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Kristen Bell pens powerful essay on embracing gender differences

‘Who decided these differences were weak?’ the actress writes

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Todd Williamson/Getty Images for CinemaCon

In a new essay published to blogging platform Medium, Kristen Bell weighs in on the gender inequality conversation gaining traction in Hollywood as of late. The 35-year-old actress writes that, while she vehemently supports equal wages amongst the industry, she also stands for embracing gender differences inherently branded as negative.

She urges women to reclaim the feminine traits generally assigned to them as “weak” and “value them as superpowers,” aiming to flip society’s longstanding narrative between men and women.

“For the majority of the human timeline, these differences were openly viewed as female weaknesses; creating a chasm between men and women,” the costar of this year’s The Boss and Zootopia writes. “And though that view has been quieted, it has not disappeared. There are echoes of it everywhere you look. My question is who decided these differences were weak?”

Her words add to the burgeoning dialogue surrounding equal pay in Hollywood. Since Jennifer Lawrence penned an open letter decrying the industry’s wage gap back in October, stars including Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, and Jessica Chastain have all spoken out about their experiences with sexism in show biz. Bell’s take coincides with her peers’ comments, but also calls for women to reclaim the characteristics often cast aside as “girly.”

“Whether it’s nature, nurture, labels, or all of the above, there are certain traits that are traditionally associated with being a female. We are often called sensitive, emotional and non-confrontational,” she writes. “Hey ladies, guess what? These all go into the ‘pro’ column!”

Read Bell’s full essay on Medium.

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