BRB, I’m going to tattoo “Gender is whatever” over my chest. When questioned about the genders she is attracted to, Ava Phillippe said in an Instagram Story. And, no, we couldn’t support Ava Phillippe’s views on gender and s*xuality any longer.
For context, Ava Phillippe— the daughter of actors Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon (who’s basically her doppelgänger) — was doing an Instagram Q&A on Jan. 12, 2022 when someone posed the question, “[Do] you like boys or girls?” In response, the 22-year-old shared a selfie — sporting bright blue eyeshadow (which totally brings out her eyes, if we may say so ourselves) — and captioned the snap, “I’m attracted to… people! [Gender is whatever].”
Can I get an amen?
The next day — on the heels of coming out on Instagram — Phillippe also shared a Story saying, “I can [and] will block profiles commenting bigoted/hateful messages under my posts. My Instagram profile is not a place for cruelty/hate speech [and] I intend to keep it that way.” Double amen to that.
Despite being reared in the spotlight (and being pretty open on social media), nothing is known about Phillippe’s love life until now. She did share a rare snapshot with boyfriend, Owen Mahoney, whom she’d been dating since 2019, on Instagram in June 2021. But the photo has since been removed, leaving me to wonder if the couple is still together. (That said, both Ava Phillippe and her mom still follow Mahoney on Instagram. So! TBD!)
Witherspoon hasn’t officially commented on her daughter’s s*xuality or relationship status, save from posting heart-eyed emojis on Phillippe’s photo with Mahoney. On the other hand, she has expressed delight in Phillippe’s willingness to forge her own path.
“Ava Phillippe is so down-to-earth,” Witherspoon told InStyle in November 2021. “She wants to do great things in the world. She’s studying and learning and trying to find herself. It’s a big thing in life to try different things and figure out what is really your path.”
In a 2020 interview with Variety, Witherspoon also shared that, “No one spoke to me about s*xuality when I was a teenager.”
“I didn’t understand what homos*xuality was,” she continued. “My grandparents didn’t explain it; my parents didn’t explain it. I had to learn from somebody I met on an audition in Los Angeles.”
However, Witherspoon has apparently raised her children to have a more nuanced and in-depth understanding of s*xuality and gender. And we love seeing it.