Brooke Shields Says She Has to ‘Reeducate’ Fans on Who She Is Now: ‘People Don’t Want Me to Grow Old’

Shields added that she hasn't ever considered retiring

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Brooke Shields in March 2023
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Brooke Shields in March 2023

Brooke Shields has been in the public eye for nearly her whole life.

The model and actress burst onto the modeling scene when she was a teenager and hasn't slowed down since then. She's worked with major designers, starred in TV shows and movies and grown up right in front of everyone's eyes.

That last fact, though, has been hard for some people to handle, she said on the June 4 episode of Today with Hoda and Jenna.

"I never really considered retiring," Shields, 59, said of consistently working. "It’s what I’ve known. It’s a huge part of my identity to work. Seeing [my age] with my face is something I didn’t anticipate because people don’t want me grow old. No, no, no, they want me to look exactly like they remember. So I’ve got to reeducate them."

<p>Alberto Rodriguez/Variety via Getty Images</p> Brooke Shields in June 2023

Alberto Rodriguez/Variety via Getty Images

Brooke Shields in June 2023

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Shields went on to explain that by reeducating people, she's reintroducing herself to everyone — whether it's her own family or the general public — as her current self, not just the young woman they knew when she starred in Blue Lagoon or the model who worked for Calvin Klein. Those were her past lives but now she's a 59-year-old woman who is "feeling much more fabulous" than ever, she said.

"When you’ve been in the public eye as long as I have, you have to try to harness ways to keep them current with you so that you’re not disappointing them. And it’s very psychologically interesting," she said.

Related: Brooke Shields Was Just 13 on Her Very First PEOPLE Cover. See the Iconic Moment as the Star Turns 59

The Mother of the Bride actress also told hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb that she never put much weight on her looks while growing up, despite the fact that she was a model, and her job was quite literally to look good.

"It was always a job for me — it paid the bills," she said. "I had this very strange compartmentalized way of living through it."

Part of Shields compartmentalizing her life meant doing things beyond acting and modeling — like launching her own haircare brand this month. Commence, which is designed for women over 40, was born out of Shields' community for women called Beginning is Now.

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"Women [in this age group] go through a myriad of changes, but there is a white space for problem solving," Shields told PEOPLE exclusively. "The predominant question that was coming up [within the community] was hair. Quality of hair, hair loss, hair texture, the changes in your hair. So we started to realize, okay, I think we're going to have to go into this realm to solve these problems."

The brand launched with three hero products — an instant shampoo, a leave-in conditioner and a root-thickening serum — and has plans for more. She told PEOPLE that over the past few years, including while researching for this brand, she learned that it's okay to take care of yourself. In fact, it's vital to your wellbeing.

"I think beauty is self-care and I think it is wellness," Shields told PEOPLE. "I used to think beauty was vanity, that it was too self-important. Now I'm 59 and I'm like, 'Oh, wait a minute, it's all about me right now.' When my hair looks good, it changes my whole day."

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