18-Year-Old Amandla Stenberg is on her way to becoming one of the most important feminists of our generation. And yet somehow she’s consistently flown under the radar.
Often grouped in with fellow actress activists Yara Shahidi and Rowan Blanchard, Stenberg is part of a new generation of celebrity feminists who practice what they preach. Although Amandla first came into recognition for her part in the blockbuster The Hunger Games alongside Jennifer Lawrence, she should in no way be thought of as your typical young Hollywood woman.
Two years ago, her video “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” (created for a high school project) went viral and focused on the pattern of white pop stars like Katy Perry and Madonna essentially stealing aspects of Black culture without giving them credit. She argued, “What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we love black culture?”
A reminder, Amandla is only 18 years old.
She’s also been noted for her outspokenness in regards to the police brutality of young black men. She told Vogue,
“There was this incredible wave on the Internet, and I had the pleasure of being able to be a part of it, which was talking about race, especially for teenagers.”
Since then, she’s constantly surprised the world with new ways of getting her feminist viewpoints across to the young girls who follow her. She told EW,
“I’m always thinking about the best way to apply my activism to the world and how to get it out there in a way that’s not intrusive and that doesn’t target certain people and make them feel like they aren’t able to be a part of the conversation.”
And at the same time, she’s still working on her acting career. Stenberg is set to star in Everything, Everything in which she plays a teen diagnosed with severe immune deficiency and then falls in love with her new neighbor (think The Fault in Our Stars).
Is there anything this girl can’t do?
Still, it’s frustrating that Amandla Stenberg doesn’t seem to be getting the attention she deserves. We love us some Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner and all, but wouldn’t it be nice if Vogue featured Amandla on their covers? An 18-year-old black girl with forward-thinking opinions on sexuality, gender identity, and women’s rights is just the kind of person we’d like to see take Hollywood by storm.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.