You all know that when I want to get pumped up for something (whether that be for a party, an exam or even a shift at work) there is one thing that I will do consistently no matter what the situation, and that is dance. Something feels so liberating about dancing to your favourite songs when no one is looking! However, one song that always makes me feel ready to take on the world whether I’m dancing or not is ***Flawless by Beyonce. When that song is blasting through my earphones I feel so strong and empowered, like nothing can stop me as I take on the day ahead. It’s actually become such a staple in my morning playlists that I’ve memorised all of the lyrics, not stopping for a second when Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s words begin flowing over the beat:
Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
What’s remarkable about Beyonce’s song is the fact that it defines a term for the greater public that so many women, especially those with a public image, used to shy away from. It was only a few years ago that Taylor Swift was scared of the label ‘feminist’, mistakenly saying that she didn’t see things as ‘guys versus girls’. Katy Perry was another celebrity that was scared of the term, saying that she wasn’t a feminist, but did believe in strong women. It is almost impossible to believe that a few years ago Queen Bey herself rejected the term as being ‘quite extreme’. However, in these recent times, something of a revolution is occurring. I’m not sure exactly what caused this sudden embrace of feminism by celebrities, however I do know that this wave of acceptance is indicative of something of a cultural shift. As increasing amounts of people (celebrities or not) come forward in support of feminism, more people are realising that it isn’t something that should be feared or avoided. The word ‘feminist’ isn’t scary anymore, simply because more and more people are saying it, and when a celebrity speaks out their voice has the ability to be heard by millions.
With each celebrity that is coming forward as a feminist, more awareness is being raised about the term and what it stands for. Beyonce’s song, part of an album which has been sold over 5 million times worldwide, has shattered the false ideas associated with the word ‘feminist’ just through the inclusion of a quote. When Taylor Swift confirmed herself to be a feminist it was a major new story, and she has continued to promote awareness in her recent interview with Maxim. Last year, when Emma Watson made her He for She speech at the UN, many people were made aware that feminism is something that men should be involved with just as much as women, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s outspoken feminism serving as an amazing example. These celebrities are creating a new image for feminism: one of acceptance, co-operation and harmony among the sexes, almost erasing the misconceptions that were so dominant beforehand.
However, despite this spectacular progress we still have a long way to go! Despite the fact that more awareness is being raised, there are still a number of female celebrities who haven’t accepted the term through lack of understanding. The most notable example I can think of is Shailene Woodley, who said famously last year that she believes in a sisterhood more than feminism. However, I think that for celebrities like Shailene it’s only a matter of time! With the amount of progress that has been made with feminism and its acceptance in modern society, sooner or later it won’t be such a ‘taboo’ topic to support. Until then, I will hold on to hope that Shailene and other celebrities like her watch this video, because whether they like it or not they are feminists, it’s just they don’t know it yet!
Thank you for reading
Lots of love
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