Life

Marie Louise McConville: Protecting our children should always be our priority

US actress and model Brooke Shields has been speaking recently about her childhood and in particular, her appearance in the 1978 movie Pretty Baby when she was 11. Picture by Photo/Yui Mok
US actress and model Brooke Shields has been speaking recently about her childhood and in particular, her appearance in the 1978 movie Pretty Baby when she was 11. Picture by Photo/Yui Mok US actress and model Brooke Shields has been speaking recently about her childhood and in particular, her appearance in the 1978 movie Pretty Baby when she was 11. Picture by Photo/Yui Mok

There's something so magical about the first time your newborn baby is placed in your arms.

Despite the chaos going on around you, it's like mother and baby are in a little bubble of bliss and in those few moments, nothing else matters.

Personally, for me, in both cases, it was like an instant bond was formed and all at once, mamma bear was unleashed, vowing the protection of her young.

I've always been accused of being an over-protective mother but it doesn't bother me, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I just couldn't bear it if anything happened to them.

I want the memories of their childhood to be filled with happiness as much as possible, but I know that's not the case for everyone.

US actress and model Brooke Shields has been speaking recently about her childhood and how, at the age of 11, she was forced to seductively kiss Keith Carradine, then 27, in the 1978 film Pretty Baby in which she played a prostitute.

Speaking in a clip from the upcoming documentary Pretty Baby, the 57-year-old said she struggled to understand how her mother Teri Shields did not intervene.

She said she would never let her two daughters watch the film, in which she also appeared nude.

Shields' mother, who was an alcoholic and died in 2012, reportedly stood by and watched it happen. She had also allowed her daughter to pose nude for Playboy at the age of 10.

Speaking about that time, Shields has admitted: "I mean, I could say, 'Oh, it was the time back then,' or 'Oh, it was art.' But I don't know why she thought it was all right. I don't know."

Now looking back, she narrates that the 'entirety' of her life she was bombarded by people calling her a 'pretty' face 'over and over again'.

The mother-of-two went on to reflect on being selected for the cover of Time Magazine in 1981, at just 16.

"I was on the cover of Time magazine as the face of that whole era. Who decides that?" she asked.

The actress said she is "amazed" that she "survived any of it".

I just find the whole thing shocking.

I know I am in no position to judge anybody else but I cannot fathom what would ever possess a parent to allow their child to do any of these things or expose them to this kind of life.

The job of a parent is to protect their child, keep them safe.

To make an 11-year-old girl pose nude and kiss a man more than twice her age is just horrifying as far as I am concerned. Who was protecting Brooke?

We are always educating our children about their bodies, how they are private and how no-one should ever ask them about their private areas. They know if anything like this ever happened, they should inform us straight away.

What happened to Brooke makes me so angry.

An innocent little girl, exposed to this and not having a way out. It is just shameful.

The only saving grace is that she is now protecting her daughters just like she should have been.

::::::::::

Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie are set to reprise their roles in a second series of brilliant BBC drama Vigil.

While the first season saw the drama take place on a submarine, in season two will DCI Amy Silva and DS Kirsten Longacre lead a brand-new investigation inside the world of the British air force.

Following multiple unexplained fatalities at a Scottish military facility, Silva and Longacre are tasked with uncovering the cause, encountering the hostile and closed ranks of the air force along the way.

Filming for the six-part drama will take place in Scotland and Morocco from the Spring.

:::::::::::

Summer is on the horizon, so how about winning some skincare essentials to help ensure your protection from the rays?

Understanding the information on a sunscreen label is so important when it comes to choosing the right formulation to protect your particular skin against burning, photo ageing and more harmful side effects.

However, confusion around sunscreen labelling means that some people are still not getting effective UV protection.

But worry not, Elave's award-winning range of gentle skincare products can help you make the right choice.

Elave Sun's hypoallergenic UVA and UVB broad spectrum sunscreens are approved by dermatologists and paediatricians for use on delicate, eczema and dermatitis-prone skins and protect against up to 98 per cent of harmful UV rays.

Further information about the range is available online at elaveskincare.com.

I have five sets of Elave Sun SPF50 and Elave Sun Botanical Aftersun, worth over £36, to give away.

If you would like the chance to win a set, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to competitions@irishnews.com.

Closing date for entries is noon on Tuesday April 4.

(Q) Which season follows spring?

Normal Irish News rules apply.

COMPETITION WINNERS

The winners of the Love on the Run competition are Maire Melly, from Antrim, Anne Dornan, from Ballynahinch, and Mary McAnaw, from Donegal town.