Rowan Blanchard Airs Her Grievances About Social Media Sexism
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Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images
Anyone that follows Rowan Blanchard is aware of how outspoken she is when it comes to the subject of inequality. The 14-year-old actress uses social media as a platform to voice sociopolitical issues, but she hasn't always been met with agreement. During her guest appearance on Emma Gannon's new podcast Ctrl Alt Delete, Blanchard explained how she has to monitor how much content she posts about herself on social media because of past experiences. She immediately pointed out the double standard: When women post photos of themselves, they are labeled as fake, self-absorbed, and superficial, whereas men will face little to no scrutiny for their pictures. "You do have to apologize for promoting your own work, and that's definitely strange," Blanchard said.
Due to the mixture of harsh comments and creepy compliments that filter into her feed, Blanchard often avoids checking her mentions section. As an outspoken feminist, we can only imagine the types of remarks she must get despite the fact that she is still a young girl.
The highlight of the conversation was when Gannon asked Blanchard about her current inspirations, and she cited rappers Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. "I've been studying their work recently, and it's just so innovative and unapologetic, and so themselves," she said. "[Kanye's] just so confident in himself, and I think we can all take from that and aspire to be like that."
We are confident that Blanchard is going to change popular culture for the better. Haters can be your motivators, right?
" I would always acknowledge—personally, not publicly—the things that were going on, things that were happening in the world. But I still didn't make the connection that those things happen to me. I remember I was at a movie with my friend, and we were both in skirts—this was two and a half or three years ago—we were waiting outside the movies for my dad to pick us up, and this grown man came over and was like, "You guys need a ride anywhere?" I was 12 years old and my friend was 15. And I just remember sitting there feeling my heart sink into my stomach. It was such a surreal moment. Because I always see that happening in front of me; I always see girls getting catcalled. But up until that point, I hadn't experienced it. And it was like I was out-of-body for a second. I had seen that in movies, on TV, on the news. But when it happens to you, it's like, "Oh, crap, this is real; people look at me this way. And people look at other girls this way." I went home that night and didn't tell anybody. I didn't tell my parents because I was ashamed that it was what I was wearing. I was like, "Gosh, I shouldn't wear a skirt next time. What am I doing?" My sister was 10 at the time, and I remember lying in bed and thinking, "I don't want that to ever happen to her." Then, once it happens to you, you see it everywhere. When you're watching your favorite TV show, you see a joke that maybe would have gone over your head a month ago. You can't escape it. There's really nothing you can do except endure it and try and speak out about it. So that's what I tried to do. Because it started consuming me. And, when girls would come up to me and be like, "I watch your show," I would think, "Has this ever happened to this girl? Of course it's happened to this girl, because it happens every day." And it just started overwhelming me. So I started putting things on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, because I realize that I have a following, and most of the people who watch our show, I would say, are girls. And I didn't want them ever going through that. I just started doing it because I couldn't bear it anymore." Thank you very much, @interviewmag. Full cover story in bio.