For Leighton Meester, her home life is something she keeps close to her chest.
The Gossip Girl alum chatted with Refinery29 about her new show Making History, and touched briefly on some of the reasoning behind why she doesn’t discuss her 19-month-old daughter Arlo Day with the media often.
“I don’t talk about Arlo very much,” explains the 30-year-old actress of her only child with husband Adam Brody. “I am very proud of that area of my life. But I’m also really proud of the show, and of the work I do.”
She adds, “I think the perception is: You’re an ingenue, or you’re an icon, or you’re a mom. There’s no in between.”
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Meester’s new Fox comedy, in which she stars alongside The Mindy Project‘s Adam Pally, has her playing the daughter of Paul Revere, who meets Pally’s character and is subsequently whisked from American Revolution times into the future (a.k.a. 2017).
And this new jaunt in her career is a good example of what the star, who is also a talented musician, is defining herself by aside from her role as a mother — and using her position to speak about how women are generally portrayed in media.
“The excitement for a lot of people is: Man and woman meet, get married, then have a baby. But in the meantime, there’s so much more to women,” she says. “We have these flawed heroes so often leading shows.”
“But a flawed heroine? She’s portrayed in a different way: so much more of a bitch, and if she’s older, certainly a dried-up one.”
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Even though Meester doesn’t talk much about her daughter, it’s clear she’s raising her to become a strong individual who speaks her mind.
“It’s so ingrained in people to not trust women in power, or women who want power,” she says. “It’s so ingrained to think a woman can’t [become president], and to criticize her for her personality, her imperfections, her clothing, her hair, her makeup, her laugh … That’s such bulls—.”
“We need to continue to push, to grab back. When you caricature women for being strong, independent feminists, you trivialize their ideals.”