Brooke Shields: Once a Woman Is Over 40, They’re ‘Put Out to Pasture’

Brooke Shields at 18 years old (left) and 57 years old (right).
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty, Theo Wargo/Getty

Actress Brooke Shields says that once a woman in showbusiness is over 40 years old, she is “put out to pasture.”

“I’m still in a career, I’m still working, I’m here, and I was shocked by how unrepresented I was,” Shields told Gayle King in a preview of an interview with Oprah Daily. “You’re either [in your] twenties, and sexy, and fabulous, or you’re in Depends.”

The 57-year-old actress said she is upset by her waning status in the hyper-competitive entertainment industry.

“It’s like, from 40 on, we start living in our lives, and we’re not marketed to, once you’re over [40], you stop working, you’re, like, put out to pasture. And I was incensed by that,” Shields said.

This is not the first time Shields has used the metaphor of a retired farm animal for aging.

In June, the actress appeared on the VeryWell Mind podcast, where she said, “We’ve just become used to how we’re spoken about and we’re told, you hit a certain age and they just put you out into pasture.”

“Oh, your ovaries are no longer gonna make the world continue, so we’re just gonna kind of lump you over there. You’ve had a good run and it’s just so not the truth. I mean, I don’t feel it,” Shields continued.

The Blue Lagoon star went on to admit that she had never thought about this when she was in her twenties, but now that she has passed 50, she feels like “nobody [is] out there talking to me.”

“The idea is that’s the only time you’re really ever alive and vibrant, and I think that we’ve just gotten used to it,” Shields said.

“And I obviously didn’t think to question it when I was in my twenties,” she added. “It wasn’t until I got passed 50 where I thought, wait a minute, there’s nobody out there talking to me, they’re overlooking me.”

Shields is not the only celebrity to call out ageism, as many members of Hollywood expressed their dismay over feeling basically invisible after a certain age.

Last year, Nicole Kidman called out ageism against women in the entertainment industry, saying actresses are often pushed aside once they reach their 40s.

Oscar-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has claimed producers said she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year old male actor in an upcoming film — despite being 37 years old herself.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.