In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle on the BUILD Series stage, the model and actress talked about the ongoing struggle she faced to embrace her body while growing up in the public eye.
“I had a very strong disconnect to my body. 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,” she shared. “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.”
As a result, Shields said that she held onto the belief “that I didn’t look good, that I didn’t have a good body.” She even went on to explain the deeper impact of being sexualized from a young age as well, while simultaneously being praised for her youthful innocence.
“It was said that I was the most famous virgin, which is really great to live with,” Shields joked. “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.”
Now, the mother-of-two is taking measures to ensure that she takes proper care of her body in an effort to provide her daughters with a good example of self love and confidence.
“I’m trying to present to them the image of a whole woman, which was very different from the way I grew up,” she said. “I don’t want them to have any of that shame but I want them to maintain a sense of that their body is their body, it’s their own.”
Shields even admitted that her wildly popular bikini photos are a result of that lesson, as her daughters, ages 13 and 16, have encouraged her to show all of her hard work off.
“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.’”
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