Millennial/Generation Y = The term given to the demographic born between the late 1980s and the early 2000s.
I feel the ‘Millennial Generation’ gets a lot of stick when it comes to the way in which society views them. Let’s be honest, Millennials are often presented as vain, self-centred, lazy and naive within the media, often due to our expanding involvement in the technological world, including gaming, smartphones, selfies and social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter e.t.c.
However I think ‘Generation Y’ has a lot more to give than Reality TV and the Kardashians. I’m proud of the way our generation has begun to challenge the status quo, as we seem to be more accepting of those who are culturally different from the mainstream, increasingly pushing for unbigoted views and stances on society. A statistic from the ‘civicyouth.org‘, supports this, stating ‘many young voters, ages 18-29, supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 55% to 37%. Among young people of colour, Clinton won by even more decisive margins.’ I feel this is an obvious display of the type of leader that appeals to us, and the increasingly liberal direction we would like our society to go in. Therefore I’ve decided to pool together five famous Millennial females who are pushing for a less divisive and prejudiced society, though Generation Y’s favourite platform; Instagram!
At the age of 16, Rowan Blanchard has already paved the way for her future as an actress, starring in various television and Disney channel series. However, what makes Rowan special isn’t her Disney stardom but her role as a public activist for many human rights areas, such as Feminism, gun violence and racism. In a recent interview with Teen Vogue she mentioned the importance of Feminism, saying “I was walking around New York City the other day, and this 11-year-old girl came up to me and said, “Thank you for speaking about feminism.” And I thought, It’s so awesome hearing that word from someone that age. It wasn’t, like, a censored, hush-hush term.”
The significance of Malala in British youth culture is excessively below what it should be. Malala rose to notoriety after it was reported that on the 9 of October 2013, she had been shot in the head by the Taliban, simply for speaking up about the importance of education for girls. Although the Nobel Peace prize winner does not have a personal Instagram, she does have an account for her non-profit organisation, the Malala Fund, an association set up to invest in community-led education programmes around the world. Follow this Instagram to read inspiring personal stories from women and girls from around the globe, and as a reminder of the huge courage and advocacy it took for Malala to speak up whilst living life under the Taliban.
3. Yara Shahidi
The seventeen year-old actress and star of American sitcom ‘Black-ish’, Yara spreads an important message about race in America, just check out her Instagram bio! In an interview with Teen Vogue, Yara talked about representation; ‘There could be 10 people who look like me on a show, but they all got killed in the first scene. Or they’re all in jail. Or they’re all the best friend. I want to see somebody who looks like me as the doctor and the criminal and the successful businessperson and the woman barely making a living. I want to see the spectrum.’ Another example of a young teenager who is sure to continue to fight for justice by speaking up about racism in the USA.
4. Karlie Kloss
Supermodel Karlie Kloss is worthy of a follow for more than just her extremely aesthetic life, Karlie is also making huge efforts to increase the amount of girls who pursue careers in the tech industry. This is where ‘Kode with Klossy‘ comes into play, encouraging the education of coding to young girls by hosting summer camps and awarding career scholarships to young female developers. In a promotional video for the organisation, Karlie mentions the motivation behind it; “Women today, represent only 18% of all computer science graduates, it’s not enough.”
Beginning her career as a Disney Channel star, Zendaya has worked her way up to becoming a fashion icon, gracing the cover of US Vogue this year, and becoming a role model for many young girls as an unfortunately rare, but important representation for people of colour in the often very whitewashed media. In a recent interview with Vogue, Zendaya revealed that before signing on to a new Disney show back in 2014, she made a few demands about her character, stating; “No. She can’t dance; she can’t sing. She can’t do that stuff. There are other things that a girl can be (…) I want her to be able to do everything that a guy can do.” She even “insisted that the show feature a family of color.” Zendaya has become such an important figure and heroine for so many young girls that global company Barbie has produced a Zendaya model, adorned in her iconic 2015 Oscars look, complete with dreadlocks.
This blog post was inspired by ‘On our Radar…10 Teen Fashion Influencers you should be following‘ from Fashion Monitor.