We’re often taught to avoid ‘red flags’ and welcome ‘green flags’ when getting to know someone, but what are we supposed to do with ‘beige flags?’ To be honest, most people don’t even know what a ‘beige flag’ is – which is why so many people were confused when Reese Witherspoon, 47, revealed one of hers.
The Legally Blonde actress was one of the main stage speakers at INBOUND 2023 – which took place between September 6-8 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts. At one point, she was asked if she had any ‘beige flags’ by NBC News Daily co-anchor Zinhle Essamuah.
For those who don’t know, a ‘beige flag’ is “something that simply makes you go, ‘Huh. What is that person doing?’” – according to licensed psychotherapist Dr. Zoe Shaw. In other words, it’s something that’s a little bit weirder than a ‘green flag,’ but not as concerning as a ‘red flag’ – it’s just a little quirky.
Witherspoon didn’t hesitate before giving hers – “I will touch literally any bug or disgusting thing,” she said while on stage at INBOUND 2023. “If there’s bugs or weird things, I pick it up. I have a morbid fascination with bugs. It grosses people out. It’s weird and gross, I know. I can’t stop, it’s like a compulsion.”
And if you think she’s lying, it isn’t the first time she revealed this. In 2019, she took part in a photoshoot and subsequent interview with Natalie Portman for Harper’s Bazaar. As part of the photoshoot, she was photographed with a snake around her neck, a mouse on her shoulder, an insect on her finger, and more.
Portman asked her if she was scared when taking the photos. While the spider crawling on her face didn’t scare her, the snake around her neck did. “This is going to sound weird, but I like insects and spiders. I was kind of a tomboy growing up. It grosses everybody out, but I like to pick up bugs,” she claimed.
Outside of her minor fear of snakes – which she, quite literally, faced head-on in the interview – she says there’s one fear that is very much alive in her mind: “I get scared of being on really tall buildings and looking down.” Well, that makes two of us because I’m the same way – I guess she is human, after all.
Reese Witherspoon Doesn’t Care About Your Opinions of Her
“Beige flags’ weren’t the only topic of discussion at INBOUND 2023. Reese Witherspoon also talked about the power of friendship and, perhaps most notably, learning to let go of everyone else’s opinion of yourself – something she learned as a result of frequent rejection throughout the early years of her career.
“I started so young and rejection was such an early piece of my life that I learned a long time ago that other people’s opinions of me are none of my business,” she said. “Everyone’s going to have an opinion of you. It shouldn’t make a difference whether or not you show up. It shouldn’t dictate your mood.”
It’s something she tries to teach her children – Ava Elizabeth Phillippe, 23, Deacon Reese Phillippe, 19, Tennessee James Toth, 10 – but it can take time. “But you do get older, and I’m sure everyone here has had a moment where you start to realize, I really don’t care what anybody thinks about me,” she said.
As for her secret to building quality friendships – she says to play editor. “Everybody out here over 40 knows. If you aren’t adding to my life, get the heck out of my life,” she explains. In her grandmother’s words, you need to ‘tick around the radiators, and get rid of the drains’ in your life as you get older.
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