As young celebs take on politics, Teen Vogue editor-in-chief credits Miley Cyrus for changing the culture

Singer Miley Cyrus attends the women's march in Los Angeles on January 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Just five years ago, writes newly appointed Teen Vogue editor-in-chief and Women in the World panelist Elaine Welteroth, successful young Hollywood actresses were stylish, inoffensive, and made from a “cookie-cutter image.” To be a successful young actress nowadays, however, Welteroth says one’s political and social activism off-screen can be as important as how you look in front of the camera.

In an article written for The Hollywood Reporter, Welteroth points to young stars such as Amandla Stenberg, Rowan Blanchard and Yara Shahidi as shining examples of this “new class of savvy, socially conscious thought leaders.” Social media, Welteroth notes, is an important part of leveraging a young actress’s visibility — and also of advancing their own personal causes. Disney Channel star Blanchard, for example, has in the past partnered with Instagram to increase the scope of young female voices — currently, her Instagram profile includes a plea for visitors to help donate to a Syrian hospital in Aleppo.

“At a time when everything is politicized,” notes Welteroth, “the largest threat to a budding star today may be the paralyzing fear of not saying anything at all.”

Modern audiences desire “authenticity” rather than “perfection” from their stars, Welteroth claims. And at the heart of this change in priorities, Welteroth believes, was a twerking Miley Cyrus who provided “the exact jolt of independence that American youth were craving.”

Last month, Welteroth took part in a panel at the 8th Annual Women in the World New York Summit. The conversation dealt with dismantling stereotypes around age and gender. Watch in and see all the highlights below.

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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