leighton meester's life advice is the best

+ she's all about the girl power

photo via getty

When your introduction to the hearts and minds of Americans comes in the form of an acid-tongued, unscrupulous Upper East Sider who takes pleasure in bossing around her maid and playing with the lives of others, you've immediately got a hard sell. But it has been two years (almost...the anniversary is in December) since Gossip Girl went off the air, and in that time, Leighton Meester has had a lot of practice shedding her Waldorfness. A bunch of indies, an award-winning movie, and an IRL marriage later, Leighton's in sharp contrast to the back-stabbing, deliciously devilish Blair. The fiercely protective star has no interest in being known as a "former Gossip Girl," and as her singer-songwriter predilections prove, Leighton's about as down-to-earth and DIY as a famous person can be.

Yet, it was this year, during her stint on Broadway for Of Mice And Men, that we got to see another side of an actress who has spent her career showing us new facets of her work: Leighton, the feminist thinker. Her intellectual unpacking of the feminist subtext of Steinbeck's work for Huffington Post was incredible, and it proved that Leighton wasn't just a woman to be watched, but a voice to be heard, as well. Because she has so many notable quotables, here are the 9 best, empowering pieces of advice Leighton has given. Take them all to heart, because, well, Blair wouldn't...

Hear more from our November cover star here.