Feminist Celebrities

Mental illness. Economic inequality. Homosexuality. Because of their status, celebrities often have the opportunity to sway the opinions of the general public towards their beliefs, and in recent times, many have begun to show their support for a historically marginalized group: feminists.

Although many female celebrities have been advocates for women’s rights throughout history, most have done little, their actions barely making an impact on the feminist movement. However, some have made a Two prominent females in recent history who have succeeded in spreading feminism include Emma Watson and Beyonce Knowles. Each celebrity has made their mark through the usage of unique platforms — Watson through her campaign and Knowles though her music and lyrics.

Emma Watson, best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise, has continuously voiced her feministic ideals to the public. Through her creation of the feminist campaign HeForShe, she has spread her ideas even further than before. The campaign strives to unite men and women in an effort to achieve gender equality. For example, just over a year ago, HeForShe launched their IMPACT initiative, which targeted 10 companies, including Twitter, Barclays, and AccorHotels, and set out to make progress with gender parity issues in their workforce. A year later, all 10 have made prominent changes in their workforce, taking a large step in order to achieve gender equality.

Bold and daring, Beyonce has identified herself as a feminist through hit singles such as “Independent Woman” and “Run the World (Girls)”. She has used her profession and her fame as platforms to encourage her female followers to stand up for themselves and make their own decisions. Her lyrics stand out and provide her audience with ideal advice, encouraging them to be advocates for feminism. In her song “Independent Woman”, her lyrics address the issue of equal pay when she sings “All the mommas who profit dollars… All the ladies who truly feel me… Tell me how you feel about this.” Lyrics like these have made an impact, mainly on the female youth. By addressing and pursuing issues such as equal pay and leadership for women, she has helped boost the self esteem of many young girls.“Beyonce is a strong woman and extremely humble… She empowers women,” one fan has stated. Her words have given teenage girls the courage to stand up and break gender norms.

Through their fame, Knowles and Watson have managed to make the public more aware of feminism.

By Anagha, Grade 10