Shonda Rhimes Spent a Year Saying Yes to Everything That Scared Her (Except Tinder)
Shonda Rhimes is, arguably, one of the most important people working in the entertainment industry today. The shows she writes and executive-produces — "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," "Private Practice," and "How to Get Away With Murder" — are some of the most-watched, culturally diverse, and groundbreaking programs on television. But just because she's a trailblazer and a role model doesn't mean she's always had everything figured out.
The single mom of three admits that, in spite of all her successes, there are still some things that totally scare her. Like public speaking. And over the past year, she's fought to overcome her fears by embarking on a "Year of Yeses."
"My New Year's resolution was to say yes to the things that scare me," Rhimes told the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine — she graduated from Dartmouth College in 1991 and delivered the commencement address to the graduating class of 2014, a prospect that terrified her. "I don't like public speaking, so to give the Dartmouth commencement speech? That's insane."
On writing diverse characters for her shows: "Everybody gets to have a love life. Everybody gets to be a three-dimensional person. Everybody gets to be fulfilled. I have many, many gay friends. And it feels really weird to me, in this world in which there are many people who are gay, that we would just pretend they don't exist."
On how she feels when she gets feedback from viewers: "I remember getting a lot of letters from girls who were like, ‘You gave me the language to talk to my parents about the fact that I was gay. You gave my parents the language to accept me and understand what I was going through.' That was really amazing. That felt really good to me."
On being a single mom, her nannies, and having sisters who live nearby: "I would not be wearing clothes or eating food or raising my children in any decent way. They make it possible for me to be a functioning, good mother. It’s important to talk about that.”
On dating! “I try to date, but it’s weird. My friends and I had this long discussion of whether I can be on Tinder — and I do see some well-known faces on Tinder — but I asked my publicist and he was like, ‘You cannot get on Tinder. Please do not get on Tinder.’"
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