Mayim Bialik: New Book, First Kiss, Plans After ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Mayim Bialik, star of “The Big Bang Theory,” recently released her latest book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, using real-life experiences coupled with her neuroscience background to help girls navigate their teenage years.
At a book signing in New York City, I sat down with Mayim Bialik where she shared embarrassing moments from her childhood, whom she thinks is a good role model for young women, and her plans for life after “The Big Bang Theory.”
You give tips for younger girls in this book—if you could go back and give your teenage self a tip, what would it be?
MB: I think if I could go back, I would tell my teenage self that I’m probably always going to be different—the way I always felt different—but the degree to which that is painful and something that I feel like I need to change will decrease as you find more people like you. I think that would have been very comforting to know, and no one ever told me that, so I tell girls that with this book.
You get pretty candid in this book and release details about your personal life—was there any part of you that was hesitant to share that with readers?
MB: Yeah, I was hesitant to release any details about my personal life. You know, I think that’s one of the challenges of being a public person who chooses and tries to be authentic in the way that I present information. But this really was—I don’t mean to say it—but kind of like for the greater good. If I want to educate young girls in a way that I was not educated, I think it’s a much more interesting and engaging book. I protect my children a lot, a lot more than I protect myself because they are not public people, so that I had to be careful about, but yeah, it is hard.
Speaking of your sons, as they get older and come to you for advice, do you think you will give them more maternal-based advice or scientific-based advice?
MB: Oh we’re already well into science realm. They already know that I’m the clinical mama. It’s clear that I’m still very classically a mother and a very particular type of loving, nurturing, and protective mother, but yeah, I’m very clinical and they know when they ask a question about a boo-boo or why is this or that, that they’re really going to get the answer.
In the book, you mention how your first kiss was on the TV show “Blossom”—if you could go back and pick anyone to have your first kiss with, whom would it be?
MB: What?! OK, there was a gentleman in my elementary school, and I had a crush on him for many years. He was very cool. He was like one of the coolest kids in elementary school. And I don’t think we ever kissed, but I asked him if he would be my cha-cha partner to dance to “Stand By Me” at our graduation from elementary school. I was sure he’d say no because he was really cool and he said “sure.” He was a very good dancer—he was on the shorter side so it was awesome. So I got to dance with Brandon Blunt at my sixth grade graduation.
Who do you think is a good role model for young girls?
MB: Who would I pick as a good role model for young girls? Well, I’m told that people think I’m a good role model for girls but besides me, I mean there are a lot of women—even if you’re not a person who supports the Democratic Party, I think the fact that there was a Democratic candidate for president that was a woman is pretty inspirational just to think of what she had to get through to even get that far—I think that’s inspiring no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on.
Do you think shows like “The Big Bang Theory” are providing a new type of role model for young girls?
MB: I think that “The Big Bang Theory” shows a different kind of role model for boys and girls. I think there are aspects of a lot of the male characters on our show that I look up to and that I would find inspiring. But I think in particular I’m really grateful to be on a show portraying a female scientist, and also not like a sexy scientist—her blouse isn’t always undone with like glasses down. I also like to be on a show where Melissa Rauch plays Bernadette who’s a microbiologist and she’s a much more classically feminine scientist and she wears pretty skirts and cute things in her hair and her makeup is nice and things like that because those women exist, too.
You share with readers that you were previously a science teacher before landing the role of Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory”—would you consider going back to teaching when “The Big Bang Theory” ends?
MB: I think at this point I’m a little bit of a distraction being on the number one comedy in America. I think that there will always continue to be ways that I teach but it may be in either a more untraditional or depending on how the world of YouTube and my website goes, a more traditional method. But yeah, I think I’m definitely going to have a different role in society when this all ends.
After you finish your book tour, what are your plans? Any vacations?
MB: Sleeping. Vacation? Hmm. My cousin’s son is getting married.
MB: Where I live—in Los Angeles—but that’ll be nice, my family is coming from Israel. No big plans, I want to just be with my kids, I want to hang out, I want to cook and bake and clean the toilets and do all the normal mom things that I do in my pajamas most of the time. Doesn’t that sound exciting?