It takes one heck of a strong woman to survive in Hollywood as long as Reese Witherspoon has. Her first major role was in 1991 — more than 25 years ago! — and she’s been crushing the game ever since. So it’s no wonder that when she decides to impart on us some of her wisdom for being an ass-kicking lady in 2017, we’re all going to sit back and listen.
Witherspoon is this month’s cover girl for Glamour magazine, and with that, she gave an interview with the magazine about chasing ambition and finding success as a woman.
First, though, a little advice from the queen: “Run away from a man who can’t handle your ambition,” she said. “Run. So many men think ambition is awesome and sexy!” Amen.
She continued, “We have to do our part to change the idea that a woman with passion and ambition is only out for herself. So talk to your kids about ambition as a positive trait in men and women.”
Witherspoon starred in HBO’s critically acclaimed series Big Little Lies, but the show came under fire for its nearly all-white cast. Witherspoon wasn’t defensive about that and instead talked about how it made her check her privilege and think about what she can do to make space in Hollywood for women of color.
“Another thing I think about a lot is how it feels to be a minority woman in America, so rarely seeing yourself onscreen, and it’s unconscionable,” she said. “When I asked Mindy Kaling, ‘Don’t you ever get exhausted by always having to create your own roles?’ she said, ‘Reese, I’ve never had anything that I didn’t create for myself.”
Witherspoon continued, “I thought, ‘Wow, I feel like a jerk for asking that; I used to have parts that just showed up for me. I can’t imagine how hard it is to write your own parts and simultaneously have to change people’s perceptions of what a woman of color is in today’s society.'”
Just in case you had forgotten before this interview, Witherspoon is a role model worth having.