25 Girls Who Prove That We Can Change The World Before We're 25

25 Girls Who Prove That We Can Change The World Before We're 25

Whatever your thing is, there's a role model in here somewhere.

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Young girls get a bad rap. We have an internalized imaged seared into our minds. We, consciously or subconsciously, are made to think of the annoying, dramatic, ungrateful, risk-taking, boy-mad monsters that shouldn't be taken too seriously. In fact, that is what most of history has done: not taken us "too seriously" by erasing the narrative of half the population.

As a teenage girl myself, I don't get it; I've seen women my age accomplish incredible feats with the grace and truth they're destined to bestow. Mine is a glorious perspective of my identity group by which I'd love you to be empowered. Let's sprinkle some feminist positivity around like confetti.

The following is a list of young women who altered their lives and the lives of little girls after them. These ladies engage in everything from unapologetic activism to summiting unforeseen artistic peaks to intellectual achievements that boggle to the adult mind and more. Whatever your thing is, there's a role model in here somewhere.

1. Mary Shelly

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When most people turn twenty-one, they get trashed. When Mary Shelly turned twenty-one, she published her most famous novel: "Frankenstein" and invented the genre of science-fiction.

2.  Claudette Colvin

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Heard of Rosa Parks? Well, this fifteen-year-old firecracker actually pulled that move first. She pioneered the road of pacifism in not yielding her seat to a white man and was arrested in Alabama as a young leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

3. Malala Yousafzai

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Where do I start with this angel? Malala was only eleven when she started writing articles for the BBC, describing her life under Taliban rule. When she was fifteen, Malala advocated for Pakistani girls' education and, in turn, a terrorist group shot her in the head. She survived. By the time she was young and sweet (only seventeen), she received the Nobel Peace Prize.

4. Joan of Arc

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Joan rose from poverty at the age of fifteen to head her beloved French army during the battle at Joan Orléans. The French won. Experts argue that this decisive victory made England decide not to conquer France during the Hundred Years War. A national heroine with God's backing? Yes, please.

5. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, A.K.A. Lorde

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This kiwi was sixteen when she broke into the music business and a short year later, she won a Grammy!

6. Mary Joachim

Arguably the first evangelist and one of the most popular saints, the Virgin Mary birthed Jesus of Nazareth (and did a whole bunch of existence-altering activities that I recommend you read for yourself in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) when she was probably twelve.

7. Bindi Irwin

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Now twenty years old, Bindi has always cared about carrying on her father's legacy of conservation and the respectful awe of nature. She started early with this mission by presenting a 26-part wildlife documentary at nine years old.

8. Jazz Jennings

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Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl, is famous for being one of the youngest publicly documented people to proudly identify as transgender in America. She was born in 2000!

9. Mo'Ne Davis

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Being thirteen is challenging, but Mo'Ne did it better than all of us when she challenged gender stereotypes in athletics. She was the first girl to earn a pitch a flawless shutout and win the game in all of Little League World Series history.

10. Trisha Prabhu

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This lovely human is a teenage advocate for anti-bullying and the brilliant inventor of the patented ReThink™ Technology, which aids servers in detecting and ending online hate.

11. Emma Gonzalez

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Don't call B.S. on this girl's power. As a high school senior she survived the Parkland shooting and, as a brave response, co-founded the gun-control advocacy group Never Again.

12. Cleopatra VII

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Bow down, literally. Subsequent to coming to the throne at eighteen, Cleopatra ruled over Egypt for nearly three decades.

13. Kylie Jenner

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What can I say? Jenner is expected to become the youngest billionaire with her massively successful business. I didn't say it, Forbes did.

14. Eva Peron, A.K.A. Evita

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While this Argentine woman was under twenty-five and married to her nation's president, Juan Perón, she became a vital symbol for the lower economic classes through unofficial political finessing.

15. Helena Rubinstein

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An immigrant and cosmetics entrepreneur, Rubenstein was the founder of Helena Rubinstein Incorporated, which made her one of the world's richest women at a young age. Lipstick holds influence.

16. Rosalind Franklin

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While all women on this list are under appreciated, Rosalind might take the cake for being stripped of recognition. Undercut by her male peers, she was at university when she discovered the double helix molecular structure of DNA, changing science forever but getting zero credit until she died.

17. Mirabai

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A Hindu saint and devotee of Sri Krishna who defied social norms for her faith, need I say more?

18. Rowan Blanchard

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Known just as much for her activism as her acting, Rowan Blanchard takes ownership of her voice for the next generation.

19. Alexandra Scott

Despite only living four years, Alexandra Scott left the world brighter than she found it. Before she began kindergarten, she ran an inspirational lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer research. Touched by her testimony and drive, people around the world set up their own lemonade stands to raise money for her cause. By the time of her passing, she had raised a million dollars.

20. Ruby Bridges

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A symbol of peaceful progress, Rubi Bridges was the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school.

21. Capri Everitt

In the least selfish move of anyone's adolescences, Capri Everitt was eleven when she started raising unreal amounts of money for orphans. Using her voice to make a positive impact, she traveled to dozens of countries and sweetly sang the nation's anthem in the national language. Funny what happens when you don't silence historically oppressed groups, huh?

22. Simone Biles

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Prepare to feel unathletic. Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, with nineteen shiny Olympic and World Championship medals before she was legally allowed to drink.

23. Rupi Kaur

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Rupi Kaur was in college, unsure of her path (#relatable) when she decided to self-publish a poetry book that was so popular that you've probably seen someone with it in a coffee shop.

24. Anne Frank

With more bravery and composure than most grown people possess, this German-born Jewish girl recorded her emotions in a diary while hiding from the Nazi party. While everyone who reads her work agrees that she deserved the world, her story doesn't have a happy ending. Frank was found and taken to a concentration camp, where she died before she turned sixteen, leaving her words as her legacy.

25. Mari Andrew

Mari Andrew represents the best of millennials. She is a young writer and illustrator in New York City with a book out. If you haven't checked out her Instagram, I recommend seeing her work. Her pieces will detangle all your frantic, knotty, intrusive thoughts.

Women are really out here trying to do the right thing.

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The Evolution Of The Harlequin Archetype To DC's 'Harley Quinn'

What does the progression of the Harlequin from male to scantily clad female say about how we perceive strong, complicated female characters?

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The Harlequin predates Harley Quinn by about 500 years. Until her debut in DC Comics, the harlequin was generally considered to be male.

The Harlequin (entered into the OED in 1898) is described by the Oxford English Dictionary as: "A character in Italian comedy, subsequently in French light comedy; in English pantomime a mute character supposed to be invisible to the clown and pantaloon; he has many attributes of the clown (his rival in the affections of Columbine) with the addition of mischievous intrigue; he usually wears particolored bespangled tights and a visor, and carries a light 'bat' of lath as a magic wand." An example of using this in a sentence in 1585 could be: "Who will be playing the harlequin this afternoon?"

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The term has also been known to mean: "transitive. To color, decorate with contrasting colors." Or "a. transitive. To conjure away, like a harlequin in a pantomime. rare." You would hear something akin to: "I've done the harlequin to the whole set design."

Today the word "Harlequin" is ripped apart into the name "Harley Quinn." The "Harley" of the word brings forth images of rough and tough motorcyclists, while the full phrase conjures up the 1992 DC comic book villain-turned-hero Harley Quinn. It is important to note that her character was created to compliment the Joker, rather than being created as stand-alone villains. While Harley is introduced as the manic lover of the Joker, she is also shown to be verbally and physically abused. What is most fascinating, is the more the joker hurts and rejects her, the more fervently she tries to appease him. Even in 1992, this abuse was masked in light comedy, similar to that of the actual Harlequin.

The name has piqued in popularity ever since the 2016 debut of Margot Robbie's portrayal of the character in "Suicide Squad," where she steals the show with her zest and zeal. Originally Harleen Quinzel, the 20 somthin' psychology graduate student becomes infatuated with the subject of her study: The Joker.

James & Jenna's Waltz - Dancing with the Stars. Notice any Sadomasochistic themes in this dance? YouTube

Things move quickly after Harley agrees to help The Joker escape Arkham Asylum. Harley sacrifices her career, sanity, and identity for the Joker. The Joker even bleaches her skin and threatens to kill her if she leaves, and even if she stays long enough to bother him (it is debated whether or not she made these choices herself in a rational state of mind, or if they were coerced/made for her).

This pseudo-romance is actually a common phenomenon known as Hybristophilia or Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome. Once under the influence of the supervillain, Harleen undergoes a physical and psychological transformation in which she becomes her alter ego "Harley Quinn." Her persona envelops the origins of her namesake perfectly. Dressed in jester regalia, Harley exhibits the reckless, manic, and endearing qualities she was coined for.

The "Harlequin" is a theatrical/dramatic stock character thought up in the later 1500s (1585 to be exact) by the traveling Masque troupes of the Italian countryside. These masques are more commonly known as the Commedia dell'arte. Commedia is a type of physical comedy theater in which archetypal characters are manipulated. The comedy of the masks requires a certain level of fever. Names such as "Harlequin" or Pantalone come from the over the top nature of the caricatures. This type of theater is thriving 450 years later in this very community. Western Washington University offers intensives for Commedia each Summer at the Maritime Heritage Park. To understand and embody each stock character including the Harlequin is considered the foundational acting theory.

What I find so interesting about the "Harlequin" is its transition from male to female. The original "Harlequin" was often played by a young male actor. Although the Masque troupes of renaissance Italian Theater allowed for female players, they were considered salacious and were usually offered roles of the lover, rather than the comic.

The Harlequin is a zany, mischievous, almost fae-like character. It is important to note that although he possessed swagger and charm, the harlequin is also of the servant class of caricatures. Each caricature in Commedia is designed to satire either the aristocracy, the lovers, or the servant class. This is made evident by the standard costume of the "Harlequin": brightly colored, checkered jesters tatters (see below).

Since the 1580s, the Harlequin of the mainstream has undergone a drastic change. Now, when we hear "Harlequin" we immediately separate those words into the image of Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn is notable for a few reasons other than her playful nature and jester's uniform. She is also an overtly sexualized character. Her first appearance in 1992 was that of a body-hugging jumpsuit, on her hands and knees begging the joker to love her. The Joker proceeds to throw her violently from a window, and she crawls back to him begging for more.

SEE ALSO: The Over-Sexualization Of Harley Quinn

Thus, the word "Harlequin" has become synonymous with female sexual deviance, and submission. After all, her character does sacrifice her livelihood for the sake of a man, who in turn emotionally and physically abuses her. I'd go as far to say it has evolved to be evocative of BDSM. Collars and chains reading "Daddy's Little Monster" or "puddin'" are currently selling in Hot Topic, and Harley's signature black and red-hot pants have been flying off the shelves since the 2016 premiere of Suicide Squad. Even her tight bodysuit has morphed into a fishnetted belly shirt ensemble.

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Still, the symbols of her past décor her costume: Spades, contrasting color schemes, and playful, whimsical design. Halloween 2016 saw the most popular female costume to be the new Harley Quinn design (admittedly, I too dressed up as her that year…despite her patriarchal overtones, efforts have been made to solidify her as own character is not only sexy but flawed, badass, honest, and eccentric.).

Problematic from its conception, the Harley Quinn/Harlequin is becoming more aware of her subservient roots. In efforts to combat the volatile semantic change of the "Harlequin" and the implications of psycho-sexual female servitude during our changing socio-political climate, the character of Harley has been written out of her abusive relationship with the joker in 2017. DC writers attempt to give her the independence, freedom, and agency her name suggests. However, one has to wonder if it's too late to change the imprint the new "Harlequin" has left on pop culture.

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I Absolutely LOVE The Abortion Bill Oklahoma Has Passed

"Men controlling women"? Get over yourself.

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"A pregnant woman seeking to abort her pregnancy shall be required to provide, in writing, the identity of the father of the fetus to the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion." The bill does include exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and when the mother's life is in danger or cases where the father of the fetus has died (and of course, there has to be proof of his death).

A woman HAS TO PROVIDE CONSENT OF THE FATHER in order to abort her pregnancy and I absolutely love this. People in my hometown and state-wide are obviously upset about this because a decent number of them are "pro-choice." They're claiming that this is just another way for "men to control women" and God forbid that gets in the way of their feminist, pro-choice agenda (and I'll address this unfathomable bullshit in a minute).

If you didn't notice already, I'm pro-life. I 100% agree with the bill, even the exceptions. I may be a pro-life Republican, but I'm also a decent human being. I'm sure pro-choice Democrats are either laughing or disgusted thus far, but let me tell you something.

There are other answers compared to killing something that you, or any other woman helped to create. One specifically is adoption. Before you make the cliche argument "Why would I place a child in such a terrible system when I could spare them the agony of a potentially terrible life?" (OR ANYTHING ALONG THOSE LINES), let me shed light on this.

Think of all the couples that desperately want children but have zero ability to have their own. Think about the families that would do anything to raise a child. While you, or any woman, is/are pregnant, there are plenty of adoption agencies that you can visit. You can look through hundreds-of-thousands of files, searching for an amazing family that you like. From there, you can sit through interviews and meet these families that are so. eager. to have a baby. If anything, think of how saddened and desperate Chandler and Monica were when they found out they couldn't have a baby. Instead of ripping away and literally killing a couple's chance of having a baby, give them yours.

A 9-10 month commitment isn't that big of a deal when you think in terms of granting happiness to someone for a LIFETIME. And considering that it's a felony homicide in Oklahoma now.

When you get an abortion, outside of the exceptions listed above, you're selfish. You're only thinking about yourself and the fact that you don't want to be a mom (and perhaps not financially stable--but we shall revisit the adoption topic). Well guess what? Someone is. Give them that chance. And if you're thinking I'm a hypocrite and wouldn't follow through with adopting a baby like I'm preaching right now, you're wrong. I would 100% adopt.

As for "men controlling women," get over yourself. Feminists rant about gender equality all the time and guess what? Think of how many women kept their babies even though their boyfriends, baby daddies, and maybe even fiances and husbands didn't want one. This is the same thing, but a gender reverse. I can think of many guys that wanted to be dads, but their girlfriends decided otherwise with no remorse for their feelings. If the father wants to keep the baby and be a dad, he deserves to fight for it.

It takes two to make a baby. The fathers of these unborn rays of sunshine deserve rights and, in Oklahoma, they just got it. You ladies want gender equality? You just got it. Quit the double standards. Quit your bitching.

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