Whether they are exposing online trolls or calling out sexism on the red carpet, these women refuse to stay silent on issues that affected us all in 2015.
1. Zendaya Coleman
Actress and singer Zendaya is no stranger to calling out the haters. When she was criticised for her dreadlocks at the 2015 Oscars, she made a statement exposing her narrow-mindedness and went on to release a Barbie doll with the same look.
She continued to redefine standards of beauty when she spoke out against Modeliste magazine. In a recent shoot, the publication had Photoshopped images of Zendaya to make her look skinnier. She spoke out against them for presenting ‘unrealistic ideals of beauty’, and the magazine has since agreed to publish the unedited photos.
2. Rowan Blanchard
The 13-year-old star of Disney series 'Girl Meets World' enjoys discussing civil rights with Tavi Gevinson over pizza and penned an Instagram post about feminism that went viral.
She has also been vocal about highlighting sexism in the media. ‘On a red carpet, the only thing I’m often asked is, ‘Who are you wearing,’ she told ELLE. ‘For a guy, the first question is ‘What drew you to the project?’ And it’s like, come on! We shouldn’t be taken less seriously because we’re in dresses.’
3. Maisie Williams
Growing up as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams has since graduated to a role on Doctor Who. Despite her success, Maisie’s experience in the industry has convinced her of the inequalities that continue to exist between men and women.
‘I didn’t realise when I was younger that women were written so badly,’ she admits, ‘but going further into this career I realised it’s not common to come across women who aren’t just ‘the girlfriend.’’ She added that she wants to continue playing ‘real women, and not just a women who are accessories.’
4. Lauren Mayberry, Chvrches
As the frontwoman of electronic band Chvrches, Lauren Mayberry was exposed to a barrage of abuse on social media. After a comment said she would ‘need to learn to deal with it’, Lauren refused to ignore the attacks.
In a piece for The Guardian, Lauren wrote: ‘I do not accept that it is ok for people to make comments ranging from ‘a bit sexist but generally harmless’ to openly sexually aggressive. Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not.’
5. Amandla Stenberg
Best known for her roles in Colombiana and The Hunger Games, Amandla Stenberg is the Hollywood role model we’ve all been waiting for.
In a video titled ‘Don’t cash crop my cornrows’, the 16-year-old discusses the problem with appropriating black culture without addressing police brutality, racism, and other issues affecting black communities. She says, ‘appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalisations and the privileged take it for themselves.’
6. Ruby Rose
The Australian model, actress and TV personality received global recognition for her role on Orange Is The New Black.
She has been outspoken about her battle against depression and the abuse she has faced due to her sexuality. She revealed that she was once hospitalized after being beaten by bullies. 'They didn’t like the fact I was different,’ she said. Ruby is hopeful for the future, adding, ‘I’m stable, my feet are on the ground and I have a great support network. I’m not fearful of fame.’