Blake Lively Didn't Speak Out When She Played Serena Van Der Woodsen For Fear Of Being Branded A 'Diva'

The actress now feels confident enough to stand up for herself in the world of work

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Being a young actress in Hollywood seems like tricky business. It's difficult to maintain boundaries of respect since, when offered jobs, you are often at the whim of casting agents, directors, producers and more, as well as being aware that hundreds of girls would gladly take your position if you left.

This cut-throat attitude, and power imbalance makes it possible for actresses to be mistreated (as has been exemplified in the Harvey Weinstein allegations) and fail to stand up for themselves in a meaningful way.

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Blake Lively

Actress Blake Lively is the latest woman to speak out on these terms. Now 30 years-old and gaining meaty roles, such as in All I See Is You, the mother of two has only recently learned to speak up for her self significantly.

Talking to People magazine, the L.A. native explained that, although she has often been an advocate for the women around her, as a young actress, she failed to speak up for herself.

Lively began working in Hollywood as a teenager in the film The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants and then as the infamous Serena Van Der Woodsen in Gossip Girl.

Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf

She explained in her interview that as a young star she was not encouraged to be confident in her opinions, 'I think that sometimes you're not encouraged to stand up for yourself.'

She continued, 'It doesn't even mean in really dramatic ways. That just means that if you're working too many hours, or you aren't being paid what someone else at your work level is being paid, or if you're being treated differently than someone else on the crew, or whoever.'

Lively has always been 'passionate' about 'standing' up for others, but couldn't extend the same compassion and strength to herself.

Blake Lively

'I didn't feel like I could fight for myself in the same way, because I was afraid of coming across as a diva or difficult or demanding.'

The gendered and sexist term of being branded a 'diva' can significantly hinder a star's chances of working, so she felt as though she needed to keep quiet, 'As a woman, you're afraid of a label you may acquire by demanding fair treatment for yourself that you know that you've earned.'

Recently The Age of Adeline star revealed that she was sexually harassed by a make-up artist and complained multiple times to the project's producers, unfortunately to no avail.

Now she says that if she could give her younger self some advice it would be, 'to love myself and fight for myself, as hard as I fought for other people.'

Hopefully younger women, actresses or not, will listen to her solid advice.

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