Drew Barrymore is known as an actress and film producer, but she's also become an entrepreneur with a makeup brand (Flower Beauty) and home decor line (Flower Home) among other businesses. Now, she's launching a new collection of kids home furnishings with Flower Kids. For TODAY Style's "Why I Love My" series, Barrymore shared the body-positive message she's teaching her daughters (Olive, almost 7, and Frankie, 5) and how she ensures their childhood will be different than her own "unorthodox" upbringing.
I love my sense of design because I can walk into a blank room and make something really colorful, bright and happy; a place you don't want to leave. I love design because I can take clothing and know how to tailor it and form it to my body to give me my best, most flattering silhouette.
I love design because if you wear makeup, it can be like armor and very empowering for a woman. And I love my sense of design because everywhere I go in the world, I take inspiration and then try to give that back to my friends, my daughters and these companies where now you can actually shop all of it.
My daughter Olive is totally becoming a little designer, and she likes to help me decorate and place things. And then she loses interest relatively quickly. She's 7 years old. But I think people who have really strong opinions and who aren't vacillating and indecisive, we figure it out and we kind of go after it. And that is definitely my daughter Olive.
When I first had my kids, I think I was so obsessed with doing everything differently with them, I almost thought that acting was some calling from the devil. I was thinking, "My daughters will never be actors! God, no!" And then I'm, like, wait, it's a great family trade. I'm a Barrymore. My family has been doing this for hundreds and hundreds of years, and multiple generations.
The thing that probably scared me was that I had such an unorthodox childhood. And when I really wanted for them was something very normal and traditional and safe. I feel like I've accomplished that or I continue to sort of have that be my intention every day.
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And then you see my daughters and they're total performers, and maybe they do have that Barrymore blood in there. Olive knows that I would prefer she wait until she's 18, and then it's really her life and her decision. So, I think there's a way to give them a normal childhood that's totally protected, and yet feed their love of how much they love to express themselves. And when they were first born, I just didn't know how to rationalize it. Now, I do.
Fame is this really beautiful, double-sided coin, and the polarity is you will have extraordinary privilege that you should never take for granted or it should be taken away from you immediately. But with that also comes a life that is public, and sometimes you don't get to walk down the street with as much ease as you would like to if you're in a funky mood or something bad just happened.
I've had so many moments where I just had some heartbreaking breakup and I walk out and someone's like, "Can I... " and you're, like, crying, "Yes, you can take my picture, totally." You know, that's some of the comedy that comes out of it. But really, it's also a big responsibility.
You're basically in the hospitality business and when people come up to you, if they can walk away with a positive exchange, you've helped make their day. And if you're not nice, you can ruin their day. And that's just really about manners, and I think that's the lesson my kids are taking away.
They see mom being nice and saying please and thank you. And I hope that that helps them in life, no matter what career they choose to do.
Teaching body positivity to my daughters is going to be a no-brainer, because I've never fallen prey to the pressures of Hollywood. I'm, like, please. I don't know why it seems so silly to me but it always has.
I look at my daughters, they're not thinking about their bodies right now. They are as free as it gets. And then, over time, things start to chip away at that: school, social media now, comparison to fashion models and every cliché in the book of why we literally start to look in the mirror and say negative things. And I think that's going to be my biggest breeding ground, is teaching my daughters to look in the mirror and find the good and stop picking at the bad.
The thing I hate about social media is that I wish I could bring my daughters up in a world where it didn't exist. The good news is, I was on the cover of The National Enquirer at, like, 7 years old, so I'm like, alright, that's basically social media training ground. So, you know, I get it. I was raised in a life where everything was out there.
I am built to handle these girls and the pressures they're going to face, because I had to navigate them, too. And the thing I love about social media is that we can communicate in a different way. To all people on social media, do not read the negative comments. You can't find validation in social media.
What it is is a platform to express yourself, and build an uprising in your community, or show the love of your family like a photo album. Or, put the real deal out there and dispel this ridiculous fantasy that everything is so perfect, because everything isn't perfect — for anyone. But the goofy and the real and the fun are just as good. So, let's show that.
At the end of every day, I have the same check list as anyone else: Did I fail at this? Did I succeed at this? Did I check this box? And there are days that will challenge your will to live. And there are days where you might go, "I didn't suck today. In fact, I might've nailed a few things on my also important list that is so individual to me." That's all I can think about.
Home is the thing you go outside and work your butt off to earn the right to have. So, that space that you come into, no matter what it may be — a single apartment or a full home or city living or out in the middle of the country, and everywhere in between — that is what you worked for.
It's really the only little sacred space we have to call our own. So, we have to decorate it and make it a place that when we walk into, our body calms down and our actual chemistry transforms. A place where we get to look around and think of things that evoke memories and pleasure. Design is the way to do that.
As told to TODAY's Emily Sher. The interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.