Actress Kathryn Hahn Releasing Empowering Children’s Book For Mothers & Daughters

You know her range of interesting, hilarious and badass characters in ‘Transparent’, ‘I Love Dick’, and ‘Bad Moms’, but you’re about to see the work of actress Kathryn Hahn in a whole new way. She is set to release her first children’s book, ‘My Wish For You’, published by Scholastic.

As described in a press release by the publishing company, the book is an an empowering reminder to girls everywhere that beauty and strength come from within.

“In a time when girls are still told to look a certain way and act a certain way, this inspiring message celebrates the person she is right now. It’s a poignant, encouraging reminder to mothers, daughters, and friends of the importance of simply being themselves,” said the release.

Kathryn says the idea for the book was inspired by conversations with her own daughter, and wanted to write something that other mothers could share with their own young girls.

“Inspired by the big gorgeous id of my 6 year-old girl, I started to dream about what it was like before I cared what people thought or how I was seen. When I asked questions and demanded answers. When I trusted my gut. I hope girls and their parents can enjoy this together and claim their birthrights: the beautiful power and uniqueness of their own voices,” she said.

The book is a female-powered collaborative project, illustrated by the New York Times bestselling artist Brigette Barrager. In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Emmy-nominated actress explained more about how her daughter has been quite a prominent force in her view on life in general. Kathryn was asked to contribute something for an early version of Lena Dunham and Jenny Konner’s Lenny Letter, and the piece ended up being a series of illustrations and ideas called ‘Lessons from my Daughter‘.

“As I was listening to my then-6-year-old girl monologue about her day, I was struck by how authentic and full she was — how sure of her own voice and loud and self-respecting. And I thought of how those qualities can start to disappear as a young girl grows up. So we “co-authored” a piece on how to be a woman, my daughter and I. It was all advice I needed to hear,” she told EW’s David Canfield.

She says the theme of empowerment was decided on because right now we’re living in a time when politically and socially where many leaders and policies are working against the complete freedom and autonomy of women. It made her realize the importance of instilling messages about power and strength in girls from a young age.

“Women are still made to feel smaller and smaller culturally, and the abuses are physical (limited access to health care and birth control, less, harassment and rape) to invincible and cutting (“You’re so pretty! What a good girl. Look how cute.”) I wanted an innocent, inspiring book for both moms and their daughters to embolden themselves by reading together,” she said.

Kathryn is not one to shy away from owning who she truly is, and being unafraid of talking about feminist issues such as sexuality. In September, she penned an op-ed for Glamour, a letter to her younger self about her sexual journey and how it only gets better with age. From her years in a Catholic School where she recalls wearing a bride’s dress to “marry Jesus” at her first communion, all the way to playing the lead character Chris on ‘I Love Dick’ who is a filmmaker obsessed with a cowboy and writes explicit love letters to him, Kathryn runs the gamut of topics such as shame, masturbation, body image and relationships.

“At 44, you will realize something astounding: Life just gets sexier and sexier. Your sexual self will become this enormous, loud thing that you no longer take for granted, no ­longer deny. You will refuse to put a lid on it. You will listen to it. My God, you will hear it roar,” she writes, going against all the societal messages thrust upon women, telling them to keep quiet and stay young.

Part of the wave of empowering and feminist messages we are seeing in pop culture has a lot to do with women in Hollywood speaking out, and reclaiming their power both in front of and behind the camera. Some of Kathryn’s feminist characters are due in part to the presence of female writers, directors and executive producers, such as ‘Transparent’ and ‘I Love Dick’ creator Jill Soloway.

In her interview with EW, Kathryn says some of the themes in ‘My Wish For You’ are related to the themes she is able to explore in her own on-screen career thanks to more women creating space for interesting and complex female characters.

“I think working on shows with Jill Soloway, Lena Dunham, Tamara Jenkins — all these incredible strong humans who are exploring and investigating gender constructs — has for sure influenced the way I think of myself as a woman: what was culturally put on me as opposed to who I am,” she said.

Kathryn’s next big project on the big screen is ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’, where she will reprise her role as an over-worked, over-committed and exhausted mom who joins forces with two other moms who all go on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities. This should tide you over until a release date is set for ‘My Wish For You’.

 

 

 

 

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