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Brooke Shields may have been modeling since she was 11, but according to the 55-year-old, her real career (and life) starts now. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, she talks about finding body confidence—and a fresh start.

Brooke Shields Is Just Getting Started

Shields looks incredible these days. It's no wonder that in September, the actress and beauty icon signed with IMG Models. But neither the interview nor the modeling contract would have happened, were it not for her teenage daughters Rowan and Grier Henchy.

Shields says the two encouraged her to stop hiding behind big bathing suits and muumuus, calling her outfit choices "ridiculous."

"It was sort of seeing myself through their eyes and just celebrating things like my butt," Shields tells the publication. "Things I just would never want to focus on in my life. Being 55 and saying 'Wait a minute, women over 50 are not done.'"

"If you're that age, especially if you are an actress, it's like 'you've had your career, relax,' but I think I'm just starting."

Shields Has Been Modeling Her Whole Career

In 1980, when she was only 15-years-old, Shields starred in a scandalous ad for Calvin Klein Jeans. “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins?" she suggestively asked, facing the camera. "Nothing.” Major networks banned the commercial (but sales for the denim skyrocketed, natch.)

Brooke Shields On Overcoming Body Confidence Issues

Despite this, Shields reveals that she never felt comfortable in her own skin. "I wasn't in touch with my body, it was not something I looked at," she explains. "I almost didn't want to know it existed. There was this virginity complex and then I was a model, mostly covers, so it was sort of neck up. All about the face and eyebrows. My way of approaching the subject was just not to think about it."

She also credits her trainer, Ngo Okafar, for lessons in body positivity.

"He just had a baby girl," says Shields, "and he said 'I'm never going to tell my daughter to dim her light.' ... He told me 'You've started to believe all your self-deprecation.' And that was the basis for all my humor. And it was like you're right. I don't want my girls to do that. Just think of how great it would be if we can all feel this larger than life energy."

Shields Loves At-Home Workouts

There's no word on whether or not she's resumed private training during the pandemic, but she's got some clever hacks for fans who are flying solo. Using her Instagram account, she posts quick at-home workouts that anyone can do.

"They're just accessible, and a way to have movement and endorphins," she says. "It's funny to do arm presses with two bottles of wines. We don't all have our fancy gyms at the moment but I can guarantee, if you do something for five minutes, it will be a positive."

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