Reese Witherspoon's advice to young women: "Be curious. Be brave. And don’t get a fringe."

In November this year Reese Witherspoon was asked to speak at her old high school in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.

Witherspoon addressed her old stomping ground, and spoke about what she learned at school and in life to help her become a successful woman.

She says giving the speech, “was a very moving experience. (It) to be able to talk to these incredible young women about their futures.”

Reese Witherspoon gave a speech to her Nashville highschool. Image via instagram/reesewitherspoon.

The 39-year-old actress shared her speech from her Instagram account, and we thought, with Australia's high school scores coming out this week it was relevant to share her wise words.

Witherspoon started her speech saying, "Sometimes I think about all the things I wish I could tell my younger self - things like, “Don’t give in to peer pressure,” and “Don’t get [a fringe] just because your friend Ashley did,” and “Don’t go to that party at Maggie’s house sophomore year - everyone’s going to make bad decisions and turn on you, and you’ll have to call your mum to pick you up.” But since it’s too late for me, I figured I should tell you a few things."

The Hollywood actress told the young women that the best advice she could give to anyone was; to be curious. She said if you are curious you will never be bored.

Another epic Reese Witherspoon speech (Post continues after video)...


In her speech the mum-of-three admitted that during school she didn't know what she wanted to do with her future, that she definitely didn't think she'd make a career out of acting at the time.

"It seemed very impractical to my parents, who were doctors, so I went to college. I thought I was going to be a pre-med major because my whole family was in the medical profession, but I could not stop telling stories," she said in her speech posted on Chapter16.

The actress wrote and filmed stories while at university and was 'obsessed' with her creative classes. She realised her future was going to be very different to her family's and so she said she had to be 'brave'.

"I had to push myself to feel comfortable living in California, where I knew no one, in a business where I had no friends," she said.

Reese with her mum, Betty. Image via instagram/reesewitherspoon.

Witherspoon reflected on the need for bravery, telling the students to step out of their comfort zone, to try something different to what they thought they were good at - or something different from the status quo.

She told student's from her former highschool that they must listen to their teachers. "A truly great teacher can teach you more about yourself than any specific subject, and they’ll stay with you long after you graduate," she said.


The successful star spoke about the need for failure as well. About not being afraid to make mistakes.

"Too many girls I know don’t want to try things because they’re afraid they’ll be bad at it, and they want to be perfect. Perfectionism is for the birds. It’s not realistic. It is stressful," she said.

"When you find something you love to do, be brave. Follow your passion. Get a job," Witherspoon said.

Once you get a job make sure you learn how to pay bills and invest money because money is freedom and power. She advised to work hard and to not just blow your money on nothing. She also said to have your own political ideas.

Reese Witherspoon's highschool in Nashville. Image via instagram/reesewitherspoon.

"Women are fifty percent of the population, but only nineteen percent of the government. Shouldn’t we be making the decisions about our own bodies, about how we treat other people in other countries?" she said.

"You are in a position of power in this world. You are educated. You are free. You are curious and capable. So be brave...And please don’t worry about being cool. Be warm and friendly," she continued.

Witherspoon finished by offering this last piece of advice, "Be honest. Be graceful. Be yourselves. And, seriously, I wasn’t kidding: don’t get [a fringe] just because your friend does."

What advice would you give to women graduating high school this year?