The beach’s tannest and most enviable couple — pro-volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and surfing superstar Laird Hamilton — have been married for 17 years. They have two daughters together and one teenage daughter from Laird’s first marriage. Reece recently wrote a memoir titled “My Foot Is Too Big For The Glass Slipper,” about her marriage, the couple’s misses and failures, as well as their most cherished lessons on living happily together and how it make it all work. But one statement in the book set off a firestorm of media reaction last month. Reece wrote, “to truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and –- look out, here it comes –- submissive.”
HuffPost LA spoke with Reece on the phone from her home in Kauai, Hawaii, to find out if she still stands by her submissiveness statement, how she got into a scuffle with Katie Couric and why fairy tales aren’t meant to come true.
The Huffington Post: Your comments about femininity and submissiveness received quite a bit of media attention when the book came out last month. Were you prepared for that reaction?
Gabrielle Reece: Exactly a week before the book came out, NBC sent a group from Rock Center and Kate Snow and this really very cool female producer came out to see me. And I thought to myself, “Great! I’m being set up with people who are going to get me.” We spent a couple of days together, but when we sat down to do the interview, I picked up on it right away. I thought, “Uh-oh.” And I said to the producer, “I’m going to get killed on this.” I could just tell. But, of course, they have to do their job. They said a lot of feminists are going to be angry. I mean they found their hook.
So I anticipated it, but I didn’t know to what degree. I felt it was very lopsided. The fact that they didn’t even put in the interview the part about picking a suitable partner …
The submissiveness comment felt out of context?
Correct. We weren’t discussing mutual respect and all the other things I said about it. It was good in one way, because it got a lot of attention. It was bad in another way because I felt it was an incomplete message.