Shields, 57, discussed her career and her shock at the lack of representation of women over a certain age in a preview clip for her new interview with Gayle King for Oprah Daily, which airs 28 July at 8pm.
While speaking with King, the model acknowledged that she is “still in a career” and “still working” but feels that the industry only depicts women in their 20s, who are “sexy and fabulous,” or those in “Depends [diapers]”.
“I’m still in a career, I’m still working, I’m here and I was shocked by how unrepresented I was,” Shields told King. “You’re either 20s and sexy and fabulous or you’re in Depends and you’ve got dentures.”
In the clip, which was shared on Instagram, Shields says that women start “living in [their] lives” at 40 but are “not marketed to”.
“We’re over. Once you’re over, you stop working, you’re, like, put out to pasture,” Shields said, adding that she was “incensed” by the realisation.
This large gap in the representation of women of a certain age inspired Shields to start her online platform, Beginning is Now, which she hopes will encourage women to feel like they can try new things or embark on new beginnings at any age.
“When I think about beginnings, I feel like it’s now,” she said, adding that women shouldn’t feel like they need to ask for “permission”.
The star’s sentiments were met with agreement on Instagram, where women praised her for speaking out about society’s treatment of women. “It’s so true and I feel that way too! Bravo!” one person commented, while another said: “Amen! Thank you for speaking for all of us. I’m not invisible or done adding to this life.”
“Thank you Brooke! It is so aggravating as a mature woman to become invisible to much of society,” someone else wrote.
This is not the first time that the model has opened up about ageism in Hollywood and society. She previously raised the topic to Amy Morin on the Verywell Mind podcast last month and said she’s been “fighting ageism in Hollywood probably since [she] was about seven”.
During the podcast appearance, Shields also noted that it wasn’t until she reached 50 that she realised she was being “overlooked”.
“It wasn’t until I got past 50 where I thought, wait a minute, there’s nobody out there talking to me. They’re overlooking me,” she said, adding that the realisiation was especially concerning considering she is in a period of her life where she “finally” feels “much more confident and less complicated”.