The Young, The Famous, And The Feminist

The Young, The Famous, And The Feminist

How Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, and Rowan Blanchard use their influence for good.
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Feminism has a long history of being scorned and shunned by female celebrities in Hollywood. In recent years, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Madonna, and many more famous women have adamantly declared that they are not feminists. Despite these women owing their careers and many of the rights they enjoy to the victories of the feminist movement, they run away from the word "feminism" as though it is a ticking time bomb that will destroy their careers.

When young girls who idolize these famous women see them dismissing the movement and qualifying feminists as angry and man-hating, it causes these young girls to associate feminism with negative qualities and leads them to dismiss the movement for themselves.

A feminist is anything but angry and man-hating. As defined by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a feminist is "a person who believes in the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes." It's as simple as that; feminism is about equality, and there are three young women in Hollywood who have embraced this definition and are working to spread the message: Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, and Rowan Blanchard.

Zendaya, a 19-year-old actress and singer best known for her leading role in Disney's "Shake It Up," has had a lot of wonderful moments this year - from shutting down "Fashion Police" host Giuliana Rancic for her racist comments about Zendaya's dreadlocks smelling like weed, to the release of her look-alike Barbie doll (dreadlocks and all), to her calling out a magazine for photoshopping her hips and torso without her permission.

Zendaya also had a wonderful definition for feminism in the December issue of "Flare" magazine, for which she was the cover story.

"A feminist is a person who believes in the power of women just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else. It’s equality, it’s fairness, and I think it’s a great thing to be a part of," said Zendaya.

Like Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg had many noteworthy accomplishments this year. Stenberg is a 17-year-old actress best known for her role as Rue in "The Hunger Games" and for her activism on behalf of women of color. Stenberg has been a powerful voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and an advocate for young girls in STEM fields. Her video "Don't Cash Crop My Cornrows" on Tumblr educated the public about cultural appropriation and black culture. Stenberg published essays about intersectional feminism online and launched a comic book series with a young mixed-race female heroine.

"Let's continue demanding space for women who are not thin, white, straight, able-bodied, neurotypical, and cisgender," Stenberg tweeted after she won Ms. Foundation for Women's Feminist Celebrity of the Year.

Rowan Blanchard, the 14-year-old actress best known for "Disney's Girl Meets World," won the Feminist Celebrity of the Year award alongside Stenberg. Like Stenberg, Blanchard has used social media to publish an essay about intersectional feminism. At only 13 years old, Blanchard spoke at the United Nation's annual conference for gender inequality.

"'White feminism' forgets all about intersectional feminism," Blanchard wrote on Tumblr. "The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans women and Hispanic women."

These celebrities, all under 20 years old, give hope for the next generation of young girls. It is comforting to know, amid all the negative and hypersexualized images that target young girls today, that they at least have these three intelligent and well-spoken young women to look up to. Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, and Rowan Blanchard are all using their platforms and celebrity statuses for good: to advance the feminist movement and to fight for gender equality.

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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The State Of Our Country Motivated Me To Major In Political Science

I'm very happy I claimed the major I do now.

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I didn't always know what I wanted to do. I was raised on the idea that I could only be three things. I could be a doctor, lawyer or a teacher.

Over time, I tried to fit into those roles. I shaped my interests into those jobs. Although I had already decided, there was always a voice that questioned that choice.

I was very quiet because I knew how my parents would feel if I decided I wanted to be something that may not have fit into the small criteria I was given.

First, I'd like to explain why my parents held such a concept in high regards. My parents are immigrants who had to work incredibly hard to get me through school. They always had to pull through so they could get me what I needed. They had no problem working this hard if it meant that I could secure my future by going into a career that would bring in a good income. These were the jobs they associated with this.

However, the last two years of high school, I found myself attracted to our political world. I love history, I love the law, but most importantly, I love helping people.

I saw the state our country and thought that I'd like to change it. I think politics has become too much about money and too little about helping the people.

Studying political science is the most fulfilling thing I've done thus far. I feel like I will be able to do something for others.

My goal is to create change, even on a small scale. I want to give back to the people. I want to help them improve their lives. I want to show people that there are people who are on their side.

I want to give back to my parents, the people who have supported and fought for me.

There are the reasons why I chose what I did but more importantly, I do this for my parents but I also do it for this country.

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