Reported by Lori Majewski for Women's Health magazine
In an age of tabloid media, body-shaming and Twitter-feuding celebs, it's not always a given for women to support and empower each other—which is why basically everything Reese Witherspoon does is such a breath of fresh air.
"How wonderful it would be for our culture not to see ambition as an ugly thing within a woman’s personality," Reese told Women's Health for its 10th anniversary issue, on newsstands September 15. “In our society, when we see women who want to succeed or who view themselves as leaders, it’s like ‘How arrogant!’ Well, I think it’s fantastic.”
Watch this exclusive behind-the-scenes interview with Reese to learn more about her production company, Pacific Standard.
So it's no surprise that Reese's new clothing line, Draper James, donates a portion of its sales to Girls, Inc., a nonprofit devoted to empowering young girls (think: offering STEM-focused activities throughout the summer or giving them the opportunity to plant, harvest, and sell more than 20 varieties of vegetables).
“When I started Draper James, it was so important for me to give back to women who are entrepreneurial,” Reese told the mag. “Girls Inc. has created incredible programs all over the U.S. that empower women economically.”
Of course, Reese wouldn't put her name on a clothing line if it didn't look great, too. The jeans, T-shirts, and jersey-style dresses are all a very "Reese-esque" mix of Southern charm, California cool, and timeless sophistication. Here's a preview of some of our favorite pieces from it:
Women's Health readers can save 20 percent off all charms, charm bracelets, and charmed necklaces at Draper James using the code DJCHARMED.
Draper James isn't Reese's first female-forward venture, either. Pacific Standard, her production company, was also created to help tell stories that break from the Hollywood standard of portraying women in a stereotypical light.
“I really feel like if I can help one other woman tell her story or help one other woman get a show on a network or make a movie about something that she’s passionate about, then I’ve done my job,” Reese told WomensHealthMag.com exclusively. “It’s hard to get to the place where I’m at, but it feels really good to be able to use the opportunities that I’ve had and the relationships that I have in order to create new opportunities for other creative women.”
Since Reese is a self-proclaimed “book nerd,” Pacific Standard has produced the film versions of the books Gone Girl and Wild (and it also has a few other adaptations on the horizon). “We have a couple of new novels—Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll, which is a great story, sort of a thriller that is in the feeling of Gone Girl,” says Reese. [Editor's note: We've read Luckiest Girl Alive—and, full-disclosure, know author Jessica Knoll—and highly recommend picking up the book if you haven't already.] “I’m really inspired by those women and excited to bring their stories to the screen. We have a lot of different projects [that feature women in different roles]—women who are astronauts, women who are working on Wall Street. We are just trying to diversify the idea of how you see women on screen and portraying real women, all ethnicities, all ages. It’s a really exciting time.”
To learn more about how Reese is using her success to empower other women, pick up the October issue of Women’s Health, on newsstands September 15.