10 Important Open Essays By Female Celebrities You Must Read
Jan 10, 2017
Another day, another celebrity-penned essay published. And with great reason.
In the latest, written by Sophia Bush, the actress and activist opens up about "stop seeking 'the one.'"
And just like Bush, other celebrities have spoken out for different reasons. From Hillary Clinton to Solange Knowles, here are ten must-read open essays penned by powerful women over the last few years.
1. Renée Zellweger's "We Can Do Better" for The Huffington Post.
"What if immaterial tabloid stories, judgments and misconceptions remained confined to the candy jar of low-brow entertainment and were replaced in mainstream media by far more important, necessary conversations?"
"Too skinny, too fat, showing age, better as a brunette, cellulite thighs, facelift scandal, going bald, fat belly or bump? Ugly shoes, ugly feet, ugly smile, ugly hands, ugly dress, ugly laugh; headline material which emphasizes the implied variables meant to determine a person’s worth, and serve as parameters around a very narrow suggested margin within which every one of us must exist in order to be considered socially acceptable and professionally valuable, and to avoid painful ridicule."
2. Jennifer Aniston's "For the Record" for The Huffington Post.
"The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty."
"[Women] are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone."
3. Kristen Bell's "I’m Over Staying Silent About Depression" for Motto.
"When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty. I didn’t speak publicly about my struggles with mental health for the first 15 years of my career. But now I’m at a point where I don’t believe anything should be taboo."
"I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realize that they are not worthless and that they do have something to offer. We all do."
4. Jennifer Lawrence's "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?" for Lenny Letter.
"If I'm honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn't say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn't want to seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled.' At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn't worry about being 'difficult' or 'spoiled.'"
"Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn't "offend" or "scare" men?"
5. Angelina Jolie's "My Medical Choice" and "Diary of a Surgery" for The New York Times.
"I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."
"Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.
6. Tina Fey's "Confessions of a Juggler" for The New Yorker.
"It seems to me the fastest remedy for this “women are crazy” situation is for more women to become producers and hire diverse women of various ages. That is why I feel obligated to stay in the business and try hard to get to a place where I can create opportunities for others."
"'Either way, everything will be fine,' she said, smiling, and for a little while I was pulled out of my anxious, stunted brain cloud. "Everything will be fine" was a possibility that had not occurred to me."
7. Hillary Clinton's "Just Because You Can Fight...Doesn't Mean You Should Have To" for Refinery29.
“Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, for as long as ever you can.”
"I want you to know that I see you... I see the difference you’re making in the world, in your own lives, and in the lives of the people you love. And if I have the opportunity, I’ll do whatever I can to make things a little easier for you. Just because you can and do wage these fights doesn’t mean you should have to."
"We belong. We belong. We belong. We built this."
9. Lady Gaga, "Portrait of a Lady" for Harper's Bazaar.
"Women are often afraid to say anything because we're worried that we will appear weak — that we'll be told we're being over-the-top, dramatic, emotional. But we're not. We're fighting for our lives. Being a lady today means being a fighter. It means being a survivor. It means letting yourself be vulnerable and acknowledging your shame or that you're sad or you're angry. It takes great strength to do that."
10. Sophia Bush, "Why to Stop Seeking 'The One'" for Cosmopolitan.
"The answers are never black-and-white. Often in between those two, you find the keys to what you need in partnership: what you’re willing to give, what you want to get, and what things are absolutes that you cannot compromise on."
"When you take the pressure of The One off, you’ll open yourself up to endless possibilities. You’ll learn to have a truly deep, knowing relationship with yourself first. Then the rest will fall into place."
Photo Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer via Getty Images