The following feature appears in the May 2017 issue of NYLON.
“We have been forced to know how to fight since day one,” Rowan Blanchard told a crowd of 750,000 demonstrators who gathered in downtown Los Angeles for the Women’s March this past January. “This is our advantage.” The Girl Meets World star, like hundreds of thousands of protesters in cities worldwide, was there to express opposition to newly sworn-in President Trump. While Blanchard will be the first to admit that she is hardly at the top of the list of people whose safety and civil liberties could be jeopardized by this administration, her words were a rallying cry to peers who felt powerless watching their political lives unfold on such a toxic note—especially after an election in which they had no technical say.
That’s because Blanchard is only 15. It’s almost hard to believe, considering her rousing speech, more pithy and inclusive than those of some celebrity speakers twice her age. Today, two months later, dressed in a stonewashed pink tee, jeans, and Mary Janes, she looks like any other teenager at this Los Feliz eatery, spoiling her dinner with a chocolate milkshake. But then you listen.
“It’s not that things all of a sudden changed on January 20,” she says, stirring her shake with a straw. “If Hillary Clinton had won, things would have obviously been much better, but now that we have somebody who’s the pinnacle of racism, sexism, xenophobia—all of this—we’re able to have conversations about where that started, and it was a long, long time ago.”