Looking back, 2014 was both a great and terrible year for the F-word. In case there's any confusion, I'm talking about feminism. Low-points included Time including "feminist" on their list of words to ban (they later apologized, but still!) and that whole #WomenAgainstFeminism movement. But luckily, it was also an amazing year in terms of celebrities speaking out and proudly proclaiming their feminist identities. A major moment for this was Emma Watson's U.N. speech, which introduced the #HeForShe campaign. Because of that, several celebrities used that platform to promote their support of gender equality. It was pretty awesome!
Another major feminist moment? When Taylor Swift admitted she previously misunderstood the word. Despite her initial apprehension, Swift is now a proud feminist and perfectly explained why:
As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all.
From Taylor Swift to Tom Hiddleston, here's a round up of self-proclaimed feminists, who embraced the F-word in 2014.
As stated above, T. Swift's feminist awakening was definitely a high point. She also credited her pal Lena Dunham with helping open her eyes to what the word actually means.
Hiddleston proudly rocked a "This is what a feminist looks like" t-shirt. He also showed his support for Watson's #HeForShe campaign. Just in case you thought he couldn't get more perfect, Loki believes in equal rights. So basically all is right in the world!
One of the biggest (and best) feminist statements of the year? Queen Bey's VMA performance, where she fully embraced the label with a giant, glowing "feminist" sign. Talk about ***Flawless!
Just like his buddy Tom Hiddleston, Cumberbatch supported the feminist label. For everyone who (mistakenly) believes that men can't be feminists, look no further than these great gentlemen.
Not only does she post hilarious tweets, but Teigen made an important statement about feminism this year. In an interview, the Sports Illustrated model summed up the phrase perfectly, saying:
People have sorely messed up the definition of feminism. It isn’t saying this is wrong and this is right. It’s having the power to do whatever the f–k you want. It’s about having your own beliefs and staying true to them.
One of my favorite celebrity feminist moments of the year came from Aziz Ansari. On Letterman's show, the comedian explained why he embraces the label — and why everyone else should too. Watch the video below to see his reasoning:
So great! I'm still not over his amazing Jay Z and Beyoncé analogy.
Watson spurred an incredibly important dialogue about men's role in the fight for equality. I could quote parts of it, or you could just see for yourself since the whole thing is really great. Even if you've watched it before, it's worth replaying.
If more people bravely speak out as Watson did, the world would be a much better place.
In 2014, JGL embraced the feminist label and talked about why he believes it's important. He even recorded a video asking his fans to talk about what the word means to them.
Here's how he defined the phrase: "To me, it just means that your gender doesn't have to define who you are. You can be whatever you want to be, whoever you want to be, regardless of your gender." Yes, yes, yes!
During an interview with Glamour, Witherspoon admitted she's a feminist. Among her reasons for why it's important, she grew up with strong feminist role models and believes the fight for equality isn't done just yet.
On more than one occasion, Harry Styles showed his support for the #HeForShe campaign. First he shared a tweet with his 22.8 million followers. Then at the British Fashion Awards, Styles mentioned the campaign again when presenting Emma Watson with an award. With such a huge and impressionable audience, it's great he's spreading such a positive message.
Visit our Year In Review Explore page for more stories about the best and worst moments in 2014, and enjoy the best sounds of the year with this Spotify playlist.
Images: Getty Images