Celebrities and public figures often have a huge impact to the public. They have the power not only to influence the way we look, but also the way we think and speak.
These fierce individuals have pushed back society's standards by speaking out their opinions to make a real difference in the world.
As we walk our way towards empowerment, PhilSTAR L!fe has listed some local and international celebrities who have proven to be of great influence to the public.
Angel Locsin has been known to be vocal whether about the issues thrown at her or social issues prevalent in the country.
In 2019, Locsin slammed body shamers who made unsolicited comments about her weight gain, saying that it's too bad since she was known for her sexy and fit body in magazines, calendars, and TV shows. However, in 2015, the actress suffered from a disc bulge in her spine, and her medications caused her weight gain.
Nonetheless, the beloved Darna remained unbothered by these comments, “May mga bagay kasi na hindi mo dapat gawin sa kapwa mo,” she said in an interview with TV host Boy Abunda.
“Kung ang taong ito comfortable siya sa ginagawa niyang ‘yan, ayaw ko mag-deal sa mga ganu’ng klaseng tao. Kasi sad ang life niya, she continued, ending the remark with: “Ako nga, walang isyu, eh. Katawan ko ‘to, ako ‘to, sarili ko ‘to.”
The actress has also been known to be vocal about societal issues—especially during the early days of the pandemic. She was even red-tagged by Southern Luzon Command Chief Lt. General Antonio Parlade Jr., an army official.
In response, she used the hashtags on her Instagram post, #NoToRedTagging, and #YesToRedLipstick in clearing the NPA allegations to her and her relatives.
Additionally, she was one of the public figures who rallied behind the health workers when former president Rodrigo Duterte slammed them for wanting to protest against inhumane conditions. "You really don't know me. You want to revolution? Then say it. Go ahead, try it. We'll ruin everything. We'll kill all those who are infected with COVID," he said.
To which Locsin responded via her Instagram stories, “Nung una, UP ang kalaban... Ngayon naman health workers. Pagsuporta ang kailangan. Hindi pagsindak," she wrote.
"Covid po ang kalaban. Hindi mamamayan.”
She also led one of the protests against the ABS-CBN shutdown in May 2020, encouraging fellow artists to speak up.
“President” Nadine Lustre has been widely known for breaking away from standard norms and sharing brilliant clap backs to bashers. The most iconic is her catchphrase from 2017 when she opened up about living in with her former beau, James Reid: "Come on guys, it's 2017!"
She was also one of the celebrities who were consistently speaking out against unfair systems during the early days of the pandemic.
Catriona Gray has been actively advocating on issues like the true queen she is. Recently, she spoke up against body shaming remarks to Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu.
"It affects not just Miss Universe titleholders, but all women. And by extension of that, all people in a way,” Gray said, adding: “It sends a message that you're not beautiful if you don't meet this criteria for a body type or weight, and it's just a horrible message to put out there.”
In 2020, she received a warning from Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. along with actress Liza Soberano for expressing their support to Gabriela, stressing the “dangers” of supporting the progressive group that advocates for women’s rights and protection.
"The choice is yours Liza. And so with you Catriona. Don't follow the path Ka Ella Colmenares (Locsin) took in the underground and NPA Quezon. I am sure Angel Locsin and Neri Colmenares will not tell you this," Lt. Gen. Parlade alleged. He apologized later on to the beauty queen.
Anne Hathaway is not only iconic for her roles as Princess Mia and Andy, but also for shedding light for girls’ and women’s rights. The Hollywood actress has been serving as an ambassador for UN Women Goodwill since 2016 and has been actively joining social causes to amplify the voices of the marginalized. Prior to this, she joined the Nike Foundation and traveled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness against child marriages.
She also voiced the lacking of women’s representation in power. In 2021, she shared in an interview the importance of having women in high-ranking places, in line with the recent election of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
“I think that when you have someone like Kamala Harris in a position of that much power, it makes you want to cheer but it also wants to make you scream in frustration because of the fact that we’re just getting here now,” she said.
“...it’s all based on a myth, that only exists because we uphold it, which means that the myth can be torn down at any moment when we decide to tear it down.”
As the award-winning singer has always been saying that it’s about damn time to embrace your so-called “flaws” and flaunt it however you want, taking no nonsense to the judgy eyes of society.
Lizzo, who is halfway through EGOT status, has been slamming body shamers and advocating for body positivity.
“Do you realize that artists are not here to fit into your beauty standards?" She said in her TikTok video addressing the unsolicited comments about her body.
"Artists are here to make art. And this body? Is art. And I'm going to do whatever I want with this body," the About Damn Time singer stressed.
FOR THE PPL IN THE BACK🍑♬ original sound - lizzo
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Having been able to bag awards and recognitions and producing tracks that represent almost all of us (especially when going through a breakup), Taylor Swift is also known for being tangled by various controversies and bullying from other artists, one prime example of this is when she was shamed by Ye while receiving her Best Female Video award in 2009 Video Music Awards (VMAs).
Despite this, Swift’s reputation to stand up against bullying continues to outshine her bashers. Fast forward to 2022, Swift ended her social media hiatus to respond to Damon Albarn, a singer-songwriter who said in an interview that Swift “doesn’t write her songs.”
“@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging,” the All Too Well singer wrote, adding “You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”
Of course, how could we fail to mention how she hustles? Being the go-getter and empowered queen that she is, Swift decided to re-record all of her songs all the way from the Fearless album to own every single of its music rights. Recently, she dropped her new album dubbed Midnights.