What is a millennial? The term seems to be thrown around so much these days but not many may truly know who millennials are when you've also got the baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Z (why are there so many terms??!!). Millennials (or Gen Ys) are typically those who reach adulthood in the 21st century. Being a millennial myself, I have noticed there are many negative connotations associated with my generation. Some words that I've personally heard to describe millennials are "entitled", "lazy" and "soft". I have to disagree though. I personally believe that my generation will be able to make the most change in society because we have strong opinions and are not afraid to voice them out. As a feminist, I also think that feminism has many negative stereotypes that should be abolished and I'm glad to have these millennials who are advocating feminism to the large audience that they have. I truly believe millennials will be the voice of our society and hope that we'll be seen as strong, grounded and independent.
At age 20, Zendaya has already made many bold actions to shut down racist and body-shaming comments directed at her. Besides shutting down Fashion Police host, Giuliana Rancic, for her racist comments about her dreadlocks smelling like weed, Zendaya has also called out a magazine for photoshopping her body without her permission. Not afraid to label herself a feminist, Zendaya has also shared a simple definition of feminism. “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."
Not putting her fame from the Harry Potter series to waste, Emma Watson has become the new voice of millennials by being an advocate of feminism. In her role as the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, she’s proven herself as a feminist icon to the younger generation by launching the UN Women campaign, HeForShe, which gets men involved in advocating gender equality. Making it her life goal to educate and rid the stereotypes of feminism, Watson says, “Gender equality not only liberates women but also men from prescribed gender stereotypes.”
At a young age of 17, Malala was the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate. With a headstrong determination to stand up for education rights for young girls, Malala is truly an inspiration to millennials. Despite being shot by the Taliban for her defiance in wanting to provide educations for girls, Malala has since recovered and is still on her unwavering journey as an activist. From a small village in Pakistan, Malala has shown courage by also taking on the president of the United States, Donald Trump, on his harsh words about Muslims.
Known best for her appearance as Rue on the critically acclaimed Hunger Games movies, Amandla Stenberg, 18, has used her fame to be the voice of feminism. She is a strong advocate for Black Lives Matter, STEM education for girls and cultural appropriation. Being very outspoken on her political views, Amandla was named “Feminist Of The Year” in 2015 by the Ms. Foundation for Women. With a firm determination to get her social views across, Amandla has also spoken on gender equality at the UN Women conference.
Even though some may always remember Miley from her Bangerz days, this incredible singer songwriter is definitely more than that. Miley has said that she is probably “one of the biggest feminist in the world” and she definitely lives up to her statement by advocating gender equality through her social media as well as peaceful movements like the 2017 Woman’s March. Apart from championing feminism, she is also considered one of the most charitable celebrities as she donates to multiple organisations ranging from animal rescue to helping homeless youth.
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