Who is your spirit animal or mammal? Mine is Blake Lively

Okay, I know Blake Lively isn’t an animal, but she is a mammal, so I think it’s safe to say the 24-year-old sunbeam deserves recognition here. The other day, my lovely friend Anna inquired whether there’s a famous figure or icon to whom I can relate. I haven’t met a ton of celebrities, but I do have unabashed love for “Gossip Girl” actress and fellow tall LA girl, Blake Lively. There is also “Beauty and the Beast” heroine Belle, the first individual to shape my personality, so here are some reasons why I look up to these leading ladies:

1. Blake Lively

Many dislike Blake Lively by default for making it look easy to catch the eyes of gorgeous actors such as Ryan Reynolds, Penn Badgley, and Leonardo DiCaprio, but I’m just dying to know her secret. As TIME put it in its 2011 list of influential folks, Blake Lively “makes you feel that she, and life, are going to go on forever.” The two of us smile a lot, and though she surely doesn’t suffer from bouts of pessimism as I do, our Golden State attitude and cheery disposition serve us well. Her family hails from Georgia too, so while she’s a California girl like me, she also has a southern edge to her, and it comes through in her appearances with Atlanta native Chloe Moretz for their movie, “Hick.” Might I add Moretz is another favorite of mine:

I also appreciate Blake Lively for being a good representative for us tall ladies out there. As I’ve said before, it’s not fun towering over everybody in sight (and this is a much bigger problem for me out east than west), and Blake Lively reminds me that I’m not the only girl in New York with long limbs. If I could meet the bubbly girl myself, I’d first ask how she was able to so gracefully transition from the sunny skies of Los Angeles to the gloom and chilliness of NYC. Really, Blake, tell me how you do it!

2. Belle

She’s a reader, thinks for herself, and adores her father. I wonder whether I would have gone into writing had “Beauty and the Beast” not been such a significant part of my formative years. It was the first movie I ever saw, and thanks to my obsession with Belle, I started carrying books around the house and preschool. Male classmates would approach and say, “Hello, Belle” and I lamented being unable to read until first grade. I sure tried though, and soon after I got the hang of it, I started writing. Though Belle has a better radar for BS (i.e., Gaston) than I do, we have our similarities, and I consider myself very lucky that her character was the first cultural figure to which I was exposed.

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