Reese Witherspoon as an advocate for female empowerment and equality is nothing new. Now, Witherspoon has spoken out on the outdated depictions of women in film, which has the tendency to show what is considered the “perfect girl,” instead of depicting women with genuine emotions like rage. In a recent statement to Glamour, Reese Witherspoon admits that female roles that may make others uncomfortable and ones she prefers to watch.
“Exploring female rage doesn’t frighten me…women want to see the truth. They don’t want to see some perfect girl.”
“I have this drive from my upbringing to be a doer, not just a complainer. I have achieved a certain amount of success, and I felt a responsibility to my daughter and to women in this world to create more opportunities for women. Women of different ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. We’re 50 percent of the population.”
Reese Witherspoon goes on to explain how the same childhood in which she often felt uplifted was often times discouraging. She credits this discouragement to the ways of the south, in which misogyny is very common and many women simply bow to the lifestyle. In her account of his past, she describes one encounter with a school counselor that almost hindered her from going to her college of choice.
“Growing up in the South, it was very patriarchal. When I applied to Stanford, I was told by a [male] college counselor, ‘You’re never gonna get in, don’t bother. They don’t want you.’ I said, ‘I’m going to try.’ And I got in! But I wouldn’t be the woman I am if I hadn’t had that conflict to overcome. It has given me an underdog feeling all my life.”
Despite Reese’s troubled upbringing as a southern girl with two female role models whose examples greatly differed, she was able to find her “doer” attitude. Ignoring the homemaker identity of her grandmother and taking the example of her mother, Reese Witherspoon has become not only an advocate, but also a knowledgeable activist complete with statistics to attract other women in her position to join in her fight. Her latest target group is female screenwriters, who according to Reese, are few and far between. Specifically, only a mere 16 percent of film writers are female.
The trouble with this imbalance, according to Reese, is that men are less likely to accurately depict occurrences in women’s lives. Using the example of the pregnancy experience, Witherspoon expresses that a female writers would be able to capture the reality of carrying a child better, due to the simple fact that many women have experienced pregnancy, whilst no man has. To patch the gender gap in film-making, Reese Witherspoon reportedly plans to adapt her pregnancy book, Tiny Beautiful Things into film.
By acting in her own aggressive female roles like her recent picture, Hot Pursuit, Reese Witherspoon is paving the way for actresses. Next for Resse Witherspoon is Legally Blonde 3, according to rumors which the star herself has added fuel to. Legally Blonde was one of the first roles in which Reese Witherspoon broke the mold in film, proving the females can be strong, have careers, and still be beautiful while doing it. It would be a timely film, as the last installment of Legally blonde showed fictional character Elle Woods with her eyes on the White House, it seems that 2016 is a likely release date, if the new movie will indeed happen with Reese Witherspoon as the star.
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