by A KUTE Girl on August 13, 2013

ENDLESS LOVE, Brooke Shields, 1981. ©Universal Pictures

It’s time for another addition to the MUSE MOMENT series. This one is all about the 1980’s girl next door beauty of Brooke Shields; best on display in her role in the 1981 film Endless Love. What struck us most about the images that resulted from researching this post was how much and how little the American idea of beauty has changed. Sounds contradictory but, we’ll explain.

 Brooke Shields, Endless Love,1980's era beauty icon

There is an innocence and a naivety (personified by Shields’ character Jade in Endless love) that was culturally prized. The wide-eye sweetness of un-gilded youthful beauty was on a pedestal, and no one embodied the aesthetic as well as Shields. For a moment, she was an aspirational role model for adolescent girls. Her style was classic and simple; her hair and make-up were uncomplicated and natural. Un-embellished beauty was truly prized.This was an era before tatoos and belly-piercings became common place, a time when breast augmentation and rhinoplasty weren’t considered to be viable sweet sixteen birthday gifts. At that time (early 1980’s) , the thing a teen girl aspired to be was just plain old pretty.

Now, the modern American girl aspires to be a rebel and a chameleon . Now, there is an irreverent attitude towards beauty and overt femininity. Girls are more experimental with their appearance, and the idea that you have license to recreate your physical self and your image has been adopted on a mass scale. Sophisticated, savvy and slightly edgy beauty is definitely having it’s moment. The preponderance of Youtube “beauty gurus” and “stylists” is a testament to this. A young woman isn’t expected to greet the world in her raw, pure, state; she is expected to present the polished, and perfected image she has chosen for the day.

HOW MUCHKat Von D, Rihanna, Pink,& Meghan Fox offer up edgy beauty.


The fact that these images of Shields are still striking today says a lot. The aesthetic hasn’t drifted so far that we can’t appreciate the prettiness on display. The look is classic and has so far stood the test of time. It’s now over 30 years later and despite the current infatuation with “bad girl” beauty, and overt artifice there is still a place and an appreciation for the classic, approachable look. There has also been a return to two of Shields’ hallmarks : the natural full brow and voluminous “just shampooed” looking hair.

HOW LITTLEThe Duchess of Cambridge, model Hilary Rhonda, Lauren conrad, & Calvin Klein spokesmodel Natalia Vadonova offering up classic girl next door pretty.


It can be gathered that the modern girl/woman wants to have it both ways and now she can. It’s perfectly acceptable to present one’s self as a fresh-faced ingenue one day and a dramatic vamp the next day or even the next hour.

Never has there been so much choice, and yet that lovely girl next door face will always be a staple in everyone’s beauty arsenal perhaps because when it’s all said and done it’s closest to our true face – the one that greets us in the morning.

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