Emma Watson, Lorde and Lena Dunham are among the new breed of young female role models, fighting back against the unrealistic standards that have been set for women.
Female celebrities can’t escape the title of ‘feminist’ or ‘role model’ these days, but it is a fact that they have a lot of influence. Whether they notice it or not, young women absorb the media’s portrayal of celebs, who seem rarely aware of how much power they yield. A passing quote can be empowering or confidence destroying, inspiring or totally disparaging.
Emma Watson wants her young female fans to know that it takes work to look 'perfect'
Kate Moss is a prime example of this. Moss famously remarked “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, which has become a mantra to weight-obsessive girls who see it as justification for eating very little to remain thin. Fortunately, the younger generation of celebrities recognise their influence over young fans, perhaps because they themselves have grown up in a society with poor female role models, excessive photoshopping and unrealistic body image.
Emma Watson has recently spoken against the culture of women desperately clinging to their youth with photoshop and surgery. Watson told the Sunday Times, “As a younger woman, that pressure got me down but I’ve made my peace with it...I’m excited about the ageing process. I’m more interesting in women who aren’t perfect. They’re more compelling.” Emma also recently Instagrammed a photograph of all the products that it takes for her to get ready, just so her fans know that she didn’t wake up looking like she’d stepped off the cover of Vogue.
Coincidentally, New Zealander Lorde has recently Instagrammed a very similar opinion. When she discovered that a photo of her performing at Lollapalooza music festival had been photoshopped to remove her acne, she posted the untouched photos and commented, “i find this curious - two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-)”. Like Emma, Lorde is promoting a very healthy approach to body image and the imperfections that everyone has, even if you don’t always see them with the celebrities.
Lorde has told her female fans that "flaws are ok"
Lena Dunham is also recognised as a desirable role model for young women. At just 27 Lena is a successful writer, actress, director and producer and she’s always very vocal about her feelings regarding women’s issues. Lena told Playboy magazine, “On Girls I like being a mouthpiece for the issues I think young women face today. It’s always shocking when people question whether it’s a feminist show. How could a show about women exploring women not be? Feminism isn’t a dirty word...Feminism is about woman having all the rights that men have.”
Emma, Lorde and Lena are just three young women with the power to influence millions of others around the globe. They consistently promote positive beliefs which they should be praised for and which hopefully all female celebrities will one day emulate. In a world where the media can be a pernicious impliment used on young women, at least there are some who are fighting back.