Reese Witherspoon Covers HARPER’S BAZAAR’s August 2023 Performance Issue

Posted on July 12, 2023

Reese Witherspoon covers Harper’s Bazaar’s August 2023 Performance issue photographed by Cass Bird and styled by Samira Nasr.





On being able to share her personal life updates directly with the public, in her own voice:
“When I was divorced before, the tabloid media got to tell people how I was feeling or how I was processing, and it felt very out of control. To be able to talk to people directly about what’s going on in my life and just share it in the way that I share great professional experiences or personal experiences, it feels much more authentic to be able to say things in my own voice and not let somebody else control what’s happening. Then, of course, there’s speculation, but I can’t control that. All I can do is be my most honest, forthright self and be vulnerable,” she says. “It’s a vulnerable time for me.”

On being OK with slow periods:
Witherspoon admits that she has slowed down “just a little bit.” “My brain has been going nonstop, and just life changes and running a company,” she says, trailing off. “But that’s okay. I really believe creativity is infinite and you’re just looking for that next bit of inspiration, so if you go through a little slow period, that’s okay.”

On putting the news of her divorce out on her own terms:
“It feels good,” Witherspoon says, putting the news of her divorce out there herself and owning it. “I think about how many other people are going through this experience,” she says. “I don’t feel isolated at all. I feel very connected.”

On her media company, Hello Sunshine, and her crusade to create more opportunities for women storytelling:
“Hello Sunshine was created around the idea that media was largely dominated by male voices and male perspectives, so to be able to create opportunities where women are telling their stories in their own words, you’re just getting a better perspective of the human experience,” she explains. “I think about the limited experience of that expression that my mother had or my grandmother had from artists at that time, because women were so sublimated. It’s just a new time, a new era for women to succeed and excel, and I’m happy to be the rocket fuel they need.”

On recounting a period in her late teens and early 20s where she was maybe less optimistic and overly competitive with other women: Witherspoon recounts a period of her life in her late teens and early 20s, pre-Election and Legally Blonde, when she was “very competitive and jealous of other women and not supportive.” “I was really unhappy,” she says. “I was not seeing the abundance of opportunity.”

On being part of the Times Up movement:
“[It] was an incredible moment in time,” Witherspoon says. “I don’t know if it was ever meant to be forever. I don’t consider myself a career activist. I’m an artist, I’m an entrepreneur, so I don’t really know about the machinations of creating long-standing organizations. I just know that that moment when I was sitting in rooms of women sharing their experiences was really powerful … and we raised a lot of money.”

On feeling liberated in her 40s:
“I think you start to realize there’s a finite amount of time that you have to accomplish what you want to accomplish in this world and that worrying about other people’s opinions of you is a waste of your precious time,” says Witherspoon. “It’s a liberation in your 40s to feel free of other people’s opinions. I mean, they’re always there. They just don’t matter as much to you, and it’s a great feeling


[Photo Credit: Cass Bird/Harper’s Bazaar Magazine]

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