Blake Lively is in the throes of producing a new movie based on Liane Moriarty’s book The Husband’s Secret, but she took time out to chat about parenting, gender stereotypes and sexism recently.
As she transitions from actor to actor-producer, she’s all the more conscious of where women fit in, especially in the notoriously sexist Hollywood scene. Not content to toe the line and be complicit in an industry where male privilege has reigned supreme, Blake’s determined to be part of something much better, creating great roles for women in the industry, instead.
Blake’s awareness of how women and girls are discriminated against is made all the more pressing, it would seem, because she’s parenting two excellent daughters.
She’s working hard to refocus the way she represents girls and women, and hopes that being vigilant will foster all kinds of big and good things in her kids.
“They already believe”
“Sarah Silverman does a great bit that I’m going to butcher: ‘Stop telling little girls that they can do anything. They already believe they can do anything. It opens the door for questions….'” Blake says.
“We’re all born feeling perfect until somebody tells us we’re not. So there’s nothing I can teach my daughter. She already has all of it. The only thing I can do is protect what she already feels.”
Speaking to Glamour, Blake admits that she’s learning on her feet when it comes to growing strong girls. She says being a mindful parent – and loving herself – are steps in the right direction.
“I do know that I have to watch her and listen to her and not project any of my own insecurities or struggles on her.”
The mum-of-two says her husband is working hard to check his own privilege and foster equality – in all kinds of ways. Some involving caterpillars!
“I’m lucky to have someone who is so conscious. My husband was like, ‘Why do I always say he?’ And I said, ‘That’s what we’re taught.’ So he’ll pick up, like a caterpillar, and instead of saying, ‘What’s his name?’ he’ll say, ‘What’s her name?'”
“Or we’ve joked that my daughter is bossy. But my husband said, ‘I don’t ever want to use that word again. You’ve never heard a man called bossy.'”
Those who follow Ryan’s “real parenting-style” tweets may wonder how they reconcile with his obviously compassionate and gentle parenting style.
“When he says ‘my daughter,’ he’s never, ever talking about her,” Blake explains.
“Everything is a completely made-up scenario. He’ll run them by me sometimes just to make me laugh. But oh, I’m so in love with him when he writes that stuff. I mean, I’m in love with him most of the time, but especially with that.”
My daughter loves being buried up to her neck in sand at the beach. Her little face lights up when I come back to get her the next day.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 16, 2017
My daughter gets so pumped watching Disney films. She loves that they all have singing, dancing and a part when the parents die.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) June 4, 2017
Went to Disneyland because my daughter's obsessed with Mickey Mouse. She was so excited when I got home and told her.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) January 30, 2017
Apologising for her happiness – and anticipating eye-rolls from lookers-on – Blake goes on to say that Ryan’s not only an ace dad to Inez and James, but also her best buddy.
“In other relationships, if something came up, I would call my girlfriends or my sister, and say, ‘Hey, this is what he did—what should I do?’ Where with him, we were friends for two years before we were ever dating. And I treat him like my girlfriend. I’m like, “Hey, this happened. It upset me. This is how I feel. What do I do?” And he does the same for me. He treats me like his best buddy.”
It’s so nice to hear about high profile couples who seem genuinely happy together. Naw.