Actress Brooke Shield has the internet quote of the day, reprinted from an interview with Health magazine:
"I think I would have had sex a lot earlier! [Laughs.] I think I would have lost my virginity earlier than I did at 22. I had the public and all this pressure, and I wish I had just gotten it over with in the beginning when it was sort of OK," the actress says….
"I think I would have been much more in touch with myself. I think I wouldn’t have had issues with weight — I carried this protective 20 pounds [in college]. It was all connected. And to me, that’s a health regret."
While the whole notion of "losing it" is overblown by the media and pop culture (and effectively debunked by Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth) it’s refreshing to see an actress talk about sex in a frank, neither titillating nor shameful way. And it’s a good counterweight to two pervasive myths: that women regret having their first sexual encounter too soon and that sex leads to negative self-image. Sometimes it’s the other way around!
The fact of the matter is, many people are going to have some wistfulness or regrets about the way they approached sex as adolescents–too soon, waited too long, wrong person, right time or right person, wrong time. But there are equally many people who are happy with the way things went back in the teen years. It’s a personal matter, and the more differing personal perspectives there are floating out there, the easier it is to debunk retrograde myths.
Rather than slam Shields for being a bad role model or a role model one way or another, parents should use this moment to talk to their kids openly and non-judgmentally about the transition to adulthood and adult sexuality.