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1 year ago
Shonda Rhimes Wants Her Daughters to Own Their Sexuality

Reported by Lesley Rotchford

Shonda Rhimes is one of those amazing women everyone wants to know. (And last night's Emmys prove that the people who do know her feel pretty lucky.) She's beyond-talented and extremely hard working—but who is Shonda really? And how do we get to be her friend?

RELATED: 6 Seriously Inspired Quotes from Shonda Rhimes's Dartmouth Commencement Speech

Okay, so we can't help you with the last part. But we did do an interview with the game changer behind Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal to learn more about how she became such a bad*ss, why her TV characters are such freaks in the sheets, what she's currently binge-watching—and more.

On the Sex Scenes in Her Shows...
"I have three daughters, and I find it fascinating that you can shoot someone in the face on network television, show the whole thing, watch their brains fly out of the back of their head, and no one blinks. But people are shocked when you show anybody having sex. I hope my daughters grow up to have amazing sex. I really do. I do not hope they grow up to shoot someone in the face. You know what I mean? I feel like there are ways to represent women owning their sexuality and having a strong point of view about it and it not being this taboo thing that’s hidden in some closet somewhere."

On Her Riskiest Decision...
"Deciding that I was going to be a writer. For the youngest of six, coming from a family of professors who are very intense and felt like having a 'real job' was important. The idea of doing something as frivolous as, 'I’m going to Hollywood to be a writer' felt like a crazy, crazy thing to do."

On Being a "Girlie-Girl"...
"It’s interesting that in a lot of people's minds there seems to be a split between being a feminist/strong woman and caring about clothes and shoes and purses and pretty things—like 'girlie' is a bad moniker to place on somebody. And I don’t know why the word 'girlie' is a bad word. I think girlie can mean something pretty bad*ss and we should take it back."

On Who She Gives Zero F*cks About...
"I can’t write thinking of [my] critics or who is going to watch it. Otherwise, it’s not personal writing and it doesn’t feel intimate. ... So I’ve never written thinking about who is going to watch or how they are going to respond."

On What She's Watching on TV...
"I watch Game of Thrones although I am behind a season right now. I watch Blackish, which I think is hilarious. I watch the Mindy Project. I was one of the people who was devastated when Breaking Bad ended but also really happy when it ended because I got to see a complete story told, which is always exciting. ... I also watch Girls!"

Related: Reese Witherspoon is an Entrepreneurial Ninja and We Can't Get Enough of It

On the Character She Most Identifies With...
"There’s a lot of Olivia Pope [from Scandal] in me. In terms of one of the things that really appeals to me about that character was the odd loneliness of being in charge...and then having to be this person who solved all these problems. That world was fascinating to me because it felt really familiar."

RELATED: Shonda Rhimes to the World: 'I Was Born With a Really Awesome Vagina'

On Why Fearlessness Is So Important to Her...
"I’ve stopped being afraid that this will all go away any time soon. It’s just a calm that allows me to really dig in and learn different things."

Shonda's book, Year of Yes, comes out in November. For more exclusive interviews with game changers like her, pick up the October 2015 issue of Women's Health, on newsstands now.

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