Blake Lively schools men on her least favourite word in the English language

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Kayleigh Dray
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Blake Lively has always worn her feminist credentials well and truly on her sleeve: she’s spoken out against the unfair pressures on new mums to lose weight, shut down sexist questions on the red carpet, called upon women everywhere not to let President Donald Trump silence them, and publicly thanked the Spice Girls for imbuing her with girl power.

So it should come as no surprise to learn that the Age of Adeline actor really isn’t here for the misogynist myth of perfection. At all.

Explaining that words like “perfect” are used to simplify and break down people’s personalities, Lively points out how damaging this sort of language truly can be.

“Not all men, but a subsection of men, have a desire to understand and control women,” she tells Glamour in its September 2017 issue. “To do that, you have to paint them into this thing you can wrap your head around. But women are complex.

“It also is [a reminder] that what you see in the media is not real life. The night before an interview, I have complete anxiety. How is this person going to spin me?

“So when you read, ‘Oh, she's got a perfect life,’ or ‘Her life is crumbling’ – they pick narratives for everyone. And the narratives stick.”

Lively goes on to explain that both she and her husband, Ryan Reynolds, are very conscious of this narrative.

“My husband and I are really shy people who express ourselves best when we're acting, when we're hiding as someone else,” she points out. “So the fact that very shy people have to share that shy person with the world — and are sometimes hurt by it — it's very weird emotionally.

“Anyway, champagne problems.”

It is not the first time that a woman in the spotlight has criticised how misogynistic the media’s language can be.

In 2016, Emily Blunt had her say on unfair feminine labels during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying: “A woman is a drunk, a whore, whereas the guy’s like a [partier], a player. 

“I’ve been around both women who drink too much and guys who drink too much and it’s just as ugly on the guys. It makes me crazy.”

Blunt went on to specify that she particularly hates the word ‘likeable’, pointing out: “You have to be ‘likeable,’ which is my least favourite bloody word in the industry.

“What does that mean? To be witty and pretty and hold it together and be there for the guy? And he can just be a total drip?”


Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.