Charlize Theron Reveals Her Powerful Response to Daughter's Claim That She Needs a 'Boyfriend'
Charlize Theron is walking the walk in teaching her girls that they are enough just as they are, without necessarily needing a romantic partner in life.
In a new interview with Diane von Fürstenberg for the fashion designer's InCharge podcast, the 44-year-old actress recalls a recent conversation with her daughter August in which the 5-year-old told her mom "something like, 'You need a boyfriend!' "
"I said, 'Actually, I don't. Right now, I feel really good,' and she's like, 'But, you know what, Mom? ... You need a boyfriend, you need a relationship,' " says Theron, whose older daughter Jackson, 8, was also in the car during their exchange. "And I was like, 'I am in a relationship. I'm in a relationship with myself right now.' "
The Bombshell actress remembers August having "this look on her eye like she had never really contemplated that that was even a possibility and I said, 'That is a really important thing for you guys to know.' "
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For Theron, the "stigma" of women having to be in a romantic partnership is something that she wants to speak out against, and teach her daughters that they're whole just as they are.
"There's so much stigma around all of that stuff," she says. "This idea that somehow women fail when they're not in relationships or that somehow it's their fault, that they must be incredibly difficult — that's why no man wants to touch them."
The star hopes "we are raising a generation of young girls who realize that there is absolutely no shame in that game to be in relationship with yourself — to not fall into what society kind of predicts for us as what is socially acceptable: If you are not in a relationship, somehow you're a failure."
"Those are all constructs that we need to change," Theron adds. "I remember two days ago just looking back in the rearview mirror and seeing my little 5-year-old's face; her mind was blown. But I know that that was the day that she realized there's a different possibility."
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Theron recently opened up to PEOPLE about how she also encourages her daughters, who are Black, to feel empowered amid the ongoing protests surrounding police brutality and racial injustice.
The Old Guard actress and producer said in July that despite the fact that she has "had to have really tough conversations" with August and Jackson "in the last couple of months, just about some of the ugly things going on in our world," the girls have really stepped up and taken initiative.
"They were so wanting to be proactive in, 'Mom, what do we do? How do we change this?' " said Theron. "And just their willingness to make signs and to want to go protest, and they still have their signs in the car."
"And when they see protesters on the side of the road, they'll say, 'Mom, honk. Honk, Mom, honk,' " she added. "There's a real sense of pride."