2014 Proved to be Culmination of Women’s Rights Campaign

Fashion icon Coco Chanel once said, “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” Singer Taylor Swift and actress Emma Watson have gone against the odds of what was expected from them, expressing themselves without anyone buffering them.

Swift and Watson have not let their oppositions stop them from being successful and powerful. Watson is more than just a childhood actress; she has become a role model for millions of girls around the world. Swift is creating her legacy in the music industry as one of the most influential female musicians.

A recent graduate from Brown University, Watson is making great strides in the realm of humanitarian affairs. She was recognized as “Feminist of the Year for 2014” by Vanity Fair for her HeForShe campaign.

Watson is an ambassador for the UN Women Goodwill, and she presented her iconic “Gender Equality is Your Issue, Too” speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York in September 2014. Her strong and emotional oration touched the hearts of millions of people and received support from famous celebrities like Tom Hiddleston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Logan Lerman, Sophia Bush and Harry Styles.

“I think what she’s doing is really good because it’s hard to stand up like that,” said sophomore Charlotte Faust. “She is standing up for people, [and this] is hard to do since so many people see feminism as a bad thing.”

Faust added that the HeForShe is a campaign designed to help all people understand that the battle for women’s rights is not just a woman’s problem.

According to UN Women, “Being asked to serve as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling,” said Watson. “The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting.”

On Jan. 23 at the World Economic Forum, Watson delivered another striking speech promoting her HeForShe program and challenging her audience to stand up for gender equality.

She is winning over her critics, some of whom are saying that she is not adequately addressing the issues, by garnering worldwide support for her campaign and drawing attention to the challenges that women face.

Swift, Billboard Woman of the Year, is also taking the world by a storm. With the recent release of her fifth album, Swift is shocking her fan-base as well as many critics.

1989, Swift’s newest album, received a platinum certification, the first album to receive one in all of 2014. On top of that, she received the certification after only one week of her album being released. Over 1.2 million copies of 1989 were sold after the first week of being released. Swift was applauded for changing her musical direction. By shying away from country and delving into ’80s pop, Swift adjusts her sound but not her writing style.

When asked what she admires about Swift, World Languages teacher Ms. Hannah Gonzalez replied, “She has followed her own musical direction throughout her entire career and has not been afraid to put herself out there.”

Through all the criticism, Swift keeps her status as an emotional and enthusiastic songwriter and performer. According to Billboard Music, Swift has “charted 60 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 — the most of any female artist since her debut in 2006.” Swift is also the first artist to receive that award twice.

“I know that some people were bothered by her change of musical direction, but I think it’s just a reflection of how she has grown as a person,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “It’s honest, so I think it’s great she’s exploring music that is important to her.”

Swift has once again proven herself as an extremely influential artist for her generation.

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