Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Womanist Wednesday: Top 10 Under 20

Women have always been world changers, leaders, and inspirational icons. How early that status starts is debatable. Some start in their adult years. Others start much earlier, using their youth as a springboard to speak on complex issues plaguing the times. 

These young women give me hope for the generation behind me, that for every vapid, over sexualized, attention seeking teen, there is at least one who actually want to make a difference in the world they are still growing to understand. 

These young women are showing the world what it means to lead like a girl, and we are the better for it. 

Here are my Top 10 Young Women Under 20 who are changing the world before ever becoming an adult.

Malala Yousefzai

Who else possesses the bravery and tenacity to turn an attempted fatal gun shot wound into an opportunity to stand frequently in the UN speaking on the rights of women and girls to education? Nobel Peace Prize winner, author, speaker, and education advocate, Malala Yousefzai continues to be a voice against oppressive action against education, especially for young women all around the world.

Amandla Stenberg

Sometimes actress and activist go hand in hand, and Amandla Stenberg certainly models that well. From appearing in Bey's Lemonade to being interviewed by Solange in Teen Vogue, to educating Kylie Jenner on cultural appropriation in her viral video "Don't Cash Crop on My Cornrows" and dancing prom away with Jaden Smith, Amandla is showing no signs of slowing down as she keeps matters of culture in the forefront.

Zendaya Coleman

If there was ever a classier clap back, I've never heard it as it came from Zendaya Coleman schooling Giuliana Rancic on racism surrounding the appearance of black women and later criticizing the retouching of her own already slender frame in publications. This hilarious actress takes matters of her culture quite seriously. Also appearing alongside Amandla Stenberg Lemonade, Zendaya continues to stand out as a young voice for cultural understanding. 

Willow Smith

Rockstar daughter of power couple Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow is making history in fashion being the youngest to nab a contract with ever chic label Chanel. 

Malia and Sasha Obama

Don't just think of them as just the daughters of an amazing president and his dynamic First Lady. These Obama powerhouses are considered cultural icons on their own and poised to effect change. 

Bethany Mota

Don't think of Bethany as just a pretty face. Sure, she's got a HUGE social media following and even her own clothing line, but this Fashion and Beauty YouTube star has her eyes on social matters; having the once in a life time chance to interview the President following his State of the Union address and working closely with UNICEF. 

Mo'ne Davis

Talk about home girl done good, this humble young woman, powerhouse pitcher  (and fellow Philadelphian) took her team to new heights last year and herself to a well earned cover of Sports Illustrated. 

Maisie Williams

The burgeoning bad ass on Game of Thrones is one of the most loved from the show, both on and off screen. She is also in the works of starring in another cult classic, the latest Doctor Who. 

Kendall Jenner

Probably my absolute favorite of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, Kendall epitomizes what it means to Work Work Work. She has walked down just about every major runway and posed for ads for every major designer, even creating her own fashion collabs and clothing line. 

Rowan Blanchard 

You would know from the look of it, but this lead actress from the show Girl Meets World is actually very outspoken about matters of women's rights and equality. Writing an equality essay that went viral, Rowan is a favorite on women's rights blogs, even speaking on gender equality at the UN, all before turning 15 years old.

Who is on your top teens list? Comment below!