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1234last
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


Any time discussions of "underage" nudes occur - almost ALWAYS, Brooke Shields in "Pretty Baby" is brought up.

I've often wondered exactly how her role in this movie has actually escaped the kinds of censorship you would expect.  I mean - I remember, there WAS a lot of controversy and all - but yet the film wasn't banned and burned...and to this day, it's a pretty simple task to do an internet search and find tons of the most explicit shots of her from the movie.

Don't misunderstand - I'm NOT a prude by any stretch of the imagination...but if you look at her images from this movie - they WERE and ARE pretty "strong" photos of a 12-year old girl with no clothes on.

So my question is - how did this one situation become the exception?  I mean - can you just imagine the controversy today if someone were to make a movie that included images of a 12-year old girl that are as "explicit" as the ones of Brooke Shields in "Pretty Baby"?

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT saying that her images in this movie are incredibly explicit...but that, compared to just about any other movie ever made - they are probably the most explicit images of a nude 12-year old girl EVER included in a movie that had a wide, commercial release.

Discuss...

[I KNOW I'm going to SO regret starting this thread...]
Jul 17 10 04:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 27,150
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Posing for those nudes has not hurt her at all!
Jul 17 10 04:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A M Johnson
Posts: 8,024
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


For me it is a business decision. My finances cannot stand the right wing nuts attacking me for shooting under age girls. What is legal and what is good business are two different things.

Many photographers do shoot girls under 18 nude, but they have a reputation or a business structure that will stand up to the heat if there is any.
Jul 17 10 04:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B Browder Photo
Posts: 14,635
Charleston, South Carolina, US


Gary Melton wrote:
Any time discussions of "underage" nudes occur - almost ALWAYS, Brooke Shields in "Pretty Baby" is brought up.

I've often wondered exactly how her role in this movie has actually escaped the kinds of censorship you would expect.  I mean - I remember, there WAS a lot of controversy and all - but yet the film wasn't banned and burned...and to this day, it's a pretty simple task to do an internet search and find tons of the most explicit shots of her from the movie.

Don't misunderstand - I'm NOT a prude by any stretch of the imagination...but if you look at her images from this movie - they WERE and ARE pretty "strong" photos of a 12-year old girl with no clothes on.

So my question is - how did this one situation become the exception?  I mean - can you just imagine the controversy today if someone were to make a movie that included images of a 12-year old girl that are as "explicit" as the ones of Brooke Shields in "Pretty Baby"?

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT saying that her images in this movie are incredibly explicit...but that, compared to just about any other movie ever made - they are probably the most explicit images of a nude 12-year old girl EVER included in a movie that had a wide, commercial release.

Discuss...

[I KNOW I'm going to SO regret starting this thread...]

All I can say is I guess times were different then.  Wasn't she nude in Blue Lagoon also?   I guess at that time the movie Pretty Baby was a somewhat true depiction of that life style so showing her nude was justified.  That is just a guess.

Brooke pushed the envelope on a few things when she was young.  Somehow she got a pass.

Jul 17 10 04:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MisterC
Posts: 15,162
Portland, Oregon, US


A M Johnson wrote:
right wing nuts attacking me for shooting under age girls.

So someone is nuts for dissaproving of nudes of a 12 year old girl?

Jul 17 10 04:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S W I N S K E Y
Posts: 24,315
Saint Petersburg, Florida, US


because today, politicians, legislators and law enforcement cant do anything to solve real crime.

today its easier to make criminals of law abiding citizens and give the impression you are fighting crime. nobody sees the convictions, because there aren't any...they only see the headlines "Child porn producer arrested"....

but these people can your money on chasing these "criminals" because they are "doing it for the children".
Jul 17 10 04:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
IrisSwope
Posts: 14,806
Dallas, Texas, US


Bernie Browder  wrote:

All I can say is I guess times were different then.  Wasn't she nude in Blue Lagoon also? 

Brooke pushed the envelope on a few things when she was young.  Somehow she got a pass.

I'm sure at some point, some state will go through and confiscate all the dvds, and call them lewd.  Oklahoma did that at one point with a movie. They took them from Blockbuster, and got the names of the people who had it currently rented, and confiscated them also.

Jul 17 10 04:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DeniseRegan Photography
Posts: 1,265
Nashville, Tennessee, US


Jodie Foster had a nude scene in a movie when she was 13...can't remember if it was "Taxi Driver" or "The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane". I dunno...maybe things were different then.
Jul 17 10 04:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


Jerry Nemeth wrote:
Posing for those nudes has not hurt her at all!

...that wasn't the subject of this thread...

Jul 17 10 04:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


A M Johnson wrote:
For me it is a business decision. My finances cannot stand the right wing nuts attacking me for shooting under age girls. What is legal and what is good business are two different things.

Many photographers do shoot girls under 18 nude, but they have a reputation or a business structure that will stand up to the heat if there is any.

...NOT the subject of this thread...

Jul 17 10 04:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
Christopher Willingham
Posts: 21,859
Long Beach, California, US


Don't forget about brooke sheilds' Calvin Klein ads she did at 15 years old..
Jul 17 10 04:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,518
Salinas, California, US


S W I N S K E Y wrote:
because today, politicians, legislators and law enforcement cant do anything to solve real crime.

today its easier to make criminals of law abiding citizens and give the impression you are fighting crime. nobody sees the convictions, because there aren't any...they only see the headlines "Child porn producer arrested"....

but these people can your money on chasing these "criminals" because they are "doing it for the children".

This!  borat

Jul 17 10 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


Bernie Browder  wrote:

All I can say is I guess times were different then.  Wasn't she nude in Blue Lagoon also?   I guess at that time the movie Pretty Baby was a somewhat true depiction of that life style so showing her nude was justified.  That is just a guess.

Brooke pushed the envelope on a few things when she was young.  Somehow she got a pass.

Her images in "Blue Lagoon" were simply not in the same ballpark as the ones in "Pretty Baby".  In "Pretty Baby" - she is shown 100% nude...and for longer than just quick glimpses.  The strongest images in "Pretty Baby" are also in the neighborhood of "provocative"...which I don't think many would say about her images in "Blue Lagoon".

Jul 17 10 04:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


DeniseRegan Photography wrote:
Jodie Foster had a nude scene in a movie when she was 13...can't remember if it was "Taxi Driver" or "The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane". I dunno...maybe things were different then.

Jodie Foster's nudity in "Taxi Driver" were beyond most for her age...but nothing compared to Brooke Shield's in "Pretty Baby".

Jul 17 10 04:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B Browder Photo
Posts: 14,635
Charleston, South Carolina, US


Gary Melton wrote:

Her images in "Blue Lagoon" were simply not in the same ballpark as the ones in "Pretty Baby".  In "Pretty Baby" - she is shown 100% nude...and for longer than just quick glimpses.  The strongest images in "Pretty Baby" are also in the neighborhood of "provocative"...which I don't think many would say about her images in "Blue Lagoon".

I wasn't sure, its been years since I saw either movie.  I did like Pretty Baby though because it was a period film and in some ways or parts showed the old style photography.

Jul 17 10 04:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
c_d_s
Posts: 7,771
Lubbock, Texas, US


It wasn't really the exception. It was just a different time, a stark contrast to the times that utterly destroyed "Lolita" before it was even released, 18 years later.
Jul 17 10 04:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wysiwyg Photography
Posts: 6,326
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


Gary Melton wrote:
Any time discussions of "underage" nudes occur - almost ALWAYS, Brooke Shields in "Pretty Baby" is brought up.

I've often wondered exactly how her role in this movie has actually escaped the kinds of censorship you would expect.  I mean - I remember, there WAS a lot of controversy and all - but yet the film wasn't banned and burned...and to this day, it's a pretty simple task to do an internet search and find tons of the most explicit shots of her from the movie.

Don't misunderstand - I'm NOT a prude by any stretch of the imagination...but if you look at her images from this movie - they WERE and ARE pretty "strong" photos of a 12-year old girl with no clothes on.

So my question is - how did this one situation become the exception?  I mean - can you just imagine the controversy today if someone were to make a movie that included images of a 12-year old girl that are as "explicit" as the ones of Brooke Shields in "Pretty Baby"?

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT saying that her images in this movie are incredibly explicit...but that, compared to just about any other movie ever made - they are probably the most explicit images of a nude 12-year old girl EVER included in a movie that had a wide, commercial release.

Discuss...

[I KNOW I'm going to SO regret starting this thread...]

I agree 100% of what you say, I shoot nude, I'm Pro Nudist "Even nudist resorts that are "family friendly", nothing sexual, just plain nudity, and everyone has no clothes on. I shoot nudes with everyone who is willing, male or female.

But those Brooke Shields images.... I would have said "no, no, no".

Jul 17 10 04:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


I think people are not remembering just how "strong" the images of her were in this movie, for example:

[edit: I've removed this link as the pic is NOT from the movie]

...and this is not the most "explicit" image from the movie...

and these http://www.erotic4u.com/preview/brooke_ … baby02.jpg (multiple very small images)
Jul 17 10 04:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R A V E N D R I V E
Posts: 15,867
New York, New York, US


Hello OP

Brooke Shields was not A-OKAY with those images either and it was a subject of controversy in 79 as well.
Jul 17 10 04:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wysiwyg Photography
Posts: 6,326
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


R A V E N D R I V E wrote:
Hello OP

Brooke Shields was not A-OKAY with those images either and it was a subject of controversy in 79 as well.

A perfect example of "look before you leap" experience.

Jul 17 10 04:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wysiwyg Photography
Posts: 6,326
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


Gary Melton wrote:
and these http://www.erotic4u.com/preview/brooke_ … baby02.jpg (multiple very small images)

wow... why are those images hosted on an "erotic 4 u" website?

... Words fail me... Wow.

Jul 17 10 04:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
c_d_s
Posts: 7,771
Lubbock, Texas, US


Gary Melton wrote:
Jodie Foster's nudity in "Taxi Driver" were beyond most for her age...but nothing compared to Brooke Shield's in "Pretty Baby".

Jodie Foster was nowhere near nude in "Taxi Driver."

Jul 17 10 04:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


...but my contention is that TODAY - you could not make a movie like this starring...say even a 15 year girl - much less a 12 year old girl!

I was an adult when the movie was released and I simply can't remember how it escaped more censorship than it did!

What was so magic about this movie (or that "instant" in history) that let it "get away with it"?!
Jul 17 10 04:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


Wysiwyg Photography wrote:

wow... why are those images hosted on an "erotic 4 u" website?

... Words fail me... Wow.

I'm not sure if you mean they are too strong or too weak, but my point is...how did THIS movie, with THIS 12 year old girl...become the exception?

Posting nude pics of any other 12 year old girl would get a person in a lot of trouble...but somehow - the pics of THIS girl from THIS movie has gotten a pass.

I'm just curious as to how that happened...

Jul 17 10 04:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


R A V E N D R I V E wrote:
Hello OP

Brooke Shields was not A-OKAY with those images either and it was a subject of controversy in 79 as well.

Yes - it WAS a subject of controversy in '79...but not the kind of world-shaking, somebody-is-going-to-prison kind of controversy you would expect!

Jul 17 10 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B Browder Photo
Posts: 14,635
Charleston, South Carolina, US


Gary Melton wrote:

Yes - it WAS a subject of controversy in '79...but not the kind of world-shaking, somebody-is-going-to-prison kind of controversy you would expect!

Too bad we can't ask Brooke.  I am sure at her age now she wonders the same thing.   And probably has an opinion or knows why.

Jul 17 10 05:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
c_d_s
Posts: 7,771
Lubbock, Texas, US


Gary Melton wrote:
What was so magic about this movie (or that "instant" in history) that let it "get away with it"?!

Child porn no doubt existed in 1978, but reproduction of the images was difficult, without getting caught, so that tended to keep it restricted and very much underground. Unless you were looking for it, the average person would never come across it, or even give much thought to the fact that it even existed. If you didn't buy a ticket, and go into the theater, you never knew, much less saw, Brooke Shields nude in it.

Then came Betamax. Reproduction became insanely easy and cheap, and child porn, along with all other porn, proliferated. The studios started mining their libraries for titles to release on videotape. Millions of people could now see Brooke naked anytime they wanted, in the privacy of their own homes. There it was, right on the shelf at Blockbuster. People started to notice.

Then came the internet. Every nude scene ever filmed in a motion picture is copied and posted on the internet, often before release. If you want to see Brooke naked, just google it.

People tend to notice. People who never gave it a thought, because they never saw it or knew it existed, are now outraged.

Jul 17 10 05:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 27,150
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Gary Melton wrote:
I'm not sure if you mean they are too strong or too weak, but my point is...how did THIS movie, with THIS 12 year old girl...become the exception?

Posting nude pics of any other 12 year old girl would get a person in a lot of trouble...but somehow - the pics of THIS girl from THIS movie has gotten a pass.

I'm just curious as to how that happened...

David Hamilton was shooting nudes of young girls around that time.  I remember seeing them in photography magazines.  It was a different time then!

Jul 17 10 05:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


Bernie Browder  wrote:

Too bad we can't ask Brooke.  I am sure at her age now she wonders the same thing.   And probably has an opinion or knows why.

The best I can remember - Brooke HAS been asked about her nudity in the film MANY times, and has pretty consistently said she didn't have ANY problems with it.

Jul 17 10 05:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wysiwyg Photography
Posts: 6,326
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


Gary Melton wrote:

I'm not sure if you mean they are too strong or too weak, but my point is...how did THIS movie, with THIS 12 year old girl...become the exception?

Posting nude pics of any other 12 year old girl would get a person in a lot of trouble...but somehow - the pics of THIS girl from THIS movie has gotten a pass.

I'm just curious as to how that happened...

Yes, they are strong.. you could take the same image, put it in a playboy magazine and the model is 18+, but yeah, I am in complete agreement with you.

I wish I had answers.

Jul 17 10 05:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R A V E N D R I V E
Posts: 15,867
New York, New York, US


Bernie Browder  wrote:

Too bad we can't ask Brooke.  I am sure at her age now she wonders the same thing.   And probably has an opinion or knows why.

there are in depth studies of this on the net already... i mean this situation IS a case study....

Jul 17 10 05:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


Jerry Nemeth wrote:

David Hamilton was shooting nudes of young girls about that time.  I remember seeing them in photography magazines.  It was a different time then!

Were David Hamilton's photos as "provocative" as the ones of Brooke?  Remember that Brooke was playing the 12-year old daugher of a prostitute - and she was supposed to be coming out to the profession herself.  Her images (in the latter stages of the film) were meant to portray a 12-year old who was sexual.

Jul 17 10 05:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 27,150
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Gary Melton wrote:

Were David Hamilton's photos as "provocative" as the ones of Brooke?  Remember that Brooke was playing the 12-year old daugher of a prostitute - and she was supposed to be coming out to the profession herself.  Her images (in the latter stages of the film) were meant to portray a 12-year old who was sexual.

No they were not.  I doubt that they would be published today even though they were not sexual.

Jul 17 10 05:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B Browder Photo
Posts: 14,635
Charleston, South Carolina, US


Gary Melton wrote:

The best I can remember - Brooke HAS been asked about her nudity in the film MANY times, and has pretty consistently said she didn't have ANY problems with it.

I meant mainly about her opinion of what you are asking, how the film makers got away with it and to this day it has not been censored.

Like CDS said.  Then a film was a film, now with the copies of movies and the internet it is much easier for things like this to push the perverts over the line so they have tightened the belt on using young children for such roles.  It is the times we live in, protecting children from what some will see as obscene is much stronger now.

You also have to remember Brooke's mother was in tight control of her then and she called the shots of what she did.

Jul 17 10 05:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SKPhoto
Posts: 25,779
Newark, California, US


Gary Gross won all the lawsuits Brooke brought against him, and the courts found- “...these photographs are not sexually suggestive, provocative or pornographic, nor do they imply sexual promiscuity. They are pictures of a prepubescent girl posing innocently in her bath”. The court rejected all Brooke Shields’ claims and decided in Gross’s favour. The trial however, had ruined him financially and had tarnished his reputation. In addition, a change in attitudes towards the “politically correct” had sullied the photographs.
The story, nevertheless, had an unexpected development. In 1992, a contemporary artist called Richard Prince approached Gross about buying the rights to use and reproduce the image of Brooke Shields. In his artistic work, Prince appropriates pictures by rephotographing them, recontextualizing them and giving them a title. The picture of Brooke Shields, for example, is entitled Spiritual America. Gross was willing to retrocede his rights to Prince for a series of ten prints. Prince became a star of the contemporary art scene and his picture was sold at Christies in 1999 for $151,000."
– From “Controversies: A Legal and Ethical History of Photography” in the Bibliothèque Nationale

http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/ … ary-gross/
Jul 17 10 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wysiwyg Photography
Posts: 6,326
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


Jerry Nemeth wrote:

David Hamilton was shooting nudes of young girls around that time.  I remember seeing them in photography magazines.  It was a different time then!

Those were different pictures, girls didn't have caked on make up, and posing in bathtubs and showers. They had fabrics.

I don't know how to explain it other than the feel of the photo.. it was a different style. I have no problems with David Hamilton's Photos.. I do find the "Pretty Baby" photos could belong in playboy, just add 6 years and those images would have fit nicely in the magazine.

Most of them had a feel to a photo, used fabric

Jul 17 10 05:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim Ball
Posts: 17,085
Frontenac, Kansas, US


c_d_s wrote:
Child porn no doubt existed in 1978, but reproduction of the images was difficult, without getting caught, so that tended to keep it restricted and very much underground. Unless you were looking for it, the average person would never come across it, or even give much thought to the fact that it even existed. If you didn't buy a ticket, and go into the theater, you never knew, much less saw, Brooke Shields nude in it.
Then came the internet. Every nude scene ever filmed in a motion picture is copied and posted on the internet, often before release. If you want to see Brooke naked, just google it.

IIRC, 1977 or 1978 was when some of the earliest child porn laws in the US were enacted.  Prior to that, it was commonly available in practically any adult bookstore - at least around Southern California.  I moved to San Diego in 1976.  My first visit to an adult bookstore in San Diego was major culture shock!  There were kiddie porn magazines by the dozen on the racks in plain sight, and kiddie porn films in the movie booths.  I know I must have looked like a slack-jawed hick (I was!) as I slowly backed out the door...

I remember hearing several news stories about the new laws against kiddie porn, and the resulting crackdown on San Diego area adult bookstores.

Jul 17 10 05:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


SKPhoto wrote:
Gary Gross won all the lawsuits Brooke brought against him, and the courts found- “...these photographs are not sexually suggestive, provocative or pornographic, nor do they imply sexual promiscuity. They are pictures of a prepubescent girl posing innocently in her bath”. The court rejected all Brooke Shields’ claims and decided in Gross’s favour. The trial however, had ruined him financially and had tarnished his reputation. In addition, a change in attitudes towards the “politically correct” had sullied the photographs.
The story, nevertheless, had an unexpected development. In 1992, a contemporary artist called Richard Prince approached Gross about buying the rights to use and reproduce the image of Brooke Shields. In his artistic work, Prince appropriates pictures by rephotographing them, recontextualizing them and giving them a title. The picture of Brooke Shields, for example, is entitled Spiritual America. Gross was willing to retrocede his rights to Prince for a series of ten prints. Prince became a star of the contemporary art scene and his picture was sold at Christies in 1999 for $151,000."
– From “Controversies: A Legal and Ethical History of Photography” in the Bibliothèque Nationale

http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/ … ary-gross/

...interesting...including the fact that I've never heard of, nor seen the words "recontextualizing" or "retrocede" before.  I mean - I can certainly imagine what they mean, but...

Jul 17 10 05:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Scott Aitken
Posts: 3,587
Seattle, Washington, US


She didn't do any actual nude scenes in Blue Lagoon. There were some implied shots. But scenes that showed boobs were done using a body double. You never see her face and boobs in the same shot.

I vaguely remember Pretty Baby. I agree that it probably couldn't get made today. Amazingly, it was rated R, not X. If something like that were even attempted today, it would get an NC-17 for sure.

I think that it was part of an era. The pendulum had swung in the direction of freedom of expression. That film came out in a time of free love and sexual freedom. The women's liberation movement was very strong. Now the pendulum has swung back the other way. The religious right is much more politically powerful now than in the 1970s.

Today I could imagine a director wanting to do a film like this, but there isn't a producer in the country that would provide financial backing for anything that controversial.
Jul 17 10 05:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,370
Dallas, Texas, US


Scott Aitken wrote:
...Today I could imagine a director wanting to do a film like this, but there isn't a producer in the country that would provide financial backing for anything that controversial.

...you got that right!

Jul 17 10 05:20 pm  Link  Quote 
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