Blanchard and Shahidi take over ‘Teen Vogue’

Teen Vogue’s forthcoming issue is all about celebrating the females of the future.

According to Fashionista.com, the glossy’s December issue features young actresses Rowan Blanchard and Yara Shahidi as the issue’s cover girls as well as its guest editors. Its slogan: “Smart Girls Speak Up!”, an appropriate catchphrase for the pair of outspoken activists.

Both Blanchard (15) and Shahidi (16) have a history of offering their insight on a variety of social and cultural issues: Blanchard is known to shut down sexism thrown her way by reporters and online trolls alike, while Shahidi discussed the danger of stereotypes at the Points of Life Conference on Volunteering and Service this past June.

But in this issue, Fashionista.com says the duo works in tandem to empower women and girls of all ages, as they “support each other throughout the interview; they challenge each other to work harder, to voice what they believe in even louder.”

Excerpting a quote from Blanchard, Fashionista.com says the actress offered an “uplifting” account of feminism, its intersectionality and the role of privilege:

“Like [activist] DeRay McKesson says, “You’re not born woke”; it’s such a learning process. I started thinking about the feminism I was initially being sold, which was basically that boys and girls should be equal. But there are intersections, and a lot of reason why it is easier for me to achieve that equality than it is for some of my friends. You have to always question your politics: am I being as inclusive as I possibly can? Is this thing that I said, could it be xenophobic? My worst fear is someone writing, ‘Rowan Blanchard, queen of feminism!’ I’m like, ‘No.’ I am figuring this out just as much as you are. I am constantly trying to check my privilege.”

To catch this and more from Blanchard and Shahidi, be sure to pick up Teen Vogue‘s December issue, due out on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

 

Feminist Celebrities of the Year

2015 was certainly the year of powerful women. From Serena Williams’ Sportsperson of the Year title to Adele’s music industry takeover, 2015 was dominated by females asserting their place at the top.

On Dec. 16, two more females took their place in the spotlight as a pair of famous teens were named Feminist Celebrities of the Year. According to Cosmopolitanboth Amandla Stenberg and Rowan Blanchard were given the title after topping the results of an online survey conducted by Cosmopolitan and the Ms. Foundation for Women, which “works to bring attention to the real challenges facing women.”

According to President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women Teresa C. Younger, the survey “acknowledges celebrities who not only publicly identify as feminists, but work to change conversation around diversity, inclusiveness and intersectionality.” The survey also included male and female celebrities who are actively trying to bring about gender equality in our society. Younger told Cosmopolitan that the survey celebrates “celebrities who embrace feminism or speak out for equality.”

Both Stenberg and Blanchard certainly fit the survey’s qualifications. Seventeen-year-old Stenberg has used her platform to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in the STEM fields. Cosmopolitan says that the Hunger Games actress is also known for her “activism and outspokenness on gender equality, intersectional feminism, cultural appropriation, and diversity issues.” Noticing a lack of female comic book superheroes, Stenberg took matters into her own hands and created a comic about a mixed-race woman that she released this past November.

Blanchard has been equally as proactive in her activism. Cosmopolitan says that the Girl Meets World actress penned an essay on intersectional feminism in August that quickly achieved viral status. The 14-year-old also spoke at the UN Women conference, sharing her own experiences with sexism.

While Emma Watson topped the survey last year, this year’s top 10 feminist celebrities included the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Laverne Cox, Shonda Rhimes, Matt McGorry and Amy Schumer.

 

An Order of Feminism, Please!

When actresses are interviewed, they are often asked to share their beauty and dieting secrets. While this may have become the norm, being asked to share dieting advice certainly caught one actress off-guard — and rightfully so.

According to The Huffington Postthe star of Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World Rowan Blanchard recently told ELLE magazine of an experience in which she served up a side of feminism to a red carpet reporter who asked her if she had any dieting advice for other girls her age.

“Someone recently asked if I had any dieting tips for other teenage girls,” the 13-year-old actress said. “Try and reverse that. ‘Do you have any dieting tips for other teenage boys?'”

She continued, “”I mean, come on. I don’t diet! I’m thirteen! Nobody my age should be dieting or trying to change themselves because society says so. And seriously, I’m thirteen!”

As if her initial response weren’t enough, Blanchard went on to actually offer some advice to the reporter, though it probably wasn’t what they expected: “The only ‘dieting tip’ I have is, like, if you don’t order fries, you’ll probably be mad.”

An ambassador for the #TeamHeForShe feminism campaign, Blanchard says she will answer questions regarding her wardrobe on the red carpet, although she doesn’t want those questions to be the only questions, says The Huffington Post. “…Don’t make my story, and who I am, be my dress, while my male co-star’s story is how he picks scripts and gets inspired,” she said.

The Huffington Post reports that Blanchard has been an active voice for both feminism and gender equality in the past year. We all could certainly benefit from more strong voices like Blanchard’s.

Thank you, Rowan Blanchard, for passionately defending your believes and in the process, defending women and girls everywhere.