Brooke Shields & Her Daughters In Cookie Magazine


Brooke Shields and her daughters are featured in the December issue of Cookie magazine. Below is the Cookie magazine article:

It was early September, and she was attending the weekly Wednesday-morning service at the Manhattan school where her older daughter, Rowan, 5, is in kindergarten. “I watched the children file in quietly,” says Shields. “I was in a seat another mom had saved for me—like in high school!—and Rowan’s eyes lit up when she saw me sneaking a wave. She kept checking for me. I was just another mom sharing the experience, and I thought, Wow, it took having a child for me to feel like I belong, that I’m normal. It was pretty profound.”

Shields tells this story while cutting the crust off her quiche during a very late lunch. She’s wearing dark, high-waisted skinny jeans and a sheer gray and black chiffon blouse—an outfit that inspires flashbacks to those Calvin Klein ads she made nearly 30 years ago—and she has slept one hour out of the last 36 because she’s been shooting night scenes for her hit TV show, Lipstick Jungle. Her fatigue is palpable: She loses her train of thought a few times, and her voice is fast and breathy, as if she’s running on fumes. “I had this trainer once who said to always do two out of the three: eat well, rest, and exercise,” says Shields, 43, who also has a younger daughter, Grier, 2. These days, she says, it’s more like “which one out of the three can I do?”

It’s a line her character on Lipstick Jungle, now in its second season on NBC, might say. Shields plays Wendy Healy, a woman juggling a movie-producing career, a marriage, and two kids. Shields can relate. She typically shoots for 14 hours straight, often over nights and weekends. Her husband, TV writer and producer Chris Henchy, works in Los Angeles, and the family reunites every other weekend—which never feels like quite enough. “I get really self-sufficient and start to detach, and he brings me back in,” Shields says. But despite her schedule and part-time single-mom status (albeit with nanny help), she readily sacrifices sleep and Spinning class for moments like the one in the chapel, when she can sink into the background and simply be a mom, not the beauty and fashion icon, screen and stage actress, author, and TV star that she is. “I’m a larger-than-life thing. I’m the reason the paparazzi take their pictures,” she says matter-of-factly. “When my girls are on their own, and their little personalities come out, I feel so good.”

That feeling carries extra weight for Shields because her own childhood couldn’t have been more different. Her parents, Frank, an executive at Revlon (who died of cancer in 2003), and Teri, a former model, divorced when Shields was an infant. Shields was raised in Manhattan, and Teri devoted herself to managing her daughter’s career, which launched with an Ivory Snow ad at age 11 months and spanned magazine covers, controversial movies (such as Pretty Baby and The Blue Lagoon), and, of course, those provocative jeans ads. She and her mother had a famously intense and tumultuous relationship. “I feel like there’s a reason I had girls,” says Shields, who will spend the holidays with her mother and her in-laws. “My mom and I were very, very, very close, but we had no separation. My daughters are teaching me that it’s okay to have boundaries, that they want them.”

Shields finally forged her independence by going to Princeton. After graduating, she went back to work, starring in two Broadway shows and proving herself a deft and charmingly goofy comedic actor in the sitcom Suddenly Susan. She was briefly married to tennis star Andre Agassi in the late ’90s, but it wasn’t until she wed Henchy in 2001, at age 35, that her maternal urges kicked in. She had a miscarriage and then struggled with infertility for nearly two years, undergoing seven in-vitro-fertilization treatments before conceiving Rowan. After she was born, Shields sank into a severe bout of postpartum depression, which she overcame with the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and therapy. In 2005, she published a memoir about her illness,  Down Came the Rain (Hyperion).

“It gets kind of hairy,” she says of the book, which drew criticism from Tom Cruise, who pronounced on Today that Shields should have treated her depression with vitamins and exercise. She responded with an op-ed piece in The New York Times, in which she wrote, “I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression.”

Such blunt humor has served Shields well as a mom. She reenacts funny dialogue between herself and her daughters and prides herself on teaching them good manners. “There are so few children I like,” she declares. “If you’re not polite, you can’t come to my house. Manners [represent] respect and kindness. I want people to like my kids, and if they’re bratty, they’ll have a harder time in life.” Shields, who is the spokesperson for Tupperware’s Chain of Confidence SMART Girls campaign, a program that teaches girls to nurture their mental and physical well-being, has one other hope for her children: that they have high self-esteem, even if they follow Mom into the entertainment business. As she recently said on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, “I would hope that they wouldn’t want to; it’s a business that predicates itself on eating its young”—but if they did, “I would probably pull every string I could to help them.”

For now, she’s content to be as present as possible. “My version of being selfish has shifted,” Shields says. “My old version was to be comfortable, to get sleep and exercise. Now it’s my children’s worlds. They’re not going to remember Mom was tired. They’re going to remember I did the weather chart or story time at school. So you just do it. And you’re tired.” And at times, slaphappy, like when her daughters make her play My Little Pony. “I sit there and think, My brain’s turning to mush!” But that’s okay, since “it’s the mundane stuff that’s important,” says Shields, who describes a perfect weekend night as checking e-mail on her laptop while Henchy watches TV. That familiar comfort, she insists, is “as important as getting dressed up and going out.”

Even more important to Shields is accepting that joy and pain play costarring roles in parenthood. “Once you love someone that much, you think, God, why did I do this to myself? It’s so heart-wrenching!” she says. “And then you realize: It’s so heart-wrenching. That’s why I did it to myself.”



  1. Fennie says

    Definitely the prettiest girls in Hollywood !!!
    I bet Rowan will be modelling soon !!! She´s stunning !!!

  2. traveler says

    I have no problem with her not liking most children. Neither do I. I work retail and I’ve seen some pretty rude and disrespectful kids. Of course, I blame the parents more than the kids because it’s their job to correct that behavior and they don’t. They just let their kids run around and destroy the store without a thought to the staff that’ll have to pick up after them. I’ve also seen children destroy merchandise and the parents don’t even care or offer to purchase the damaged goods. It’s disgusting how most people raise their kids these days. So, I really have no problem with her statement because I feel the same way. If people don’t want someone saying that about their kids, then perhaps they should be better parents.

  3. says

    “so few children I like” sounds cold. Why not say, so few children who behave well. I just find it hard not to like children in general.

  4. Zoe says

    Wow, these girls look like they should be child models. SO PRETTY. Their mom is gorgeous too, but looks overly posed in these photos and not natural to me.

  5. Tia :) says

    geeze! Grier should be a baby model! She’s beautiful!! Rowan is just as pretty too..beautiful girls!

  6. accalia says

    OMG! The picture with Rowan touching Grier’s face is the sweetest picture ever! They look like dolls.

  7. accalia says

    These girls are the prettiest girls in Hollywood. Rowan is beautiful, she looks so much like her mom. Grier looks more like her daddy and she is just so cute and adorable. Precious photos, very sweet 🙂

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