Reese Witherspoon has opened up about her beige flag while speaking at INBOUND 2023, with the actress revealing it “grosses people out”.
A beige flag is a term coined by TikTok that refers to a romantic partners’ unusual habits that are neither a pro (green flag) nor con (red flag). When asked by NBC News Daily co-anchor Zinhle Essamuah what she would consider her own beige flag to be, Witherspoon thought for a moment before confessing: “I will touch literally any bug or disgusting thing.”
“It freaks people out,” the Legally Blonde actress continued, according to Today. “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.”
She said she blames this fascination on her lack of sisters, and spending time with her older brother, John. “I was a tomboy,” Witherspoon added.
This isn’t the first time Witherspoon has spoken about this beige flag either. In an October 2019 interview with Natalie Portman, Witherspoon talked about being photographed with a spider, snake, beetles and mouse for Harper’s Bazaar.
Portman specifically asked the fellow actress about the spider on her face and if it scared her at all. “The spider didn’t scare me, but there was a snake at the photo shoot that did,” Witherspoon replied.
“This is going to sound weird, but I like insects and spiders,” she added. “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. It grosses everybody out, but I like to pick up bugs.”
However, The Morning Show star and producer did admit that she is afraid of heights. “I get scared of being on really tall buildings and looking down.”
The INBOUND interview also touched on another thing Witherspoon isn’t afraid of: other people’s opinions. “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 explained. “Other people’s opinions of you, and everyone’s gonna have an opinion, doesn’t matter.
“I really don’t care what anybody thinks. I’m gonna do my work anyway. I’m gonna date whoever I want, go hang out with a friend nobody likes. When you release that feeling of other people’s opinions crushing you or holding you down, you’re free. You’re totally free.”
The duo share a son, Tennessee, 10, while Witherspoon is also mother to Ava, 23, and Deacon, 19, who she shares with her first husband, actor Ryan Phillippe.
She explained that she is grateful she was able to share the news of the breakup herself because it felt more “authentic”.
“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,” she said.
“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 explained, adding: “It’s a vulnerable time for me.”
During INBOUND, Witherspoon also spoke about the importance of re-evaluating your friendships as you get older, calling on fans to “edit” their friend circles. “Everybody out there over 40 knows,” she said. “If you aren’t adding to my life, get the heck outta my life. My grandma used to say people are radiators or drains. Stick with radiators.”