Historical global events often prompt humanitarians to advocate for change. This is especially true for celebrities who have platforms to speak up for those unable to. Moreover, female celebrities’ fight for social justice sets the stage for women to have a voice in global issues. Here are five mega-influential young female celebrities who are at the forefront of social justice and activism causes.
5 Influential Young Female Celebrities
- Greta Thunberg. Ever since she first skipped school to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament building, Greta Thunberg continuously inspires an international movement to fight climate change. At just 15 years old, she missed lessons every Friday to go on strike. Thunberg urged young people around the world to join her cause and strive “to make similar demands in their own countries.” By December 2018, more than 20,000 students around the world joined Thunberg’s movement. She would continue to embark on other strikes around the world, choosing to travel by train to limit her carbon impact. In September 2019, the U.N. Climate Conference hosted Thunberg in New York where she spoke on issues regarding extreme weather events and how world leaders need to do more. Thunberg has garnered a multitude of support and received the honor of being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2019.
- Millie Bobby Brown. Brown is best known for her role as Eleven in Netflix’s hit show “Stranger Things” and appears in the film “Enola Holmes.” In 2018, UNICEF announced the 14-year-old as the youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador, highlighting her passion for social justice issues. Earlier that year, TIME magazine featured her as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, making her the youngest person on the list. Her platform gives her the chance to inspire change and lead by example for the younger generation.
- Amandla Stenberg. Amandla Stenberg’s activism has a prominent influence on her acting decisions, coupled with her early rise to fame at age 12. She first appeared as Rue in the hit film “The Hunger Games” and expresses her activism on her social media platforms. Stenberg has spoken out about cultural appropriation with a school project Tumblr video, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows.” She also frequently advocates for human rights, female empowerment and LGBTQ visibility. She received the 2019 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award and the title of TIME’s “Next Generation Leader.”
- Yara Shahidi. Starring in ABC’s comedy “Black-ish” and its spinoff “Grown-ish,” Yara Shahidi quickly gained momentum with her stellar performances. She also received prime recognition in the film adaptation of the novel “The Sun is Also a Star.” While accumulating a large social platform, Shahidi uses her voice to advocate for social change, including feminism and STEM awareness. In high school, she began her own club that partnered with the Young Women’s Leadership Network, “which provides online mentorship with the goal of ending poverty through education.” Her enrollment at Harvard in 2018, with the goal of double majoring in sociology and African-American studies, garnered Michelle Obama’s support — Obama praised Shahidi for her social justice advocacy efforts.
- Zendaya. Zendaya, a prominent actress who stars on HBO’s hit show “Euphoria,” received recognition for her work in the fashion world regarding cultural representation. When working with Tommy Hilfiger to launch Tommy X Zendaya in 2019, Zendaya made it her mission to include more diversity and representation. Zendaya pointed out, “Everyone needs to be seen and [feel] like they are a part of the fashion world. It is much more diverse now, but there can still be more in terms of different shapes, sizes and cultures.”
Whether through film or advocacy, these influential young female celebrities are making the most out of their fame by speaking out against the many injustices that plague society. Their platforms allow them to voice concerns and advocate for the less fortunate. These women may be young, but their voices are anything but small. Take note of these celebrity humanitarian names because the world will be hearing a lot more from them in years to come.
– Natalie Whitmeyer