Gender is dead! At least that’s what we like to tell ourselves. It may have once been thought of as odd to give a child a name that was traditionally reserved for the opposite sex, but in 2018, who cares?
Ryan Reynolds—dad to daughters James, 3, and Inez, 19 months—is now explaining the meaning behind his first born’s unconventional name. In an interview with Mr Porter, the Deadpool star shares that his wife, Blake Lively, helped him to slap a band-aid on his rocky relationship with his father just before the older Reynolds died in 2015 following a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. After his passing, they decided to honor his legacy by choosing to name their first born James.
“It felt right,” Reynolds said. “All family relationships come with some complications. For better or worse, all roads lead to here. At the end of the day, it’s easier to focus on the good stuff than the bad. My father died soon after my daughter was born, but he got to see her, which makes me happy.”
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In the interview, the actor explains how he developed anxiety and became a “twitchy” kid during his childhood, much of which stems from the “complicated” and “fractured” relationship he had with his father, a “former cop, former boxer, full-time landmine.”
“This is not meant to be some sob story—everyone carries their own bag of rocks around and I am no different in that regard—but growing up in my house, it was never relaxing or easy and I know that, throughout my life, I’ve dealt with anxiety in different ways.” Now, he uses comedy to cope with sadness.
Apparently, Ryan and Lively are making sure to raise their daughters with gender equality in mind. “Right now, my daughter thinks there’s no difference between her and a boy. She can do anything he can do,” Lively told People recently. “She has every opportunity that he has. She doesn’t learn anything different. So I hope that she never learns anything different. I’m afraid she will, because that’s society, and while it’s changing we still have a long way to go.”
Is it time these two attempt to score a parenting book deal?
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