Drew Barrymore: ‘When people say be present I want to punch them in the face’

InStyleDrew Barrymore_edited-1
Drew Barrymore has a wine line (I’ve heard mixed things about it) a makeup line that’s in Walmart called Flower Beauty and now a clothing line available on Amazon called Dear Drew. I browsed her line and there’s mod jewelry, scarves, a bunch of haircare appliances, purses, overpriced intimates and some skirts, tops and dresses with whimsical features and phrases printed on them. It’s about what you would expect from Drew although nothing stands out as particularly fug. To promote the line Drew has a new cover interview and photospread with InStyle and that’s about what you would expect from Drew too. She gushes about her kids, talks about her zest and approach to life (and repeats the claim that she’s scrappy, which is how she responded to Predatorgate 2017) and says that she never realized she could feel so fulfilled as a single woman. Drew recently got divorced from her third husband, Will Kopelman, and seems to be fully embracing her role as mom. Here’s some of what she told Instyle, with more at the source.

On Dear Drew, her clothing collection with Amazon Fashion
“I kept feeling this burning desire to build an apparel brand for women by women, to explore something romantic…I thought, ‘There is enough shit in life. I want optimism and joy.’ At the same time, I don’t like magic-wand happy endings – and now I don’t like magic-wand makeup or magic-wand clothes.”

On growing up in show business

“From a young age I was overly passionate and thought everything lived and died in a professional atmosphere because, back then, it was really all I had. I didn’t have a family. I’ve been working as long as I can remember.”

On her extreme moods

“When people say, ‘Be present,’ I want to punch them in the fucking face,” she says, sitting back into the couch. “I just get murderous.” She laughs and sits forward. “I think I find the advice ‘Just put one foot in front of the other’ far wiser. There’s a simplicity to that—a motion and an action.”

Barrymore likens her sporadic seething rage to that of the character Tracy Flick in Election, “mania music and all.”

“God or the devil, face ripper or ‘Take the shirt off my back,’ I definitely have a ferociousness. And I’ve always had it. I completely rebel against authority…I am very f-king scrappy.”

On not needing a romantic relationship
“My daughters are so fulfilling that I feel like my cup is just avalanching over. If love took on a physical analogy form, I’d be an overstuffed turkey or piñata. So I’m not really hungry for it at this moment. I don’t think I would have ever known that I could be this content, this whole, without being in a romantic relationship. That would have been a surprise to my younger self.”

[From InStyle]

I don’t understand her aversion to “be present.” Is it because she has so much going on in her life that she’s loathe to give up multitasking or to stop checking her phone? I can relate to that. I can also relate to being like Tracy Flick in Election, but I fight that and strive to be as easy going as possible. This is probably why Drew bugs, she’s embracing that type A tendency. Maybe that makes her more productive though. As for her thoughts on being fulfilled while single, I wish more women could reach that personal understanding. We don’t need a man/woman/kids to live full lives. In fact when you’re used to always deferring to someone else and just start to do things on your own terms you realize how rewarding that can be. At least that was the case for me.

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Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2017

Photos credit: InStyle by Anthony Maule, Getty, WENN

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79 Responses to “Drew Barrymore: ‘When people say be present I want to punch them in the face’”

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  1. Nicole says:

    Huh “be present” is legit the advice we get a psychologists for our jobs. Its something I carry in my job and outside of it. Frankly I loathe when people are not present. Its a waste of my time.

    • Shambles says:

      Agreed. I guess what she’s saying is like when people first start meditating, and it’s so foreign to them that it makes them feel like they want to jump out of their skin. But imo it’s the people that are so averse to presence that need it the most. She sounds a little like she’s trying to be too cool, too above it all.

    • Millenial says:

      I hear the “be present,” “enjoy these moments, they go by quick” etc… advice all the time as a mom of a toddler, so maybe that’s where she’s coming from. It makes me angry too. Hard to enjoy every moment when you are sleep deprived, your toddler won’t stop saying “no” to everything, throws daily temper tantrums, and is entirely dependent on you for food, potty time, entertainment, etc…

      Like her, I’m taking it hour by hour. One foot in front of the other. So, I totally get what she’s saying. People who say “be present” probably aren’t currently living with tiny human dictators. I think even moms of older kids can “forget” what it’s like.

      • Betsy says:

        I took this as her meaning, too. Sometimes encouraging people to be present and enjoy every moment is condescending bull crap. Many situations are best enjoyed in the rear view, and *your* view of whether or not I am “present” is *your* value judgment on me.

      • anna222 says:

        Yep, when you’re struggling just to get through the day “be present” just sounds like priveleged bs. I don’t want to offend anyone, I can see it’s meaningful for a lot of people.

      • Shambles says:

        I appreciate this thread as a shift in perspective. Thanks ladies

      • Nicole says:

        Gotcha. Yea its not something I want to hear every moment of every day. Sometimes its a place I work to get back to esp when I’m suffering from an anxiety attack or depressive episode. To get back to the present and focus on the here and now which sometimes is all you CAN focus on. I dont always see “being present” as enjoying the moment but trying to focus on the current before working backwards or forwards.
        I can see how people use it as condescending.

      • Carol says:

        huh, I never thought of “be present” to mean “enjoy these times as they go by so quickly.” I always thought of it to mean, “don’t think about the future or the past, just deal with your life right now.” I find solace in that meaning because I can let go the pressure of thinking how my life will be in the future or how much I f**ked up in the past.

        But if “be present” is intended to mean “enjoy these times as they go by so quickly,” I would want to punch someone in the face too!

      • CynicalAnn says:

        Yes-as the mom of older kids-I’m completely guilty of thinking that too. I have a vague recollection of how sleep deprived I was and how tough they were-but boy, what I would give to go back in time and have 5 minutes with each of my surly teens as babies I could snuggle. Sniff sniff.

      • Nicole says:

        Carol its the same for me. In the therapeutic sense it means focusing on the present and not the past or future

      • Cranberry says:

        Well the part of the interview that she responds to the phrase says:
        “On Her EXTREME Moods”

        That suggests it goes beyond being tired and grouchy. It suggests that she’s known for a type of mania personality. It sounds like she flies off the handles regularly throughout her life. Which makes sense to me given her trouble with addiction in her up bringing and early teens to her 20s. Also this would help explain her three divorces. Usually people that have addiction problems as children have a tendency to acquire “passion” and “excitement” in their life and can go about having it in unhealthy ways like throwing tantrums, rage, being extravagant or loud ie. needing a lot of attention.

        It shows up in her language throughout the rest of the interview:

        “I want to punch them in the f*cking face,” . . . . “I just get murderous.” . . . . . .Barrymore likens her sporadic seething RAGE to . .Tracy Flick in Election, “mania music and all.”

        “God or the devil,. . . . I definitely have a ferociousness. And I’ve always had it. I completely rebel against authority”

        If she’s always been this way as she says, then obviously people have advised her to be present. When someone is in rage or exuberance, just like when intoxicated, that person in not in the present moment. They are caught or in a place where their anger, fear, or elation has taken over their being. To be in the present moment is to be calm and collected and not “reactionary”. To enjoy things without needing to go into mania. To feel fear, pain or sorrow without rage, desperation or futile despair.

    • Surely Wolfbeak says:

      My guess is that someone told her to “be present” and intended it as a dig, a criticism, or she interpreted it that way.

      • Nicole says:

        Yea makes sense. Anything as a dig would drive me nuts too

      • Domino says:

        But if you are talking to someone and they are futzing about on their phone or even too engrossed in their whatever else to talk to you, isn’t it ok to ask them to be present? It’s my pet peeve when someone can’t tear their eyes from their screen to look you in the eyes and talk to you. Whether Kid, parent, friend, etc.

        If they can’t ‘be present’ enough to say hey, you are a human I am a human and I acknowledge you – barring life crisis, mental illness, other emergency or distress)- it is sad.

        As far as kids – yeah, it is hard to always be 100% giving them your attention, since you are exhausted. but the days are long and the years are short. Your call, with what your circumstances allow I guess.

      • Cranberry says:

        @Domino, Yea I know what you mean. It’s very rude and insulting really. I just stop talking to someone if they can’t talk to me without looking at their phone. I’ll just shut up and consider myself alone or walk away. I’ll choose not to spend time with people I know do that, or I’ll say something to the effect of why I’m not comfortable. Sad this actually has to be explained to people, and not just young people. Older people too that should know better.

    • Carrie1 says:

      She is a creative. They’re usually not the ‘be present’ type. And that’s ok.

    • Kim says:

      I’ve always wondered what ‘be present’ actually means. I know most people would say, it means enjoy what’s happening in this moment. But this implies that there is some sort of switch I can flick that will shut down my other thoughts, worries, contemplations, etc. It’s a lot easier to say than it is to do. Putting one foot in front of the other, constantly trying to move forward even if only an inch at a time, makes more sense to me. It’s more attainable. I might not be able to look around at my current situation and appreciate a silver lining, but I can definitely get up and go clean the bathroom. Ya know? Baby steps.

      • MissMarierose says:

        I agree with this completely. Additionally, when someone says “be present” in response to an expression of worry or anger, it says to me that those feelings are invalid. So, I can see her getting frustrated with that.

    • shouldBoutside says:

      I suggested an acceptance of this present moment to my class today (yoga) because the past and future come crashing in with stillness. Everyone registered acceptance when I suggested to “feel present” and notice thoughts arriving and leaving… then again, we’d just had over an hour of challenging sweaty asana, so it’s easier to be “present” when full of endorphins. (in a beautiful room listening to a mountain river) Maybe Drew needs more physical care, she sounds scrappily anxious like she wants to punch -herself- in the face.

  2. Jordana says:

    Drew’s words make sense to me. Over the holiday, I’ve decided to separate. It’s been a rough couple weeks, but I think I will ultimately be a much happier person and a better mom. My kids are my life, will be all my life, and that will be more than enough for me. Still sucks to have all these broken life plans. 2017 was awful. 2018 will be very hard. For me anyway.

    • elimaeby says:

      I got divorced at the end of 2016. 2017 was a rough one, but you’ll pull through. Doing what’s best for you is a struggle, but it’s so worth it. I’m now living in a great city, I have an amazing job, adopted a puppy, and now I’m even dating again. Self-care isn’t always easy, but it’s so worth it. I’m thinking good thoughts for you, dear. Your kids will be better for you looking out for you and them.

      • Jordana says:

        Thanks you. I’m scared. Terrified. The last week has been hell. I haven’t told the kids yet. I’ve set up individual counselling for myself. And STD testing….apparently I need to be concerned with that.
        I’m looking forward to 2019. That might be a good year.

      • Other Renee says:

        Jordana, when I separated a decade ago, my best friend told me it would take about two years to find a new normal and she was right. I wanted my then twelve year old daughter to see that no one need stay in a bad marriage. I wanted to set a good example for her. So glad I did. She has a solid relationship with a great guy and I’m remarried to a wonderful man. Sometimes I look back and can’t believe I had the courage to walk out that door. But I’m so glad I did. I know you will get through this and come out happier on the other side.

      • Kim says:

        Divorce is one of my greatest fears. But I see people who are happy and actually seem better off afterwards. It makes me feel a little better about what the future might hold. Wishing everybody on this thread a very happy new year.

    • Sparkly says:

      I’m sorry to hear this. I hope you find peace and happiness in the new year.

    • lucy2 says:

      Sorry to hear that, but if it’s the right thing for you, and for your family, it’s what you need to do. Best of luck to you.

    • AngieB says:

      I don’t know you but sending you positive thoughts (don’t get murderous if that’s not your thing lol!) and hoping the new year brings positive changes and strength.

    • Soni says:

      I separated from my ex in 2014 with a 3 year old and a 9 month old. Divorced in 2015. I won’t lie- it was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. But also the best. You will be in charge of your own life. You will make your life what you want it to be. Kids are resilient and mine are doing great. I met someone online almost two years after the separation and he is phenomenal and we moved in together in August and are blending our families now. Stay positive and just know you will get through the dark period 🙂

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Good luck to you … you can be proud that you made a decision that will be right for you. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy, and your kids will be okay. Stay strong, be healthy, a year from now things will look and feel different.

    • HoustonGrl says:

      I’m proud of you, in that distant stranger kind of way. A few years ago I got out of an abusive relationship. Man, those first six months felt so hard, I remember walking was hard, making a meal was hard. But like Elimaebe said, self care got me through it. I vowed to exercise NO MATTER WHAT. That was like therapy, it kept me grounded. Good luck to you, you’re right: it’s happier on the other side.

      • Jordana says:

        Thanks everyone for kind words, encouragement and wishes.
        Part of me wants to reconcile, but my brain tells me that is just putting off the inevitable.

        I’m mentally preparing myself for a tough 2 years ahead. Which seems like a mountain in front of me. At the present I have to remind myself to eat and find strength to put together a meal for the kids. This sucks. There are no other words.

  3. GreenTurtle says:

    “I thought, ‘There is enough shit in life. I want optimism and joy.”

    “When people say, ‘Be present,’ I want to punch them in the fucking face,” she says, sitting back into the couch. “I just get murderous.”

    She is vast, you guys. She contains multitudes. 😒

  4. DiegoInSF says:

    I used to not like her but she was so awesome in Santa Clarita Diet that now I’m a fan. I’d think that with her Mother earth image, she’d like to “be present”. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

  5. HeyThere! says:

    It’s one of my favorite quotes! Get out of your own head, get out of your device and look around you! Live!!!!

  6. Hh says:

    I actually agree with Drew. I think I get overly annoyed for two reasons. One, it’s just an overly phrased. TBH, good advice should be overly used, however, that phrase seems to be more used do to trendiness. Two, that phrase always reminds me specifically of yoga instructors that I disliked. Lol.

    • Domino says:

      Haha yes yoga instructor phrase! I have loved almost all of my yoga instructors though. The only one I didn’t like was a bikram instructor who refused to let me drink water and clapped to count down poses. I felt dehydrated for days after. I was 1000% present in her class, and she felt drinking water threatened that? F*ck bikram.

    • Cranberry says:

      Yes, well it does come from Eastern philosophy so that’s why yoga instructors use it. But lets be honest, Drew is all about trendiness when it suits her so imo she’s quite the hypocrite in this case. I wrote a couple paragraphs up thread as to her real problem of having a VERY reactionary, mania personality.

  7. Red says:

    I’m just the complete opposite-never been in a serious relationship in my life ( I have commitment issues)- and I can’t imagine my happiness relying on someone else. Not judging since I have my own issues, but it’s so crazy to me that some women believe they need to be in a relationship. I can imagine why, since I get judged a lot for not being in one.

  8. Who ARE these people? says:

    She could have been in the present and fixed her zipper.

  9. Whoopsy Daisy says:

    I find the phrase annoying because it’s usually been said to me by annoying hippy dippy people.

    • Chaine says:

      Me too. Which is why it is so funny that Drew Barrymore claims to be annoyed by it, to me she epitomizes annoying hippy-dippyness…

  10. HK9 says:

    You know what I find annoying Drew, that your clothing line ‘for women by women’ only goes to size 12.

    • Lucy says:

      Only? Size 12 is pretty big?

      • Lyka says:

        The average American woman’s dress size is 12-14.

      • lama says:

        Not when U.S. women wear size 16 on average.

      • Domino says:

        You know Who is size 12 and above? Tall women. Women of size, women who have given birth, women of every race and ethnicity and age. Are these women not deserving of nice clothes just because Lucy and Drew considers that pretty big?

        When we say fashion is only for people of a certain size, we are basically choosing to exclude more women than not.

        Many manufacturers might not make clothes bigger than size 12, but it doesn’t mean that those women don’t exist, and it is exclusionary and some combination of classism/racism/bullsh*t to pretend that a clothing market shouldn’t and doesn’t exist for what are perfectly normal bodies.

        The Venus of willendorf or other fertility figures or even paintings show fat women have always existed. It shouldn’t be a big deal to make clothes for them.

      • Cranberry says:

        I consider size 12 average, which means there’s many, many US women that are size 14 – 16, and a good many women beyond.

    • HK9 says:

      No it’s not big at all, considering that the average women in the US is a size 14-16.

  11. lucy2 says:

    I think it depends. If you’re super busy or frustrated dealing with something, and someone says that to you in a “calm down”, dismissive way, it can be very annoying.
    She can be a bit much at times, but considering how she started out in life, it’s amazing she’s doing as well as she is. I’m glad she’s happy with her children and her career.

    • Cranberry says:

      I’m glad she’d gotten threw the craziness of her upbringing too, but it’s not like she had it worse than many children that don’t have the advantages of white privilege, fame and middle class+ comforts. I only point this out because she’s had plenty of time now and plenty of $ to over come her past, but if she is addicted to mania and rage as she puts it then that’s not so “cool”. Obviously she’s been advised to work on being present which in her case probably means don’t be so reactionary.

  12. Wen says:

    I used to love her hippie attitude but now she just sounds like an airhead. Do you want to be present or be distracted?

  13. Morgan says:

    I think she’s coming from a place where she’s a single mom with two little kids. The days can SUCK, and when an older mom tearily tells you to “enjoy every moment” and “it goes so fast” when you are just trying to keep from drowning, it’s the last thing you want to hear. Kids are waking up in the night with bad dreams, not eating their food, fighting with each other all day, making huge messes… you feel like you’d give anything to fast forward a few years. It’s better to hear “you’re doing a good job, mom” or “it gets easier” as encouragement, just some acknowledgement that daily life with little kids can be so hard even though it is rewarding and you know it won’t last forever and you know kw they’ll grow too fast.

    • Wilder says:

      I agree. But I can’t help thinking it’s GOT to be easier for Drew than the average mom of young kids. She must have a nanny; she definitely has a housekeeper; and I’m guessing she has a personal assistant. She may even have someone who comes in and cooks for her and the kids. At the very least, all the mundane daily housework is taken care of, and I remember, when my kids were small, how many times I wished someone would come in and clean my house and make us lunch so I could just enjoy being with them. I mean, if anyone has the ability to be totally “present,” it’s Drew, so I’m not sure why that phrase bothers her so much.

      • Cranberry says:

        Yes. She’s a full grown, experienced, privilege white women with $ to afford all the assistance she may need including therapy. There’s a limit for how long Drew gets to ride the “but she’s been through so much” ticket.

  14. Wren says:

    I find “be present” very annoying too. For one thing, there are a lot of assumptions behind it, like what you’re missing is enjoyable and that you really are missing out on something. “You’ll never get this moment back!” Um, good? This moment sucks, and telling me to “be present” basically takes that away from me. No. Sometimes things suck, or you’re exhausted, or any number of things could be going on that “be present” cannot fix.

    Another thing, nobody tells you HOW to be present. Just do it! Be present! Drew basically contradicts herself immediately because “putting one foot in front of the other” is essentially the same thing as “be present” only it’s actually telling you how to do that. And it’s not judging you for not enjoying a moment or telling you that things are actually good but you’re too “not present” to enjoy them.

    • Cranberry says:

      Actually being present means don’t be reactionary to the good or the bad moments. It doesn’t mean to deny that you’re having a bad time. Just not to fly off the handle and perhaps make the experience even worse or worse for everyone around you. It’s not easy to do all especially in American culture. Many people have to read and seek out spiritual/motivational teachers or therapists depending on how crucial they need to practice “being in the moment”. You’ll find a lot of similar teachings in advanced Anger Management courses too.

  15. Nikki says:

    Maybe it strikes her contrary, rebellious nature. When I see plaques of inspirational things like “Live, Laugh, Love” . or “Family, Friends, Love”, etc., they always make me feel rebellious and eye-rolly! Or Facebook posts like “If you have a daughter you love, repost this” . I have TWO daughters I love, but no way am I going to repost something to prove it. So yeah, “Live in the present” equals punch in the face… Ornery streak despite being a marshmallow of kindness otherwise…

  16. Sassback says:

    Be present is an empty phrase. It’s silly. Women tell that to other women as empty advice.

    • ClaraBelle says:

      I too am irritated by simplistic platitudes, although I think she’s been guilty enough of spouting them. What would bug me to hear “be present”, I think that as a young mother….unless you’re seriously “self-medicating” you are almost condemned to be present. The days sometimes feel like forever and ever and the mother is always “in the moment” More like stuck in the moment, and I recall not having the luxury of spacing out or daydreaming.

    • Cranberry says:

      It’s an empty phrase just as all simplistic platitudes are empty phrases. American, fast pace, consumer culture is not equipped to understand the long philosophical tradition “being present” comes from, much less the idea of practicing presence. So yaah, empty platitudes.

  17. Lucy says:

    “As for her thoughts on being fulfilled while single, I wish more women could reach that personal understanding. We don’t need a man/woman/kids to live full lives. In fact when you’re used to always deferring to someone else and just start to do things on your own terms you realize how rewarding that can be. At least that was the case for me.” So much THIS. It seems so basic and obvious, yet way too many people/women don’t see it.

  18. Jayna says:

    Not every minute of your day is joyous or you’re tired and trying to get through the day. I used to be a whiner about such things. But funny Drew should mention that. My mother was someone who just put one foot in front of the other when need be, which was a lot. It didn’t mean she wasn’t in the moment a lot, but a lot of things or times in life that advice is good, just putting one foot in front of the other, and I have mentioned to my sister that’s how mom was and I have come to appreciate that. She was raised on a farm. I have used that feeling about my mom a lot when I am tired or feel overworked or not feeling good and needing to do a lot. One foot in front of the other. I have a lot of joy in my life also and do appreciate that.

    While it is important to be in the moment in your life, it’s not some aspiration for every second of the day or every hour of the day, etc.

  19. XGER says:

    “Be present” to me essentially is the same as telling someone that is depressed to “just smile”.
    I loathe all these Facebook-inspirational-pseudo-psychology-101-things with a passion.
    That being said, I know tons of folks who actually draw inspiration from them, so I ain’t judging. Each their own right?

    The people in my life know I want no part of it, so they leave me alone lol.

  20. Sorella says:

    I like Drew, I have a fondness about her from her ET days….but is it just me that finds she has a HORRIBLE fashion sense, like super sloppy…???? …I’m always so surprised she has a makeup line when she barely wears any and often looks rough actually…and now a clothes line when her own everyday fashion is awful…it just shocks me. I never see that mentioned by media or others. Her casual/everyday look is Jennifer Garner territory.

    She’s a cute girl for sure….but her doing fashion of any kind is a total cash grab …parts are likely drying up and it allows her to have money coming in while home with her kids. But just seems like weird branding to me.

    • Sky says:

      I agree that she not getting the parts anymore. She seem to be following the celebrity trend wine, food, blog, fashion line, diet and so on. I don’t think it’s something she’s passionate about. She never been into fashion, it’s more about trying to create a brand.

  21. Treesandpets says:

    Maybe she means that she’s over these types of phrases that do have meaning and value but are then turned into shallow trendy-talk that’s tossed out without much thought or said lightly without the speaker being very…present.

  22. Dame-ly says:

    Rumour doing the rounds is that Gabriel Aubry is making money as a male escort now for A list Hollywood lady clients Drew included. Seems like a win win for everyone involved.

  23. Rachael says:

    Those overpriced intimates are comfy and have a perfect fit.

    I think she’s saying that being focused is being present you just don’t have to call it out. It is annoying when people tell you to be present or ca down.

  24. Julaho says:

    I hate that phrase too!!!!! Agggh it’s so
    Mommy shaming. Like, I can scroll Facebook while the kids are at the park. I can be on the phone while they’re at home. Every moment isn’t and can’t be wrapped up in the joys of parenting.

    • Jess says:

      It is shaming, and I used to hate that phrase too, or the “enjoy it while you can because it goes so fast”, but now I get it. My daughter is 10 and good god that time went by in a flash. I’d give anything to go back to her newborn days or the crazy toddler stages and just enjoy it more, but at the time the days felt so long and difficult and when people told me to just be in the moment or enjoy it I’d do an internal eye roll and get irritated.