I want to preface this by saying, I never ever want to put celebrities on a pedestal for being “feminists”, especially because I believe everyone should be a feminist, especially those who have real platforms they can use to shape the world and the younger generations. I do, however, want to highlight my personal feminist role models, and these are 5 people that I see in the media and I love learning from, especially as I believe they hold values I identify and I aspire to have; which is intersectionality, acceptance, and giving a voice to people who may be silenced due to their race/nationality/gender/sexuality.
- Brie Larson
Not only is she an incredible actress, and a funny and seemingly, sweet woman; Brie Larson is an intersectional feminism in practically every sense of the word. Not only does she speak about the importance of feminism in her own life, she realises that every person’s own experience is different and valid and gives voice to people who don’t have as big a platform as her. She uses social media and, indeed, her whole life to fight for the rights of all people. She recognises when she’s wrong and apologises and tries to learn from it, unlike some other people who ignore it or apologise and then goes and makes the same mistake again. She is very caring and supportive of other women and is a very outspoken sexual assault survivor advocate. (Also award shows keep mistreating her and making her give awards to Casey Affleck, who has had sexual assault allegations against him – yet continues to win awards, which is a whole other issue.)
Brie Larson is simply put, one feminist that I look up to, and I think others should too.
- Rowan Blanchard
This girl, while being just genuinely cute and talented, stands out far beyond her age in terms of being accepting of all, standing up for environmental and social issues, and speaking about sexuality, as a whole, and her own sexuality, as she came out as queer in 2016. I am utterly transfixed by this girl who is younger than me but is so eloquent and wonderful in the power she puts behind her beliefs. She recognises her faults and tries her absolute hardest to empower others, and she is truly an intersectional feminist. She is the perfect example as to how young people can be fighting and taking charge in activism and being a force for change.
- Amandla Stenberg
Another talented and outspoken young person, far beyond their years in how they communicate and expresses their feminist views. Again, they are a ridiculously talented actress, but beyond that, they have always used any platform they had to speak out and educate others about issues they feel passionate about, for example, cultural appropriation. They are an activist in their feminist beliefs, political openness and their role in the LGBTQ+ community, as they came out as bisexual in 2016, and recently Amandla has opened up about being nonbinary, and feeling most comfortable with the pronouns “they/them”. I and many others are deeply inspired by their activism and how eloquently they deliver their beliefs. Also, can we just talk about the fact that they have their own comic about a badass female warrior?? Damn, Amandla.
- Ezra Miller
Another absolute ray of sunshine that has made this list, Ezra Miller is a feminist I look up to. With his outspoken beliefs on feminism and his want to “destroy the patriarchy”, while also being open about addressing the privilege he has in our current society, he is truly inspiring. Not only is he a supremely talented actor (who deserves so much credit for every performance he does), he also seems like a genuine and kind person. In 2012, he came out as queer and said he could fall in love with anyone, and that hasn’t stopped him from gaining massive success in Hollywood, and it hasn’t defined him in any roles he has gained. And while he doesn’t always get everything right, he does work towards educating himself and others about issues, such as cultural appropriation. He also isn’t shy about wearing what is societally seen as “female” clothes and addressing how he believes everything exists on a spectrum; basically, he’s just a great human being who people should look up to. Also in 2013, he went to the North Pole with Greenpeace to help oppose Arctic development in oil and the human contribution to climate change.
The last person on this list, quite frankly, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Zendaya is, to many people, a role model is so many ways. Not only is she beautiful, and talented, she is an outspoken activist, helping contribute to a world without sexism and racism. She uses her platform to speak about issues she finds important, whether it’s bullying, racism, sexism, politics and environmental issues or body positivity; she is empowering a generation of young people, particularly WOC, and it’s magnificent to bear witness to. Also, she is an actress, a singer, has her own app, and has a fashion line, Daya by Zendaya; she epitomises how girls can thrive in this world if they’re given the opportunity. Also, quite frankly, she is a style icon and she did THAT at this year’s Met Gala, as well as her having eyebrows that would make you weep.
I’m not saying these are the only celebrities who are feminists and use their platforms for good, *cough* Beyonce *cough* Rihanna *cough*, but these are just 5 that inspire me every day to do better, to be more educated and to seek out more intersectionality in my own life. As Miley Cyrus once said, “nobody’s perfect”, and that stands up for celebrities, but these 5 are people I believe should be celebrated and loved for everything they continue to do to better the world.