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5 Underrated Celebrity Feminists

Feminism is gaining traction in pop culture today, meaning that you are probably familiar with the instantly iconic statements made by Beyoncé, Shonda Rhimes, and Emma Watson. Still, there are so many feminist celebrities that you may not know about. Here are five women who talk about feminism from their unique perspectives.

1. Florence Welch

The lead singer of Florence and the Machine is more than just a talented artist. She often discusses the importance of feminism and how it is being redefined.

She’s said, “I definitely consider myself a feminist and it matters. The idea of what a feminist is is changing. I have so many strong women in my life. Throughout making this record I was really supported, consoled and held by the women in my life.”

Furthermore, Welch brings up the topic of mental health awareness through her most recent album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. She bravely discloses the long years that she fought with her depression and anxiety in her music, and she continues to be a massive inspiration to her devoted fans.

2. Grimes

Synthpop singer-songwriter Claire Boucher, also known as Grimes, supports feminism with her loud voice and eccentric personality.

Boucher is quirky on the surface, which can earn her the unwanted reputation of being cute or somewhat helpless. She is tired of being passive, as she is consistently undermined despite her awesome success. She has addressed the issues regarding female infantilization and their unwarranted discredit on her Twitter account.

While Boucher identifies as a feminist, she would rather be acknowledged for her work than for her political stance on women’s rights. On Twitter she wrote, “It’s a disservice to feminism to paint me as as so aggressively anti-male all the time.” She’s certainly made a name for herself and deserves to be recognized for it.

3. Amandla Stenberg

At the young age of 17, actress Amandla Stenberg is using her life experiences to stand for feminism, womanism, racial oppression, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

In 2015, Stenberg was named one of the feminists of the year, to which she responded, “Thank you for naming me feminist of the year. I’m lucky to have the visibility I have. My deepest hope is to be a megaphone for you” and, “Let’s continue demanding space for women who are not thin, white, straight, able-bodied, neurotypical and cisgender.”

Stenberg goes above and beyond in shattering ignorance and empowering marginalized communities by frequently confronting cultural appropriation and the significance of #blacklivesmatter for black women; she also demands justice for the Muslim community, and articulates the oppresiveness of patriarchy.

4. Janelle Monae

Singer Janelle Monae is a politically opinionated R&B artist who fights gender roles within the music industry and strengthens the black community. She is well-known for wearing a suit with a short hairdo, which generates assumptions concerning her sexual identity. Little do people know, this unique look is a sociopolitical statement in itself. 

“People don’t ask Jay-Z to take his shirt off when he rhymes. Showing my skin is not what makes me sexy. I like skirts and dresses just like everyone else, but I had a message I needed to put out there. It was up to me to show people and young girls that there was another way.”

She uses her image as a tool to break down the notions of gender binaries, patriarchal history, and black masculinity. Her music frequently illustrates problems facing the black community and combats social norms.

5. Constance Wu

Actress Constance Wu from Fresh Off the Boat draws attention to the underrepresentation of Asian-Americans in the Western television, comedy, and film industries.

At first, being a part of the first Asian-American show in 20 years was largely intimidating to her: “I was anxious and nervous and therefore quiet on set. That’s what I do when I get anxious, I just get quiet. This year, I feel a little more familiar. My voice doesn’t shake as much when I ask for something that matters to me. Whereas last year, I wasn’t always sure if I was allowed to. I thought, Who am I? Just some actress who’s never done anything before.”

Now, she tears down Asian stereotypes with her talent and humor and empowers women of color by thriving in American television.

Becky is currently a third year Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and Communication double major with a minor in UWP.
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