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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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He’s Not My President, And I’m Sorry That He’s Yours

I refuse to acknowledge him as "my" president, he doesn't deserve it.

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It's been about two years since Donald Trump has officially taken office and became your president. I say "your" because he is not my president and I refuse to acknowledge him as such. I refuse to associate this man with one of the most powerful titles because he does not uphold the standards of what it means to be president. Donald Trump is a failed businessman, WrestleMania participant, and T.V. personality, but he is no president.

In the past, we've elected leaders whose ideas and vision for this nation didn't align with mine, but Donald Trump is another kind of malevolence that I refuse to believe runs the United States of America. Go ahead, call me all the names in the book; snowflake, libtard, or whatever your petty, little heart desires—your president still incompetent and runs his platform based off of false hope, an abundance of lies, and a xenophobic agenda.

This man single-handedly fooled an entire group of people that the United States was going to build a wall at the southern-most border (as if there isn't already a wall there) to keep out "criminals" (undocumented immigrants fleeing their country in order to survive) and said Mexico was going to pay for it (which they never did and never will.) This entire plan was flawed from the beginning; it was founded upon hate and pure ignorance. I hate to break it to you, but this country was founded upon immigrants and that's never going to change.

Your president even had a temper tantrum and shut down the government for 35 days, he doesn't care about the citizens of this nation, and to be quite frank, he never did in the first place. He never will unless it benefits him in some way. We're talking about the same man who addresses woman like their objects, views minorities like criminals, opposition for the LGBTQ community, makes a mockery of disabled people, honestly, the list can go on and on. What makes you genuinely believe he cares about you?

President's Day was initially created to celebrate George Washington's Birthday but eventually was adapted to commemorate the presidency as a whole somewhere along the line. So this President's Day, as we reflect upon your President's legacy for what he's created thus far, I'm sorry. I'm not sorry he'll be remembered as one of the worst presidents to go down in history and I can't wait until this nightmare is over.

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