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Was Reese Witherspoon's Reputation Spared By The Media? Actress Says Life Would Be 'Totally Different' If She Got The Britney Spears Treatment

reese witherspoon reputation spared media britney spears treatment
Source: MEGA

Apr. 29 2021, Published 4:55 p.m. ET

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Reese Witherspoon is getting candid about the unfair power the media has on the way celebrities are viewed.

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While specifically honing in on the contrast between herself and Britney Spears, the 45-year-old explained she was portrayed as "good" while Spears was portrayed as "bad," solidifying their reputations in the world of entertainment.

The actress recalled tabloids unfairly constructing harsh narratives around women like Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan while she and friend Jennifer Garner were written about in a more positive light. Witherspoon doesn't think her talent or success is what put her in the "good" category, but rather luck.

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The Big Little Lies star said she felt she would be in a "totally different position" had the media tipped the scale the other way for her and "decided [she] was something else." 

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"I want to say it’s my decisions or the career choices I made, but it felt very arbitrary," the Academy Award-winning actress said, admitting that the tabloids' control over her reputation is "kind of sh**ty."

After watching The New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears, Witherspoon admitted her life in the 2000s looked similar to that of the pop star's.

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In 2008, Witherspoon was going through a divorce from Ryan Phillippe, with whom she shares children Ava, 21, and Deacon, 17. Spears split from Kevin Federline the same year. 

During that time, the paparazzi were following Witherspoon around wherever she went including church, school and her kids' sports practices. 

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"My children will tell you stories about being in preschool and people climbing on the roofs of our cars," she said during her Time's "100 Most Influential Companies" interview, published Tuesday, April 27.

She said there are even videos of her screaming at the cameras in her face. However, her angry reactions and outbursts didn't alter her "girl next door" reputation the same way Spears' outbursts did. 

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Witherspoon — who also shares son Tennessee, 8, with husband Jim Toth — added that she is thankful for the strong females surrounding her in the industry. "Whenever I feel discouraged, I have a group of women," the blonde beauty explained. "We all text each other, and we’re like: Just keep going."

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The Little Fires Everywhere star went on to reflect on her infamous Legally Blonde character, Elle Woods, and speculate what her character would be doing now in 2021.

"She's hitting barriers and obstacles that she never thought she'd be hitting later in life," the Hello Sunshine producer said. "She reminds me of the woman at the Women's March, holding the sign that says, I'M STILL DOING THIS S**T."

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