One simple and brilliant tweak to how Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds talk to their kids.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds — famous actors, yes, but also a famously awesome couple.

The pair is widely known as funny, down-to-Earth parents to their two young girls — not to mention total #couplegoals.

But just because they love to goof around and crack jokes doesn't mean they take their jobs as parents lightly.


Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

In a revealing interview with Glamour, Lively opened up about the couple's plans for raising strong, independent daughters.

Though she admits she doesn't always know the right thing to do, she shared an anecdote about reading a script that had a profound effect on the way she talks to and around her girls:

"I was reading a script, and this woman, who’s very tough, did something where she took control of her life. And so she’s sitting, gripping the wheel, 'a look of empowerment on her face.' And I thought, Hmm, they don’t point that out about men: 'Look how empowered he is.' It’s just innate."

At home, Lively says, she and her husband make a conscious effort to avoid language that's either subtly sexist or even by default male.

"[Reynolds] will pick up, like a caterpillar, and instead of saying, 'What’s his name?' he’ll say, 'What’s her name?'" Lively said. "Or we’ve joked that my daughter is bossy. But my husband said, 'I don’t ever want to use that word again. You’ve never heard a man called bossy.'"

As a big-time Hollywood actor and now movie producer, Lively knows a thing or two about how people react to strong women and knows firsthand how damaging stereotypes can be.

"We’re all born feeling perfect until somebody tells us we’re not," she said of her daughters.

In other words, women aren't born feeling somehow inferior. Rather, the world tries to slowly beat it into them.

"So there’s nothing I can teach my daughter [James]," Lively said. She already has all of it. The only thing I can do is protect what she already feels. I do know that I have to watch her and listen to her and not project any of my own insecurities or struggles on her."

The statistics prove Lively's point: How we use gendered language really matters.

Calling a caterpillar a "girl" or a "boy" may not seem like a very important decision, but consider this:

Children's books are far more likely to feature a male lead character, Hollywood is as non-gender-inclusive as it's ever been, and most of us assume doctors or other high-level professionals are a "he."

From the time we're born, we are surrounded by a culture that paints women into a corner. Tells them that they can be a nurse but not a doctor. That they can't be in charge lest they be labeled "bossy." Tells them that not even an anthropomorphic farm animal can have the spotlight if it's a girl.

Lively and Reynolds are getting a jump on fighting back. If you're part of a couple that wants to be just like them, following their lead on this would be an awesome place to start.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.