I first discovered Blake Lively when my dad took me to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants back in 2005. Lively played Bridget, the seemingly carefree, beautiful soccer star with the pseudo-magical blond hair, and I loved her. Right then and there I remember thinking, “Wow, this girl is awesome.”
Well, 12 years later, she’s still awesome, and I — along with over 16 million adoring fans — still love her. Whether it’s her amazing relationship with her husband and fellow actor, Ryan Reynolds, her fierce activism or her fantastic parenting skills, Lively is a woman who should be celebrated, and what better occasion than her birthday?
In honor of this queen’s 30th (Ah! The big 3-0!) on Aug. 25, here are six times we wanted to shower Blake Lively with hugs and kisses.
1. That time she talked about parenting
Everyone knows that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are the ultimate example of #CoupleGoals. Reynolds keeps us laughing with his hilarious commentary on life with two adorable daughters, James and Ines. Things like this…
This morning, my daughter said, "quiche" which means she's smart, hungry and an asshole.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 21, 2016
Tinder isn't a babysitting app. Apologies to Crystal and Janine for the misunderstanding.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 19, 2016
… and this…
My infant daughter's traumatized for life. 50 Shades of Grey = Worst fucking coloring book ever.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 17, 2016
But as parents, Reynolds and Lively made it clear that they’ll do whatever it takes to ensure their daughters are raised in a safe, accepting environment.
In an interview with Glamour, Lively explained that what matters most to her and her husband is their family, which is why she and Reynolds don’t work on their movies at the same time. “I admire people who find that what fulfills them is their art or their work, but what fulfills both me and my husband is our family,” she said. “Knowing that, everything else comes second.”
2. That time she claimed she’s so misunderstood
She’s really the whole package, but not everyone quite gets Blake Lively. Well, that’s according to Blake Lively, of course. In an interview with Vogue for their “73 Questions” series, Lively claimed her dry sense of humor often baffles people because it’s hard to tell when she’s serious or joking. Thank God for her friends — they often come to the rescue and give strangers the cue when it’s time to laugh. We’d take that challenge. Just saying.
3. That time she schooled a reporter who asked her a sexist question
While being honored for her efforts with the Child Rescue Coalition — an organization that works to put an end to the production of child pornography — a reporter on the red carpet asked Lively a question about what she was wearing, and given the event, that didn’t sit too well. Lively quipped back, “Are we really doing this? Would you ask a man that?”
— Maeve McDermott (@maeve_mcdermott) April 21, 2017
And that’s completely fair. This is a double standard famous women like Amy Poehler, Aisha Tyler, Kristen Bell and more have been fighting against for years (has no one learned anything from the #AskHerMore movement?!). Even Scarlett Johansson, Nicki Minaj and Anne Hathaway have called out reporters who asked them (or other women) sexist, insulting questions that didn’t pertain to the topic or event at hand.
We’re all for a woman who, sure, likes to get dolled up once in awhile but has more important topics she’d like to discuss because, uh… women have brains too.
4. All those times she’s stood up for human rights
It’s always inspiring to see celebrities use their ultra-magnified voices to bring attention to the issues plaguing our society. Aside from working with the Child Rescue Coalition, Lively is very outspoken on social media about racism, homophobia and transphobia.
5. That time she posed for Humans of New York
Yes, I’m crying now, and I don’t care if I admit it.
Lively and Reynolds’ posed for Humans of New York at the Met Gala last spring and Reynolds opened up about their relationship, saying Lively helps him through difficult times all while making him a better person. “She always responds with empathy.” Well of course she does — she’s Blake-freaking-Lively.
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“She always responds with empathy. She meets anger with empathy. She meets hate with empathy. She’ll take the time to imagine what happened to a person when they were five or six years old. And she’s made me a more empathetic person. I had a very fractured relationship with my father. Before he died, she made me remember things I didn’t want to remember. She made me remember the good times.”
6. Every time she went on The Tonight Show
Literally every. Single. Time. All the videos are so good. Lively challenges Jimmy Fallon with Harry Potter trivia, she tapes up his face with fierce determination in a game of Say Anything and hilariously talks about watching her husband’s movie sex scenes. We fall more in love with her every time we watch.
To sum it all up, the only thing left to say is happy birthday, Blake Lively!