Leading Ladies

With Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus hitting Australian shores this week, we thought we would celebrate 10 women who are empowered to run the word… Celebrity Style!

  1. Taylor Swift

Recently become red with passion for Feminism with GIRL pals like Lena Dunham (pun intended) and Emma Watson who inspired the artists through her #HeForShe speech (Read Here), Taylor wishes she had a better understanding of the concept from a young age. *cue Lena Dunham flying in with her feminism cape, one that is similar to Wonder Woman’s we hope!*

“What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men,” she told The Guardian.

“I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means… For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all. Becoming friends with Lena [Dunham] – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realise that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”

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She believes that creating clearer definitions in the mind of younger individuals and sparking appropriate positive conversation is key in creating a gender equal environment.

“As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all. Becoming friends with Lena – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realise that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”

Taylor also points out that women need to stop being compared against each other:

“Females are kind of pinned up against each other,” Swift explained. “For example, you’ll never see online ‘Vote for who has the better butt: this actor or this actor.’ It’s always this female singer or this female singer. It’s every day [for me]…. In order for us to have gender equality, we have to stop making it a girl fight, and we have to stop being so interested in seeing girls try and tear each other down. It has to be more about cheering each other on as women.”

  1. Lena Dunham

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While the world fell in love with Lena through her hit series Girls, Run The Word also fell in love with her for her passionate contribution to Feminism. For Lena being a feminist is an essential part of her identity and strives to ensure both me and women have an appropriate definition and understanding. While Lena has been critiqued by some for showing off her body and going against ‘feminism’- Lena heroically says that the core of feminism is allowing women the freedom and rights to achieve and dream in the manner they want to without judgement or fear.

“Women saying ‘I’m not a feminist’ is my greatest pet peeve. Do you believe that women should be paid the same for doing the same jobs? Do you believe that women should be allowed to leave the house? Do you think that women and men both deserve equal rights? Great, then you’re a feminist. People think there is something taboo about speaking up for feminism. I know for a long time that I was embarrassed to call out misogyny because I was then going to be that complaining girl who can’t let it go. But the fact is, we can’t let it go – not until we feel like we have been heard.”

  1. Beyoncé

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‘Yonce, Queen B, Sasha Fierce Diva- whatever you want to call the artists, mother and humanitarian- she is not only running the world but helps run the F word… Feminism that is! Let’s be honest this whole blog could become dedicated to Beyoncé fierce empowerment but the artists is only one individual out of many around the world continuing the movement that women worked for long ago. (We are clearly her twin!)

From taking charge of her own career by managing herself to writing an entire essay on gender inequality (Read here), it is difficult not to spend your life writing and emulating the star who successfully balances all aspects of her life to fulfil her dreams as a Grown Woman.

“We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible. . ‘We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead. ‘I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous. . ‘I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything?”

After her recent performance at the VMAs blared FEMINIST on the screen with Chimamanda Ngozi’s speech incorporated into her song Flawless Beyoncé sent the world into a frenzy, one that we are still applauding now. With other songs like ‘Me Myself and I’, ‘Run The World’ and ‘Grown Woman,’ Beyoncé has empowered a generation of young women to own their identity and aspire to meet their dreams.

Bow down and help Run The Word with her.

  1. Miley Cyrus

While the star has been criticised for her antics, we are backing her as a woman of artistic liberation and expressing herself in a true manner rather than confining to what she is told me be. Self proclaim herself as “one of the biggest feminist” – saying that it is her stage persona and journey that is empower women to be loud and voice her they are.

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“I feel like I’m one of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women to not be scared of anything. For me, it’s not even that I’m a feminist. I’m for anybody. I’m for everybody, for everything. I don’t care what you wanna do in your life, or who you wanna be with, who you wanna love, who you wanna look like.”

“I still don’t think we’re there 100 percent. I mean, guy rappers grab their crotch all f–king day and have hos around them, but no one talks about it. But if I grab my crotch and I have hot model bitches around me, I’m degrading women? I’m a woman—I should be able to have girls around me! But I’m part of the evolution of that. I hope.”

  1. Ellen Page

Ellen has been outspoken about the representation of women in popular culture, particularly in Hollywood as well as feminism- which she believes everyone show be apart of.

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Taking to the Guardian Ellen stated, “I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists … but how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word? … Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement — good. It should be. A lot of what the radical feminists [in the 1970s] were saying, I don’t disagree with it.”

  1. Emma Watson

Unless you have been living under rock you would know that Emma Watson has become the girl crush for many feminist around the world after joining the UN Women in launching the #HeForShe campaign. (read about it here)

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The actress also told Vogue that as feminism begins to trend, other areas such as romance need to be redefined as well.

“I’m a feminist, but I think that romance has been taken away a bit for my generation. I think what people connect with in novels is this idea of an overpowering, encompassing love — and it being more important and special than anything and everything else. I would love to not date someone in the same industry as me. Otherwise it becomes what it means to everyone else.”

  1. Amy Poehler

Not only does she have us in stiches but Amy has us jumping for joy every times she speaks about fighting for women’s rights and gender equality (which is often!) Amy runs her own site http://amysmartgirls.com/ which helps empower and inspire young women to be themselves and unite in taking charge of their societal position as women.

http://video.vulture.com/video/Approval-Matrix-Amy-Poehler

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Why she considers herself a feminist?

“The answer is yes, I consider myself a feminist, and it informs my work only in that it’s just who I am, in the same way that I’m a woman, or I’m 5’2″ or whatever. I was lucky that I came through a system that had many people who did much more hard work and road-clearing before I got there.”

  1. Jane Fonda

Jane who has become an iconic influencer within the film industry over decades says that feminism is essentially important for not only creating gender equality but changing the way in which other issues such as war are handled.

“Essentially feminism will come into wholeness when we achieve a social paradigm that allows men and women to become full human beings. Rather than women muting themselves and men hardening themselves, which I think is the root of all the problems — including war.”

9. Keira Knightley

Women do not need to rely on male celebs being our knight in shining armor (pun intended) when it comes to fighting for rights. Leading ladies like Keira Knightly who fights against Photoshop and the beauty standards believes that feminism should not be labeled a dirty word.

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“I think it’s great that the discussions are finally being allowed to be had [about feminism], as opposed to anybody mentioning feminism and everybody going, ‘Oh, fucking shut up.’ Somehow, [feminism] became a dirty word. I thought it was really weird for a long time, and I think it’s great that we’re coming out of that.”

10. Selma Hayek

Known for her bold acting and fashion… Selma should also be known for her bold fight against gender inequality.

“[Feminism] means being proud of being a woman, and [having] love, respect and admiration and the belief in our strong capacities. I don’t think we are the same, women and men. We’re different. But I don’t think we are less than men. There are more women than men in the world – ask any single woman! So it is shocking that men are in more positions of power.” (Stylist 2012)

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4 thoughts on “Leading Ladies

  1. Love this post! I especially agree with Miley Cyrus being one. While she may be constantly criticised her antics and her fearless breaks the boundaries that society has try to place on her (and women in general). All these women are incredibly brave and passionate about defying the boundaries of society and the norms and rules of what it means to be a women.

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  2. This post is great, and represent some amazing celebrities who through their work have raised attention towards feminism in a lot of positive ways. I especially admire Lena Dunham, whose new book is a great representation of women writers who are talented for their own rights. It’s so important that more people become aware of feminism and the need for society to strive for it more.

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  3. great sum up of celebrity feminists – amy poehler is by far my favourite! i’m unsure about miley cyrus though – i think she is simply a product of her environment i.e. US rap culture and the ‘liberation’ she feels is in fact her enjoying or going along with this social construction of her identity. i’m glad that she personally feels ‘free’ but I don’t think she truly understands the concept, at least not in the way that lena or amy do. what do you think?

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    1. We definitely agree with you, some women seem to be more ‘in touch’ with the ideals of the movement, however in saying this from reading various opinions we think Miley has some points. She was critique for her performance at last year’s VMAs while Robin Thicke endured no flak- in terms of being a role model for younger people she may not fit the mould in her visual products and she may need to tone it down but when she speaks and voices her opinion it often resonates with several ideals of building equality not only for gender but colour and status, something feminism fights for too. We are too sure how to measure how much of a feminist she is but this as this article points out: passing judgement about how feminist one is can often be an issue in itself- http://hellogiggles.com/how-feminist-women-are. What do you think?

      Thank you so much for your input, we appreciate it!

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