Good news, shy people: Jessica Chastain is one of you, and she's not ashamed.

There's something about actress Jessica Chastain you wouldn't necessarily pick up on while watching her on the big screen or gracing red carpets.

She's shy. (Like really, truly shy.)

Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images.


“I’m almost having a breakdown right now,” she admitted to James Lipton recently during an interview on "Inside the Actors Studio."

"You’re still shy?” he asked her.

“Yes, I’m so shy,” she answered.

To her biggest fans, her shyness may not be news. She's talked publicly about it before.

As Chastain explained to Chelsea Handler on "Chelsea" earlier this year (emphasis added):

"[Being on a movie set] is less intimidating to me than social circumstances. This weekend, I went to a party — it was Katy Perry’s party — and I was just like, ‘Why am I at this party? I’m not as cool as these people, and at some point they’re going to realize that I shouldn’t be here.’ But I feel like, on a film set, 'OK, I have a reason to be here.'"

​Photo by Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images.

Chastain's shyness may be surprising for a couple reasons.

For one, she doesn't seem like someone who's shy. She's an Academy Award-nominated actress who's owned the silver screen in blockbusters like "The Martian" and had us cracking up in "The Help." How can such a Hollywood A-lister be shy?

She's also wildly successful. And shyness isn't something we necessarily associate with successful people.

But maybe we should.

​Photo by Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images.

As Chastain's career proves, being shy isn't a death sentence for ambitions. In fact, it could be just the opposite.

While shyness may be a hinderance to a person's success in some ways — like feeling nervous about meeting new people at a networking event, for instance — people who are shy tend to have other strengths in their corner.

Shy people tend to be great listeners and, thus, total rockstars when it comes to observing the world around them. As Greatist points out, research suggests people are more productive and creative when they're able to work privately — often a preference for shy and introverted folks (introversion and shyness are different, by the way). And on the more personal side, shy people are more likely to report having a "rich, complex inner life" too.

Whoever said shyness is a weakness clearly wasn't paying close enough attention.

There are many reasons to feel quite all right with being shy. But, according to Chastain, that should never stop you from living your life out loud.

Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“You don’t know if you just don't do it," she told Handler. "If you’re feeling shy or feeling whatever, just throw yourself out there. And maybe it actually changes who you are."

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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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