Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard honored with deserving title
Make way for the next generation of feminism! Teen actresses Rowan Blanchard and Amandla Stenberg have tied for top honors in an online survey conducted by the Ms. Foundation for Women.
Their title? Feminist Celebrity of the Year.
"We celebrate all feminists every day, but today we're acknowledging celebrities who help promote equality for all genders," said Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa C. Younger.
Since rising to fame as the title character on the spin-off series Girl Meets World, Blanchard has proven to be a powerful voice for gender equality — at the tender age of 14. If you haven't read her incredibly insightful essay on intersectional feminism, well, you should. If you have, you should read it again. We all should.
Blanchard frequently discusses feminism, gender equality, intersectionality and other pressing social matters on social media, routinely taking the time to exchange thoughts with and educate young fans.
At the UN Women conference, Blanchard addressed the more than 100 attendees and thousands more watching via live-stream about sexism, inquiring, "In a country that has achieved marriage equality, shouldn't gender equality be next?"
Like Blanchard, 17-year-old Stenberg has become one of Young Hollywood's most outspoken advocates for social change. Although her "Don't Cash Crop on My Cornrows" video going viral helped to bring her into the mainstream consciousness, Stenberg has long been using her celebrity to bring attention to gender equality, feminism, intersectionality, diversity and cultural appropriation.
Just last month, bothered by the lack of diversity in the superhero realm, she released her very own comic about a mixed-race woman.
According to Ms. Foundation's Younger, Blanchard and Stenberg are natural choices for Feminist Celebrity of the Year.
"The survey acknowledges celebrities who not only publicly identify as feminists, but work to change [the] conversation around diversity, inclusiveness and intersectionality," said Younger, adding the results reflect male and female celebrities "working every day to change the conversation and build a more equal society for all genders."
Emma Watson — who praised Blanchard's essay on intersectionality in August — topped the list last year in the first Feminist Celebrity of the Year survey.
This year's survey, which was promoted in partnership with Cosmopolitan.com, revealed a wide scope of feminist voices received votes. Rounding out the top 10, in addition to Blanchard and Stenberg, were Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Laverne Cox, Shonda Rhimes, Matt McGorry, Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, Margaret Cho and Ellen DeGeneres.
Taking place as part of Ms. Foundation's #MyFeminismIs multimedia campaign, the surveys aims to broaden the narrative on what it means to be a feminist.
Said Younger, "We hope, that through our annual Feminist Celebrity of the Year survey, we are highlighting celebrities who believe in Feminism and expanding the conversation to even more people."