9 Inspiring & Aware Young Celebrity Women Who Are Making The Future Look Bright
Sometimes the state of celebrity can be a huge downer, especially when it comes to young Hollywood. We all know the horror stories from the past, of actors not being able to fully adapt to life in the limelight and playing out their teenage years on tabloid covers. But as of late, a contingent of young faces in Hollywood has emerged who are using their power of celebrity to shine light on topics that some might be surprised to hear teenagers talk about — in particular, race relations and feminism. Recently, 13-year-old Girl Meets World actress, Rowan Blanchard, posted an eloquent essay highlighting the problems with "white feminism" and proved she is more well-versed than a lot of adults out there.
Of course, there isn't an age limit to feminism, but it truly is an inspiring thing to see so many bright young women choosing to talk about issues that effect their status in Hollywood and beyond.
After reading Blanchard's essay, I was inspired to round up some of the young ladies in Hollywood who have become prominent voices for equality. These are teens who are concerned with their future and that of their peers, and the more young women we have growing up being vocal and passionate about causes important to themselves, like the nine young celebrities below, the better off we all will be.
1. Rowan Blanchard
Blanchard blew away readers when she posted a beautiful and extremely informed essay on the problem with "white feminism." She brought up points that I seriously didn't even read about until my college sociology classes — see: intersectionality — and focused on the disparity between white women and women of color. She told her readers, "To only acknowledge feminism from a one sided view when the literal DEFINITION is the equality of the sexism is not feminism at all. We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change." Amen.
2. Amandla Stenberg
Only 16 years old, Stenberg has already been an important voice for young women and men, especially in the wake of the Baltimore riots and standing up against cultural appropriation. She gained attention when a video she made explaining cultural appropriation hit the Internet, and infamously called out Kylie Jenner for her wearing cornrows. Stenberg is not afraid to speak up about what she stands for.
3. Tavi Gevinson
At only 12 years old, Gevinson started her fashion blog, Style Rookie, but her voice quickly began including more social commentary, specifically feminism. She now is founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie Magazine, meant to empower teenage girls. The now 19-year-old said of her feminism in an interview with Vogue,
Feminism to me means fighting. It's a very nuanced, complex thing, but at the very core of it I'm a feminist because I don't think being a girl limits me in any way... I think the reason that so many people shy away from the term and prefer to call themselves humanists or whatever is because they think feminism is all about women, but it's a lot about breaking down the social constructs and ideas about gender that oppress all of us, frankly.
4. Maisie Williams
When Emma Watson made her impassioned speech at the United Nations for gender equality, 18-year-old Williams was one of the few who criticized the speech for being limited to "first world feminism." The Game of Thrones actress also delivered a speech at the launch of Always’ new ad campaign #likeagirl, as the brand's ambassador. She said,
The world is desperate for leaders, male and female. It's not about gender, it's about purpose. You have a responsibility, an opportunity to share your gifts with the world... The Like a Girl movement has done so much to elevate the conversation. Girls, we have to stick together, please support each other... You're allowed to be the most important person in your story.
5. Willow Smith
14-year-old Willow Smith keeps very bright young company, including Gevinson and Stenberg, and together they make an all-star group of beautiful and aware young women. Smith shared with Wonderland Magazine , “People think ‘feminist’ means ‘man hater’. When I first got introduced to feminism, I was introduced to the idea of equality of the sexes.”
6. Jazz Jennings
The star of TLC's reality show, I Am Jazz, is a girl who wholly understands the plight of not only being a woman, but a transgender woman at that. 14-year-old Jazz Jennings has lent her voice to various causes to promote acceptance of trans youth. Along with her parents, she founded the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, and she has published a children's book, I Am Jazz.
7. Zendaya Coleman
When a sexist Internet troll offered his unwarranted two cents on a woman's make-up free face,18-year-old Zendaya Coleman had something to say about it. She quickly stood up for the woman, saying she was beautiful in both photos and received tons of support from her fans. She also encourages her fans to be proud of their height and preaches for confidence in all parts of your life.
8. Chloe Moretz
It's a right. Feminism, to me, is standing up for everything that someone else has already done for you. My mom has overcome so much in her life. She makes me want to stand up for myself. Stand up to the studio heads who try to tell me that I can't have blonde hair; they want brown hair. Or I need bigger boobs, or I need to work out. Or I'm too skinny, so, like, "Eat a cheeseburger." I stand up for myself every day of my life. I grew up in a family of four boys. I'm, like, a born feminist. I've been a feminist since I was four years old.
With inspiring young women like these leading the next generation, hope should never be lost.