It’s probably safe to assume Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are reaping the many benefits of being rich and famous, but you might not know that by looking at their social media posts. While celebrity social handles boasting blue check marks are typically packed with red carpet photos and high-resolution images promoting talk-show appearances, Blake and Ryan’s are instead filled with grainy candid cellphone photos. And in the rare times they’ll post about each other, they’re usually looking less than camera-ready.
At first glance, it might seem like their aim is strictly to troll each other—publicly embarrass their partner in front of their combined 79.6 million social media followers. But there’s a lot more happening underneath all that.
By continuously knocking each other down a few pegs, Blake and Ryan are actually checking each other. They’re ensuring they don’t get too attached to all the attention that comes with celebrity—making sure they instead prioritize the important things, like family. By keeping the intimate moments, well, intimate, and presenting only the goofy stuff, they’re keeping the sturdy relationship they’ve built private and away from the watchful eyes of curious and opinionated fans.
Now, when it comes to explaining how each of these posts communicates this exactly, that’s where things get a little tricky…well, for someone who isn’t an expert. For Naomi Arbit, PhD, a behavioral scientist and strategist in New York, however, it’s actually pretty easy.
Ahead, she decodes each of Blake and Ryan’s most savage posts, and explains how each is actually masking this Hollywood couple’s endless admiration for each other.
Blake is Ryan’s biggest fan, but she plays it down in public.
Now, Blake could have posted the Deadpool movie poster and told her followers to go out and support her husband in his leading role, but she chose to be more low-key about it instead. And by low-key, I mean cheeky.
By posting a photo in which she’s sitting on Ryan’s lap while he’s grabbing her boob and deadpanning at the camera she’s giving off major take-it-or-leave it vibes. She knows the movie is great and she knows Ryan’s great in it, so there’s really no reason to ask people to buy tickets when the talent speaks for itself. Blake’s secure about her husband, his abilities, and their marriage, says Arbit, so she doesn’t feel “she has much to prove.”
All theattention they get is nice, sure, but they don’t need it.
Happy Birthday to my amazing wife. pic.twitter.com/7vulMXqOdp
Let’s revisit this A-plus trolling incident that basically broke the internet, shall we? While Ryan’s intention was probably to get a few (million) laughs, which he got, his post also revealed something major about his relationship with Blake. “By pretending that he takes himself very seriously,” he’s communicating the exact opposite, says Arbit. If all the roles, awards, Hollywood Walk of Fame stars, fans, and profile interviews suddenly disappeared, relationship-wise, Blake and Ryan would probably be just fine.
Now, Arbit isn’t saying it would be easy, but their marriage would survive since it’s rooted in values that are way more substantial than public perception.
Still, Blake will show off how proud she is to be with Ryan from time to time.
According to her caption, Blake picked a good one. By congratulating herself on that fact, she’s revealing how proud she is to be married to Ryan. And since Blake and Ryan don’t have many photos of each other on their Instagram pages, posts like these are especially major, says Arbit. Blake and Ryan “each have their own rich, fulfilling lives, and while they clearly are very much in love and attached to one another, their worlds don’t revolve around the other” so it’s a big deal when they show appreciation for each other and their partnership.
Ryan and Blake trust each other completely.
It’s one thing to be comfortable being and looking less than camera-ready around your partner, but another to collect those moments and publish them in a 10-part series on Instagram. But that just the kind of relationship Blake and Ryan have.
They’ve made their relationship a judgement-free zone, so when it comes to how anyone else sees them, they’re not too concerned, says Arbit. All that matters is that they can be unpolished and raw during their intimate moments. And since they can fully be themselves around each other, it easier to not sweat the small stuff, like showing funny photos of each other to millions of people.
Think you love this relationship dynamic? Ryan loves it more.
Pretty sure it’s my wife writing most of those. Sounds like her.https://t.co/V8wnAo19az
It isn’t lost on Ryan that the internet is obsessed with the way he and Blake regularly put each other on blast. It’s funny, adorable, and #relatable. So, when a fan asked Ryan about all the requests for sexual favors the actor gets on Twitter, he took the opportunity to blame Blake for the raunchy asks. Making Blake the but of the joke…again is something Ryan can get away with because he and Blake are so confident in their marriage, says Arbit.
“He could only make fun of her in that way if he knew her feelings wouldn’t be hurt,” she adds. Because they work on communication, sacrifice, and trust like most other solid couples, they’re able to make room in their relationship for the playfulness and humor everyone loves to see so much.
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