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.

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

Keep Reading Show less