Fans of Jane Fonda know she’s a legendary actor, activist, author, fitness instructor, and model. But it’s time people start appreciating her unsung talent: blogging. Yes, blogging.
On Jan. 5, 2009, Fonda logged on to her website and announced her “exciting and a little scary” decision to start a blog. In a post titled, “A NEW YEAR,” she explained her desire to embark on the project. She was moving to New York for five months to star in 33 Variations, her first Broadway play in 45 years, and she wanted to take fans through the process with her. It’s not every day an icon creates original content for her own blog in a world of careful messaging, personal branding, and armies of PR reps — this was a rare celebrity undertaking.
Fonda was 71 years old then, but today, at age 83, she still makes time to post. Though she doesn’t write as frequently as she used to, her blog remains one of the internet’s greatest treasures and a must-read for fans.
Back in 2009, Fonda began a blog entry by addressing the obvious question:
“You might wonder why, at age 71, I am launching my first blog. Well, good friends of mine [Rosie O’Donnell and Lily Tomlin] have been avid bloggers for a long time and I’ve noticed that what they offer is interesting and provoking,” Fonda wrote. “Provoking is good — provoking ideas, thoughts, laughs, compassion and just plain fun. I like to provoke. I have interesting friends, an amazingly diverse and interesting life and family, great photos.”
“There’s a lot to get into on a blog,” Fonda continued — a statement she’s proven unequivocally through more than 12 years of posts. In its first few months, as intended, Fonda’s blog served as a sort of diary to chronicle her Broadway experience. But when she decided to continue blogging post-Broadway the platform transformed into a space for sharing personal and professional updates, random thoughts, feelings, photos, calls to action, lessons learned, and more. Each blog post also has a comment section where readers can respond and interact with one another, and Fonda frequently engages there, too.
To put it simply, Jane Fonda’s blog has it all.
Credit: SCREENSHOT: JANEFONDA.COM/BLOG
In her most recent entries from June 2021, titled “BACK TO WORK” and “I CAN STILL ACT!”, Fonda gets real about her post-pandemic return to her Netflix show with Tomlin, Grace & Frankie. (If you’re a fan of the show or Fonda’s other projects, rest assured: The blog offers a plethora of delightful behind-the-scenes tidbits.)
A large number of posts in the past few years also expanded on Fonda’s climate activism and Fire Drill Friday initiatives. Fonda launched the Fire Drill Friday protests on Oct. 11, 2019, and for four months she and and a group of actors, scientists, economists, and activists held weekly Friday gatherings at Capitol Hill to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change, help fight for a Green New Deal, and communicate other calls to action. She posted updates of the events to her blog for those who couldn’t attend, and also used her platform to share a related series of informative virtual Facebook Live Teach-In interviews with experts.
Since celebrities often avoid publicly wading into politics and sharing opinions on real societal issues, it’s refreshing to see Fonda use her blog to inform readers about pressing social and environmental justice problems. And while she nails serious, impactful content, she also strikes a remarkable balance by peppering in light and playful posts.
From blog posts about her precious Coton De Tulear dog named Tulea, friends, and family, to her COVID routine, pop culture recommendations, and more, Fonda never fails to give fans an intimate look at the joys in her life, no matter how small.
Here are some standout posts from the past year that prove Fonda can make nearly any topic engrossing:
“MY SQUIRREL”: In which she connects feeding a friendly squirrel in her backyard (she later gives this squirrel a small picnic table) to an accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
“WHAT MY WEEKS ARE LIKE OF LATE”: In which she takes a break from thinking about fossil fuels to write about “mundane stuff,” including book and TV recommendations, filming, and her lunch. In this post, Fonda reveals she eats a big breakfast, a healthy lunch around 3:00 p.m., and nothing else for the rest of the day. (Her lunch? Yellow beet salad, sprouts, avocado, tuna fish salad, melon, and lemon mousse.) Fascinating.
Though Fonda’s posts are sporadic these days and have started to feel more like special, unplanned gifts than the result of a reliable routine, there are 129 pages of archival blog entries to catch up on while you wait for new content. You can manually toggle through pages and posts, or filter by title, views, and likes. I personally suggest filtering by oldest posts and peering back at 2009 through Jane’s eyes.
Sure, you’ll come across a few broken links (because, well, 2009) but you’ll also see blogs sent via Blackberry, Fonda’s historic transition from a PC to a MacBook Pro, photos of her as a child, her early tweets, and retellings of nights spent with family members and famous friends, like *the* James Gandolfini. She discusses everything from her mug shot and her dog running on stage during a Broadway show to Obama’s inauguration and a dream she had in which she took Marian Robinson, Malia, and Sasha to White Castle to try mini burgers. (Like I said, this blog has it all.)
You’ll even come across some hidden gems, like “TOO TIRED TO BLOG,” which I consider to be one of the most relatable blog posts of all time.
In each post — regardless of topic or length — Fonda’s lovable wit, fiery candor, or concern for the world and people around her shine through. In one blog her vulnerable commentary will inspire deep reflection and introspection, and in the next she’ll have you laughing out loud. Her range is incredible.
In her early days of blogging, Fonda would end every post with the words “See you next time,” as a nod to her classic workout video sign-off. Once her personal narrative lures you in and you start keeping up with new posts, which won’t take long, you’ll find yourself eagerly awaiting each and every precious next time, like a kid at Jane Fonda’s Christmas. :’)