Geena Davis Models Empowering Behavior For Her Children to Show Them They're Allowed to Take Up Space

Geena Davis grew up in a family that prized politeness to the point of “having no needs” — she spent decades of her life minimizing herself to avoid inconveniencing anyone else. She shared this during an interview with the UK’s Loose Women, along with the fact that she didn’t feel empowered as a woman until she met fellow actress Susan Sarandon — and she’s applied the revelation of empowerment to her life ever since, especially concerning raising her three children.

Davis recalled shooting Thelma & Louise, saying, “It was co-starring with Susan Sarandon [that] had the most impact on my life because somehow I had gotten to my 30s without ever having spent time with a woman who doesn’t apologize for existing.” She continued, “To see how she moves through the world and just says what she thinks, and people don’t fall over and say ‘Oh my god, that’s so shocking that she said what she thinks’ — it was such an education for me.”

Sarandon’s liberated behavior rivaled everything Davis knew in terms of how to carry herself as a woman, and the discovery of there being another way to operate in the world greatly impacted her approach to parenthood.

“I think a lot of [showing your kids how to be empowered] is modeling. I picked up more from the way my parents modeled their behavior than them telling me how to be,” she explained. “I’m just really grateful I had children in my 40s, and I wanted to wait… I thought, I’ll be more evolved the longer I wait because I did have a sense that I wasn’t, I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem, I guess… But I was really determined that my kids would have self-esteem,” Davis vulnerably shared.

The iconic actress shares daughter Alizeh, 20, and twin sons Kian and Kaiis, 18, with ex-husband Reza Jarrahy. In her new memoir, Dying of Politeness
, she delves into how she became “a little more bad—s, one role at a time” and her life’s journey of learning to fight for herself, and in turn, women across the globe.

Before you go, check out these celebrity moms who all welcomed their bundles of joy after 40.

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