brooke Shields documentary and sure, she’s always been beautiful, but when the whole world started obsessing over her beauty all I see is a C H I L D !!! Hollywood is rlly so sick— abbs (@abbsrobs) April 3, 2023
I just watched Brooke Shields documentary and I am lost for words. I glad she came out on the other side of things as many don't in the industry. But damn 😵💫😵💫😵💫— thiquewiththegems30 (@thiquegems30) April 3, 2023
With this documentary, we can only hope that Shields’s story will shed light on Hollywood’s dark corners, and change the way girls are portrayed in film and the media.
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This story was originally published on March 22, 2023 and has been updated with new reporting.
Olivia Taylor is a writer and creative covering pop culture, beauty, style, wellness, health, relationships, lifestyle and basically anything else you can think of. A lifelong creative and self-proclaimed reality TV buff, Olivia spends her time outside of work surfing, skateboarding, attending cool indie concerts and finding the best acai bowls in town. Say hi to her on Instagram @heyitsoliviataylor and on Twitter @inneedofmargs.