Is it just me, or are kids and teens becoming cooler and cooler?
Maybe teens have always been cool, but nobody really seemed to care enough to notice. Behind all the acne and angst, is a young soul, itching to find where it belongs in this world. Honestly, it’s not really all that different once you become an adult, except there’s just a lot more expectations and responsibilities.
When I was younger, never in a million years, did I ever think being successful was possible at any age before eighteen. Little did I know that a young woman who, started her career in the fashion world at the tender age of twelve, would prove me wrong.
TAVI GEVINSON, actress, writer, and magazine editor, got her start with her personal fashion blog. Unafraid to push the boundaries and take on any challenging trends that came her way, Gevinson would create unique outfits and posts that would draw countless readers. She never let her age stop her from doing what she wanted to do and people began to respond to that. With her’s blog growing readership and popularity, she was eventually invited to several Fashion Week events and asked to write for several magazines. Her own publication, ROOKIE has become a platform for empowering teens to speak up and to embrace what makes them different. Now even at just twenty-one, Gevinson has accomplished so much and it doesn’t look like she’ll be stopping anytime soon.
One of the special things I loved that TEEN VOGUE would do, was their features on young, up and coming talent in the entertainment industry. So here is a list of young women who are not only wise beyond their years, but have also got the talent and drive to match:
YARA SHAHIDI is an actress and model who entered the entertainment industry at 6 years old. At 14 she started her role on the ABC comedy, Black-ish, and will continue her role in her own spin-off on Freeform, Grown-ish. She signed with New York's Women Management modeling agency in 2016, with the intent of using her platform to promote diversity in the industry. On top of being signed to a model agency and having her own show, Shahidi will be attending Harvard University University in the Fall of 2018.
ROWAN BLANCHARD is an actress and public activist. She started her breakout role at 12 as the lead in the Disney Channel show, Girl Meets World. As Blanchard has grown in the public eye, she is very aware of her platform and uses it in the most impactful ways that she can. With topics such as feminism, human right, and gun rights, she encourages her followers to fight for what is important in efforts to make the world a better place.
GRACE VANDERWAAL is a singer-songwriter who won the eleventh season of America’s Got Talent at just 12 years old. She is currently signed to Columbia Records, put out her first EP in December of last year, and released her official debut album, Just The Beginning, last month. With her unique and powerful voice, well-written and catchy songs, Vanderwaal has definitely shown that she was born to do this.
MAYA PENN is an eco-designer best known for starting an eco-friendly clothing line at just 8 years old. With her brilliant, creative, and whimsical designs, she has gained well-deserved recognition and attention over the last nine years. She is the youngest female to do two back-to-back (official) TEDTalks and has been chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of her Supersoul 100 influencers as well as other great honors – and she’s not even 18 yet!
MILLIE BOBBY BROWN was cast at twelve years old for the role of Eleven in the Netflix hit series, Stranger Things. She hid an accent, shaved her head, and underwent lots of challenging scenes – the show would not be the hit that it has become without her incredible performance and commitment to her character. Since then, the show has exploded in popularity, along with own. At just 13, she has been nominated for several prestigious acting awards, starred in artist’s music videos, completed another season of Stranger Things, and was recently signed to IMG Models. In interviews, you not only see a mature, well-spoken actress, but also a sweet, confident, young girl who is only getting started.
WILLOW SMITH is a singer, actress, and a dancer. She is the daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and brother to fellow musician, Jaden Smith. At 10 years old, she released her first single “Whip My Hair” which dominated the charts and her debut album, Ardipithecus, came out December of 2015. Through the years she has never been afraid to express herself through her music and fashion. She is unapologetic, incredibly creative, outspoken, and makes it clear that she is not seeking to fit any type of mold.
These ladies are living proof that age is just a number and your dreams can come true, even before you turn eighteen.
Sometimes I catch myself with feelings of bitterness and jealousy, thinking “why wasn’t I that cool and successful at that age?”, but that’s not helpful. Nor does it change anything. Everyone has their own timeline. Some people meet success fairly early in their lives. Some people aren’t successful until later.
Both are okay, both are great – no one is ever too young or ever too old to accomplish their dreams.