Emma Watson, Beyoncé and Charlize Theron are just a few celebrities who have advocated for equal rights for women and identified as feminists. See these and other stars who have voiced their opinions on feminism.
"Homeland" actress Claire Danes unabashedly said she's a feminist in the January 2014 issue of Glamour. "Yes, women have more freedom and more influence than ever, but it's hardly equal," Danes said. "It's just not."
Musician Alicia Keys created the #NoMakeUp movement in 2016, inspiring people from across the globe to embrace their true selves by uploading bare-faced selfies online, after writing a passionate article for feminist company LennyLetter about self-esteem. "...I don't want to cover up anymore," she said. "Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing." Later that year, the 15-time Grammy award-winner said feminism was about confidence. "It's about owning your power, embracing your womanhood," she told Elle.
In a 2014 Daily Beast interview, the "Pitch Perfect" actress offered a positive sentiment about identifying as a feminist. "Somebody says, 'Oh, you're being such a feminist, and you're supposed to be like, 'No I'm not,'" Kendrick said. "Why are we afraid of that word? It exists and we can't get rid of it, so let's fight for it and embrace it."
After Madonna was named "Woman of the Year" at the Billboard Women in Music Awards, she gave a feminist-empowered speech. "There are no rules [in the music industry] if you're a boy," she said. "If you're a girl, you have to play the game....You are allowed to be pretty, and cute and sexy, but don't act too smart, don't have an opinion." Madonna pointed out the major flaws and general objectification of women within the music scene.
Scarlett Johansson explained why feminism is important to her when she gave a speech at the Women's March in Jan. 2017. "I think people in general can sometimes forget that their rights are not ones that are just a given -- it's something that you have to fight for and continue to protect, your rights to your body, to choose what happens to your body, your right to equal and fair pay," she said.
The Golden Globe-winning director has spoken up about women and the patriarchal system. "I think women are still treated as second-class citizens," she told the Associated Press in 2014.
"Scandal" actress Kerry Washington's acceptance speech at the 2015 GLAAD Media Awards was layered in intersectional feminism, highlighting the LGBTQ+ community. "Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people ... we have been pitted against each other and made to feel that there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of 'other.'" Washington said.
Besides playing the feminist icon Imperator Furiosa in 2015's "Mad Max: Fury Road," Charlize Theron has confessed she hopes her role inspires young girls."Girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing," she told ELLE after the film's release.
Miley Cyrus said she considers herself to be one of the biggest feminists on the planet during a 2013 interview with BBC. The "We Can't Stop" singer said because she asks other females to be fearless, she targets the double standard established in society.
Amy Poehler founded the Smart Girls organization, which is "dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves." In a 2014 interview with Elle, Poehler went after people who disregard feminism. "...They go on to explain what they support and live by -- it's feminism exactly," she said. "I think some big actors and musicians feel like they have to speak to their audience and that word is confusing to their audience. But I don't get it. That's like someone being like, 'I don't really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don't know what I would do without it.'"
In addition to writing "Not That Kind of Girl," a memoir where Lena Dunham addresses some difficulties of womanhood, in an interview with Vanity Fair, the "Girls" star responded to stereotypes associated with feminism. She said, "I always say, feminism doesn't mean you want to take a stake, kill all men and like, create your own planet. It means that you believe that you deserve all the same things that people who were born not of your gender." Internet commenters and certain publications have accused the actress of being insensitive to culture and race difficulties based on the lack of diversity in her television series, "Girls."
In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, the "Juno" star addressed women's hesitancy to label themselves as feminists. "I don't know why people are so reluctant to say they're feminists," she said in the interview. "Maybe some women just don't care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word? Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement-good. It should be. A lot of what the radical feminists [in the 1970's] were saying, I don't disagree with it."
In addition to the empowering lyrics on her albums, Queen Bey's "Flawless" addresses feminism straight on: In the track, Beyoncé utilizes a soundbite from "We should all be feminists", a TEDTalk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, feminist author of "Americanah," and incorporates the definition of a feminist in the song. Bey has said she was afraid of the word, which is why she chose not to identify as a feminist.
Emma Watson, who is a Global Goodwill Ambassador of United Nations Women, helped start the HeForShe movement to inspire upcoming generations to mobilize for change for women's rights around the globe. "These rights....I consider to be human rights," Watson said at a United Nations event Nations event in 2014.
In a parody video from The Huffington Post in Sept. 2016, actress Kristen Bell sarcastically joked about the pay gap and the lack of inequality in the world. The actress later tweeted out the video, and said, "Equal pay is no joke."