Elizabeth Banks, mommy blogger
I’ve really, really liked Elizabeth Banks ever since The 40 Year Old Virgin. She’s smart and funny and a great character actress in a time when everyone is trying to be a leading lady. So I was surprised when perusing iVillage’s celebrity mom blogger section (yes, this is a real thing) to find her there. Mind you, there’s no discernable logic to the mom blogger selection (Alanis Morissette talks about power struggles while Katherine Heigl bemoans having it all and Felicity Huffman writes a Valentine to Bill Macy. And Jessica Alba is there OF COURSE).
It seems to be a platform some of them use to sell (ahem, Alba) and others use to expound on tub birth or body image. But when I saw Elizabeth Banks, I clicked and boom, there she is with a pithy, conversational post about women’s reproductive rights (specifically the pill). Not preachy, not martyred, just her story in an honest way. (Click here for the article.) They had a link to her website so of course I clicked and – yes! - it’s great. Really good for a regular website, excellent for a celebrity website.
She does live chats (by RSVP), and mixes in her work stuff (like Hunger Games exclusives) with subversive stuff (Breaking Bad paper dolls!) and recipes that aren’t all up in your face with their organic farmer market-ness. One of her recipes lists Uncle Ben’s rice as an ingredient. Uncle Ben’s!
Her posts are quite funny, she mentions her son, Felix, sparingly, but lovingly and, as far as I could tell, didn’t have any photos of him up. She full out says, “For me, keeping my kid off the web is a priority. Because I'm me, he gets photographed anyway. So if I can protect as much of his privacy as possible before he even knows he has privacy to protect, I plan to do it.”
So it’s not for photos of her kid and she doesn’t have a perfume or line of linen hand towels (but there are sponsored posts and contests). Why would she have a website?
I think Elizabeth Banks is just a bit of a nerd - in an awesome way. She likes Sudoku puzzles, random memes and reads a lot (her book club is updated with good suggestions); she also gives a lot of love to other blogs.
The absence of pimping, combined with the fact that she is a legitimately busy working actress/mom, makes me love the site even more.
She also seems to actually be interested in starting a conversation with people (not just fans) about how we make crucial life decisions, like whether or not to get a minivan:
You used to cruise in your cute little Smart, Fiat, Mini, (insert cute little micro machine car name here) but then you get married and have a kid. And then you have friends that own minivans. And then those friends tell you that soon you'll have a minivan. And then you consider not being friends with them but then, you start to see the positives of minivans. Like those fancy sliding doors. And DVD players. And then, you see this coming, you get a minivan. And then you order stick figure decals of your family and then you put them on your back windshield. Do you even recognize yourself in the rear view anymore?
So for every celebrity mom who says they have to post photos of their kid because the paparazzi hounds them (and I don’t mean Brange, who are legit hounded, but more like Heigl or Hilary Duff) and for every celeb who names their Twitter fanbase (this phenomena must stop!) and has their 2nd assistant tweet for them, there’s Elizabeth Banks. She doesn’t have to engage but she chooses to, and it’s not a marketing ploy. Which is why it works so, so well.
(And if she starts a bejeweled pet collar line next week, feel free to yell at me.)
Attached - Elizabeth Banks at an event in Beverly Hills last week. (Lainey: Love that little bag.)