Get ready to celebrate! Reese Witherspoon, the woman who gave us both Elle Woods and a stunning portrayal of June Carter Cash (for which she won an Academy Award), turns 38 tomorrow.

We could talk about her amazing fashion sense, how she kept a straight face while Chris Pine and Tom Hardy fought over her in This Means War, or the fact that she is producing the highly-anticipated film adaptation of the best-seller Gone Girl and starring in the adaptation of Wild.

In Hollywood, it is pretty hard to have a flawless record. Last year, Witherspoon had a brush with the law after she was pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated with her husband Jim Toth. Though Witherspoon was caught on camera acting upset, she later recovered from the situation beautifully. If you want an example of how to recover from your mistakes, this is it!

From her official statement: “I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said,” Witherspoon said. “It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. The words I used that night definitely do not reflect who I am. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behavior.”

Jenni Maier of Crushable said this was the ideal celebrity apology. She wrote: “We have an acknowledgment that she did something wrong, an explanation for why she did something wrong, a thorough understanding of why what she did was wrong and the word sorry. Take some notes Hollywood, because this is how to stop a scandal dead in its tracks. While most standard celebrities apologies include a denial, an I-did-not-do-it-but-if-I-did-I-would-not-be-wrong clause and a subtle indication that they’ll sue for slander if you write anything more on the topic, Reese Witherspoon did the right thing by just coming out and apologizing.”

Reese Witherspoon Picture on black and white color

Witherspoon is a good role model because of her talent and relatability to the MTV Generation Award in 2011. Even though the award presentation itself was not that great, Witherspoon’s acceptance speech made up for it.

“I get it, girls, that it’s cool to be a bad girl. But it is possible to make it in Hollywood without doing a reality show. When I came up in this business, if you made a sex tape, you were embarrassed and you hid it under your bed. And if you took naked pictures of yourself on your cell phone, you hide your face, people! Hide your face! So, for all the girls out there, it’s totally possible to be a good girl. I’m going to try to make it cool.”

It’s refreshing to see an actress focus on her work, rather than naked photos or sex tapes. Witherspoon is arguing that you don’t have to be outrageous or constantly sexualized to be successful. You can make it simply by working hard and taking good roles, like a Grammy-winning singing legend or a Harvard lawyer with a pink obsession.

“I had my first baby when I was 23, so I’ve always been choosing roles knowing that I have a daughter and I have a responsibility to her and to the world to be representing women of strength,” she said in an interview with Fox News. “These are the women I know in life. I think it’s a natural extension of parenthood for you to feel like you’re responsible for the worlds you create, whether they be silly or serious. I think you are responsible for the art you put in the world.”

Witherspoon not only demonstrates her capability to be in front of the camera by carrying a film but also behind the scenes as she founded her production company, Type A Films. She established this business to create quality films for young women:

“Sometimes I get frustrated that there are not a lot of really great female characters out there that young women can look at and go, ‘I want to be like that. It’s awesome.’ I go to movies and I get frustrated. I’m just like, ‘Shoot him! Just shoot him!’ Why does the guy get to shoot him? Why can’t the girl shoot him? I miss those characters in film. I feel like it would be nice to see more of them.”

It’s never been cooler to be a good girl.

Do you think it pays to be a good girl? Tell us in the comments!

Join Forces of Women Professionals

Stay empowered, inspired, and connected with a network of incredible women. Subscribe to our email updates today and be part of a vibrant community driving change together. Don’t miss out on exclusive content, events, and opportunities. Together, we’re more vital! Subscribe now!