Jameela Jamil, Jordin Sparks and more celebrities are speaking out in support of Greta Thunberg, bolstering the 16-year-old climate change activist after she bravely responded to online bullying by climate change deniers. Thunberg, who just spent 15 days sailing across the Atlantic Ocean ahead of the 2019 Climate Change Summit in New York, has come under attack in recent weeks — with critics becoming increasingly personal and even targeting the teen’s Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis.
Thunberg took to Instagram on Saturday to share a photo of herself on her solar-powered yacht with the New York City skyline in the background. “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And — given the right circumstances — being different is a superpower,” she said, going on to explain while her diagnosis has limited her in the past, she now knows how to channel it for the greater good. “All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems meaningless to so many people.”
It didn’t take long for celebrities to start rallying around Thunberg, with The Good Place‘s Jameela Jamil, Princess Martha, singer Jordin Sparks, Orange Is the New Black actress Yael Stone and more encouraging the teen.
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When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower. I'm not public about my diagnosis to "hide" behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an "illness", or something negative. And believe me, my diagnosis has limited me before. Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder. All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems meaningless to so many people. #aspiepower #neurodiverse #npf
Jamil offered her support in Thunberg’s comment feed, saying, “They are trying to humiliate you because THEY are so embarrassed. Because YOU have shown the world how pathetic, greedy and useless they all are. They won’t succeed in humiliating you because you’re bigger than the. You’re bigger than all of us. And we are all behind you, pointing our fingers at them with you. Thank you for your tireless efforts. You’re going to win, and change the world.”
Princess Martha commented, “Amen to that. Don’t let anyone stop you on your quest. The world needs you!” Sparks and Stone both expressed their awe over the young girl’s courage, with Sparks calling her “incredible” and Stone hailing her as “a hero.” The Gifted’s Jamie Chung weighed in with a string of praise-hands emojis.
Thunberg — the face of the school strike movement and an outspoken advocate for climate change reform — has been the victim of unfair and malicious attacks by climate science deniers and far-right bullies (one called her “deeply disturbed,” another made fun of her admission that she once suffered from an eating disorder… the list goes on).
But in addition to celebrity support, Thunberg is getting backup from columnists and other journalists, too. “The bile thrown at Greta Thunberg is motivated by one thing alone: this incredibly intelligent, eloquent, and compassionate 16-year-old has terrified some of the most hateful and reactionary so called ‘grown-ups’ on earth,” wrote British political columnist Owen Jones. “She’s achieved more [at age] 16 than they ever will.” In an article published on Monday, Al-Jazeera English writer Andrew Mitrovica defended the teenage revolutionary while cutting down the hateful rhetoric being lobbed at her.
Clearly, Thunberg is a warrior of a 16-year-old who is fully capable of speaking up for herself. Still, she’s also expressed that changing the world can’t be done alone, so we suspect she surely appreciates all of the support.