We are influenced by heavy media on a daily basis. We often see our favorite celebrities looking smokin’ hot on TV and envy them. Some people even go as far as trying to be like their favorite movie star or singer. I think people all over are influenced by celebrities and their beliefs. This is why it is important that we acknowledge famous male and female feminists. These celebs can act as icons and advocates for feminism. Also, it is important that these celebs are not afraid to proudly call themselves feminists. The youth of our nation often idolizes these celebs and the more they spread knowledge about feminism the more educated our youth will be on the topic!
One evening I was watching TV with my parents and we stumbled across MTV. We started watching the music video to “Im Feelin’ Myself” featuring Miley Cyrus. My parents could only stand to watch for about a minute before they demanded that I change the channel. They continued to refer to the video as “filthy” and “vulgar”. I asked them why they disliked the video so much and they said because Miley Cyrus is grabbing her crotch and sticking her tongue out. I simply smiled and shook my head because I know they think that young women should act like ladies- but me? I say let it all out sister. I LOVE MILEY! I wish I had the nerve to go out in public and mock the actions of boys and take the heat from doing so. Men grab their junk all the time, so why can’t we?
One young feminist that has been causing quite the ruckus in the tabloids is Miley Cyrus. Miley is known for her wild and crazy performances. At her shows, Miley often is seen wearing what some would consider extremely scandalous clothing. When interviewed on the topic of feminism, she stated that she, “was just about equality for everyone” (mtv.com). She also mentioned that it wasn’t fair that rappers can grab their crotches all the time but when she does it on stage, people say that she is degrading other women. Miley goes onto to talk about how the music industry is at the start of a feminist revolution and she wants to be a part of it! At least I know that I am not the only one tired of double standards in the music industry. It is great that someone who has a large voice like Miley is advocating equality for young, wild, and free women everywhere.
Another extremely popular feminist in the music industry is Beyoncé. Her music often has themes that involve gender role reversals to give women power. She often talks about her independence and self confidence in her music, which is a great tool of empowerment for women everywhere. Since Beyoncé is extremely successful and talented, she is a powerful figurehead for the feminist movement. In an interview, when asked about feminism, B stated, ““Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. 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 (mtv.com).” I couldn’t agree with her more. We have to spread the word about feminism in order to make a change!
I am especially excited to see male celebrities claim that they are feminists. Actor Ashton Kutcher explained that he was a feminist during a press run for his movie, “No Strings Attached”. The actor noted that he enjoyed this movie because it showed that women can have a fun sexual side just as men do, breaking away from the awful double standard (mtv.com). He stated , “I think there’s so much that’s not said about sex in our country, even from an educational level … the one thing they teach about is how to get pregnant or how to not get pregnant, but they don’t really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women. … Part of that creates a place where women aren’t empowered around their own sexuality and their own sexual selves, and from a purely entertainment point of view, to create a movie with a female lead that’s empowered with her own sexuality is a powerful thing (mtv.com).”
Another male celebrity that I found had an interesting standpoint on feminism was Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He claimed that when he and his family would watch basketball games on TV as a child, his mother would point out the issue with the messages being sent to the viewers. He said, “We would always watch Lakers games as a family, but my mom would always point out every time the cheerleaders came on, ‘OK, so look, here’s the story that gets told: The men get to be the heroic skilled athletes and the women just get to be pretty. She wanted me and my brother to be aware of it because we see these images on TV, in the movies, and in magazines all the time. And if you don’t stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality (mtv.com).” Honestly, it is important that he admits that there is a problem with the way patriarchal messages are conveyed to people through media coverage. I am glad that there are men who are willing to step up and be an example of how men can make a difference in spreading feminism throughout the media.
Overall, it is crucial that celebrities continue to advocate feminism to our youth! I am influenced by powerful women every day, and hopefully one day I can achieve some of the feats that they have. We need to continue to educate men and women across the world in order to create a better and equal tomorrow. Please let me know if there are any celebrities that inspire you or anyone one you know. Also I have attached a short questionnaire that I would like my readers to take. It is to get some feedback on whether or not you think celebrities that advocate feminism are helping the cause, and if so to what extent?
Thank you so much!