1. Kate Winslet
She needs no introduction; she was Rose in Titanic, for heaven’s sake. But Kate Winslet continues to do/say amazing things on a near-daily basis. She is the youngest person to have been nominated for a whopping six Oscars, and she’s well on her way to achieving the much coveted EGOT (that’s Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards) thanks to her Emmy Award for her role in Mildred Pierce, her Oscar for The Reader and her Grammy Award for the spoken word album, Children. Aside from her many achievements, Kate has won our hearts thanks to her outspoken nature, particularly on the topic of women’s body image.
As well as speaking openly about her refusal to conform to Hollywood standards when it comes to weight, Kate has also successfully sued publications that deliberately used Photoshop to make her look thinner, claiming that she ‘doesn’t want to seem like a hypocrite.’ More recently, Kate told WSJ. Magazine:
“We all focus on our bodies in our late teens and our early 20s, in a way that is just not cool or healthy. In your 30s, you become aware of staying fit. Now I view my physical self as an instrument that I have to keep going because I’m a mother, and I have to be as healthy as I can for those three people who need me—more than I need for myself to be in a f***ing nude scene.”
Kate also spoke about her past relationships, referring to her two divorces: “I know lots of people who are not in the public eye who have gone through several marriages I really do.” She continued: “And it’s just those are the cards that life dealt me. I didn’t plan on its being that way . And f*** me, it hasn’t been easy, you know. No one really knows what has happened in my life,’ she adds. ‘No one really knows why my first marriage didn’t last; no one knows why my second didn’t. And I’m proud of those silences.”
Having been married to Jim Threapleton, with whom she has a daughter and director Sam Mendes, with whom she has a son, Kate married Ned Rocknroll in 2012, and they are now parents to two year old Bear. Kate turns 40 this month (yes, really) and will star in upcoming biopic, Steve Jobs, about the Apple founder.
Having previously spoken out about airbrushing, Kate has now put her words into writing. According to an E News report the British actress has revealed that her new contract for Lancôme cites that her campaigns be ‘free of any additional editing’.
“I can only ever speak for myself and I can only ever do things that are important to me and it’s a hope that other people might follow suit but it does feel important to me because I do think we have a responsibility to the younger generation of women,” the actress said.
“I think they do look to magazines, I think they do look to women who have been successful in their chosen careers and they want people to look up to, and I would always want to be telling the truth about who I am to that generation because they’ve got to have strong leaders. We’re all responsible for raising strong young women, so these are things that are important to me.”
Our love for this woman will never die.
2. Emma Watson
The Harry Potter star combines brains and beauty, with a University degree in English Literature and a successful A-list career under her belt.
At the age of just 25, she is also taking on the role of world-changer, as she fronts the #HeForShe campaign that aims to bring both genders together in true equality.
You can check out her incredible HeForShe speech here. Emma has also spoken out about the sexism in Hollywood, telling The Guardian:
“I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I’ve worked with 13 have been male and only one has been a woman. But I am lucky: I have always insisted on being treated equally and have generally won that equality. Most of the problems I have encountered have been in the media, where I have been treated so incredibly differently from my male co-stars.
“The men at the top often find it difficult to relate to a lot of the problems women face and therefore we aren’t taken very seriously. Yet, women are just as guilty of discriminating against women. Some of the best feminists I have encountered are men, like Steve Chbosky who directed me in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and director James Ponsoldt who I am working with at the moment [on The Circle]. Some women can be incredibly prejudiced against other women!”
And it turns out, the actress rarely takes a day off from being our hero. Emma has also spoken out in support of gay rights, commending Keegan Hirst, the second professional rugby player to publicly come out as gay. In a series of tweets, Emma made this amazing statement:
“Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal or discouragement. @KeeganHirst #gotboth”
3. Sienna Miller
We recently reaffirmed our love for Sienna when she spoke openly and honestly about motherhood and the chaos and exhaustion that goes with being a new mum. Now she’s taking our admiration for her to the next level by talking about how she pulled out of a play because of pay inequality.
‘The producer wouldn’t pay equally. He wouldn’t pay me within a million miles of what the male actor was being paid. And women always have to do more publicity than the men. The only way is to make a stand. We are going to have to make sacrifices to make change. I want to turn up and feel dignified.’
With her passion for equality, her honesty and ability to stand up for herself, we think that Miss Miller is a shining example for all and we hope that other women will start to follow suit.
4. Emma Thompson
Our love for Emma Thompson knows no bounds. Not only is she an award-winning actress, author and screenwriter, she’s also unafraid to speak out about the issues concerning us all. Recently, Emma commented on Hollywood’s unnerving attitude to women and age, explaining to Vulture that she was considered ‘too old’ to play Hugh Grant’s lover in Sense and Sensiblity, despite the fact that he’s just one year younger than her.
“The age thing is insane,” said Emma. “It was ever thus. I remember saying years and years ago, when I was 35, that they’d have to exhume somebody to play my leading man… Nothing’s changed in that regard. If anything, it’s got worse. I remember somebody saying to me that I was too old for Hugh Grant, who’s like a year younger than me, in Sense and Sensibllity. I said ‘Do you want to go and take a flying leap?'”
Emma also spoke out about feminism, saying “I’ve been a card-carrying, radical feminist since I was 19. Most women who I would want to listen to wouldn’t have any problem at all with the word feminist. It’s bizarre. Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.”
5. Liz Kendall
In an interview with the political editor of the Mail on Sunday, Labour leadership candidate, Liz Kendall was questioned about her weight and, quite rightly, was not happy. First discussing where the politician’s outfit is from, the journalist then went on to label her ‘slinky brunette Liz’ and wrote:
‘In fact she looks the same weight as the Duchess – about 8st – though when I ask, she slaps me down with a raucous ‘f**k off!’, adding quickly, ‘Don’t print that.”
Liz has since been asked about the event by a Buzzfeed correspondent when speaking on a radio show. She said:
“I think it’s unbelievable that in the 21st century women still get asked such very, very different questions from men. Can you imagine The Mail on Sunday asking the weight of the prime minister, George Osbourne or any other leading politician? I cannot wait for a world where women are judged the same as men and not by those kind of questions.”
6. Rose McGowan
The former Charmed actress took to Twitter to reveal a casting note she’d received, encouraging her to show off her assets in a ‘push-up bra’ for her next job role.
And last night, Miss McGowan tweeted that she had since been fired by her “wussy acting agent” for outing the “bullshit in Hollywood”.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she commented: “I was offended by the fact that went through so many people’s hands and nobody red flagged it. This is normal to so many people. It was probably even a girl that had to type it up. It’s institutionally OK.”
Well not with us it’s not!
All eyes on you, “Madam Panhandler”…
7. J. K. Rowling
Aside from her obvious contribution that has seen generations of young people (and adults) hiding under the bed covers with a torch in order to find out whether Harry will make it, she’s also made a name for herself in the kicking-ass department on Twitter.
Remember when the world was inspired by the ‘Say Yes’ campaign in Ireland for marriage equality? Well, this world famous author single handidly took on some Twitter trolls in defence of the movement.
8. Meryl Streep
As well as her many show-stopping on-screen performances, Meryl is also famed for more inspirational quotes than we can count. This woman truly is a legend.
She is also an avid campaigner for equal rights, and has recently penned a letter to the highest members of US Congress. She’s certainly not afraid to stand her ground.
An excerpt from the letter said, “A whole new generation of women and girls are talking about equality – equal pay, equal protection from sexual assault, equal rights… I am writing to ask you to stand up for equality – for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife, or yourself – by actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment.”
I’m sure we all remember shimying around our bedrooms, as young teens, singing ‘I depend on me…’ at the top of our lungs. No?