Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Chicago chapter.

Celebrities by their very nature remain in the public eye. However, some celebrities use that public soapbox to bring awareness and action to important issues, such as the magical concept known as feminism.

Here are quotes from 18 celebrities who have used their celeb status to bring knowledge and awareness of feminism and gender equality.

1. Emma Watson

Gif courtesy of GfyCat

“[Feminism is] not about us convincing you that gender equality is worth engaging in only because there might be something in it for you, or in it for your sister or your mother,” Watson told Esquire U.K. in 2016. “The question is, what’s in it for humans? Happier, healthier, more successful children? Being able to take proper paternity leave and see your baby? Being able to talk to someone if you’re feeling shit? Actually getting to be yourself? Getting asked out by a woman? Better sex? A marriage that is a true partnership? More diverse and interesting perspectives in art, culture, business, and politics? Getting to crowdsource all the innovation and genius in the world, not just half of it? A highly increased number of safe, confident and fulfilled people on the planet, particularly women? World peace? Seriously! World peace!”

2. Angelina Jolie

Gif courtesy of Giphy

“When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers, I kind of wanted to be a vampire,” Jolie told Telegraph in 2011. In an address to ODN, the global activist said: “It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict… there is nothing inevitable about it. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians. It has nothing to do with sex — everything to do with power. It is done to torture and humiliate innocent people and often very young children.”

3. Ashton Kutcher

Gif courtesy of Tumblr

“I think there’s so much that’s not said about sex in our country, even from an educational level. The one thing they teach about is how to get pregnant or how to not get pregnant, but they don’t really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women. That creates a place where women aren’t empowered around their own sexuality and their own sexual selves.”

4. Camila Mendes

Gif courtesy of Tenor

“My friend and I were in eighth grade or ninth grade. These two girls who were a few years above us put out this video on Facebook, and they were just like, ‘Who are freshman sluts? Cami and Kylie.’ They just kind of made this video talking about how much we were sluts,” she told Teen Vogue. “Either way, at the end of the day, my sexuality, my friend’s sexuality, was none of their business, and not theirs to judge.”

5. Ryan Gosling

Gif courtesy of Giphy

“It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self.”

6. Mindy Kaling

Gif courtesy of Gfycat

“Here’s my feeling: For everyone, men and women, it’s important to be a feminist. It’s important to have female characters. It’s wonderful for women to mentor other women, but it’s just as important for women to mentor men and vice-versa. In my line of work, having Greg Daniels be such a great mentor to me is fantastic. Finding a writer’s assistant, be it a man or a woman, and encouraging them to think with a feminist perspective is key.”

7. Prince Harry

Gif courtesy of Giphy

“We all know that when women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them. This is not just about women. We men need to recognize the part we play, too. Real men treat women with dignity and the respect they deserve.”

8. Zooey Deschanel

Gif courtesy of WordPress

“I’m just being myself. There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap that they say. We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f-cking feminist and wear a f-cking Peter Pan collar. So f-cking what?”

9. Justin Baldoni

Gif courtesy of Gifer

“Time’s Up and MeToo and all these things are amazing, but they’re not new. The problem is they’re not new to men,” Baldoni told Popsugar. “I think the best thing a man can do, honestly, right now, is to pick up the phone and call five of the closest women in his life and ask them an honest question and say: ‘Hey, have I ever done anything that makes you feel this way?’ Or, ‘Have I said things that have been inappropriate?’ If we’re not aware of what we’re doing — or of our unconscious bias — if we’re not aware of these things, we can’t fix them.”

10. Lena Dunham

Gif courtesy of Giphy

“Feminists believe that men and women should have the same opportunities. If you are a feminist you believe in equal rights as a whole. That’s not a concept you can really shoot down,” Dunham said. “Feminism doesn’t mean women are going to rise, take over the planet and cut off men’s testicles.”

11. John Legend

Gif courtesy of Giphy

“All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights, the world will be a better place.”

12. Emilia Clarke

Gif courtesy of Tenor

“In terms of feminist issues, my mum never told me, like, ‘It’s gonna be tough. You’ve got boobs.’ But I saw that there was no difference between my mum and my dad in terms of what they were capable of because of their genders.”

13. Mark Ruffalo

Gif courtesy of Gifer

“My own mother fought to make herself more than a possession; she lived her life as a mother who chose when she would have children and a wife who could earn a living if she so chose. I want my daughters to enjoy that same choice. I don’t want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy in a cheap hotel room just across the state line. Where a transaction of $600 cash becomes the worth of a young woman’s life.”

14. Natalie Portman

Gif Courtesy of Giphy

“There’s a difference between being in a bra and underpants as an object on a men’s magazine cover and playing yourself—a woman with desires and needs who loves and laughs with her friends—in a bra and underpants. You become an object if you simply put it out there. Most movies are made by men, it’s totally natural that they’re going to present their worldview, so we’re trying to find more women who are writers and directors who are expressing their worldview. Did you see Tiny Furniture? Lena Dunham wrote, directed, and starred in it; she’s 23, and it is just amazing. She walks around in her underwear for the whole movie; it’s harsh. She’s the subject, she’s not the object, and it’s beautiful—that’s the kind of thing we need more of.”

15. Jon Hamm

Gif courtesy Giphy

“Men ruled the roost and women played a subservient role [in the 1960s]. Working wives were a rarity because their place was in the home, bringing up the kids. The women who did work were treated as second-class citizens because it was a male-dominated society. That was a fact of life then. But it wouldn’t be tolerated today, and that’s quite right in my book… people look back on those days through a thick veil of nostalgia, but life was hard if you were anything other than a rich, powerful, white male.”

16. Meryl Streep

Gif courtesy Giphy

“For young women, I would say don’t worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that and there are better things. For young men, and women too, what makes you different or weird, that’s your strength. Everyone tries to look a cookie-cutter kind of way, and actually, the people who look different are the ones who get picked up. I used to hate my nose. Now I don’t.”

17. Chrissy Teigen

Gif Courtesy of Giphy

“People have sorely messed up the definition of feminism. It isn’t saying this is wrong and this is right. It’s having the power to do whatever the f–k you want. It’s about having your own beliefs and staying true to them.”

18. Meghan Markle

Gif courtesy Giphy

“Women don’t need to find their voice, they need to be empowered to use it and people need to be urged to listen.”

Alexandra Yetter

Columbia Chicago

Alexandra is currently a student at Columbia College Chicago where she is underway to earn a major in journalism with a concentration in news and features, as well as studying French language and culture. There is nothing she loves more than wandering around cities, curling up with a good book, and writing for hours.
Briana Kennedy

Columbia Chicago '19

I am a Columbia College Chicago student majoring in Advertising and double minoring in Marketing and Social Media & Digital Strategy. I am currently a strategy intern for Fusion92. In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, watching Netflix, exploring Chicago, and finding the cutest coffee shops.