The 5 Female Twenty-Something’s Who Made Time’s 100 Most Influential People ’17
Time Magazine’s annual list of 100 Most Influential People explores the intersection of accomplishment and renown, “As in years past, this year’s list includes Presidents and Prime Ministers, CEOs and celebrities — but they are joined by others of less fame but great force, in the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, the genius of their solutions to problems that no one before them could solve.”
I’m not sure whether it’s amazing that five female twenty-something’s were included in this year’s list or depressing that only five female twenty-something’s were included in this year’s list.
But regardless, the five women below deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated, because not only have they contributed to their industries in significant ways, they have also pushed the world forward, forced us to expand our minds, entertained us, made us feel things and kept us on our toes.
As editor Nancy Gibbs said, “In divisive times, it’s tempting to nestle in a comfort zone, surrounded by people who look like us, think like us, pray like us, vote like us. Yet many of the men and women on this year’s list are calling us out, using the technologies that connect us to expand how we see the world.”
SIMONE BILES, 20
“I always keep up with gymnastics because I love the Olympics. But what struck me when I first saw Simone in Rio was how perfect she was at everything. That girl was born to do what she does.
And she is the best at it. Not the best black gymnast, not the best black-girl gymnast. The best gymnast. It really is inspiring. It’s like she’s sending a message to everyone who’s watching: No matter what you’re going through in life or what your circumstances are, you still can be No. 1. You’ve just got to work hard.
Of course, it’s important to have fun too. Simone is just 20 years old. She shouldn’t have to take life too seriously just yet. When I met Simone, I could tell that she knew that. She was always smiling, and she gives off this attitude of wanting to enjoy every moment to the fullest.
Simone is a very extraordinary person, and she’s going to be a very extraordinary grownup.” – Leslie Jones
DEMI LOVATO, 24
“It seems like Demi Lovato has already led many lives. The singer, songwriter, actor and activist, who made her acting debut at age 8, has done so much, and been through so much, that it’s hard to believe she’s still only 24. But she hasn’t just grown up—she has grown in wisdom. Now Demi is using her hard-won wisdom to benefit others. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, instead of hiding it she partnered with Be Vocal, a campaign devoted to getting people to speak up about mental illness and the stigma around it. She has also been a public role model, unashamedly chronicling her struggles with substance abuse (she is now five years sober) and eating disorders. And having been bullied as a child, Demi has taken up the cause to protect other children.
Demi Lovato is a remarkably talented artist and performer. But her courage, honesty and willingness to use her own experiences to help others are what make her a true star.” – Arianna Huffington
MARGOT ROBBIE, 26
“Like no one else—that’s what Margot Robbie’s like. You’re asked this question a lot about actors—”What’s she like?”—and I’ve never been able to give an answer I’m happy with. With Margot, you can recall some classic precedents: the comedic genius of Carole Lombard, for her all-bets-off feistiness; Joan Crawford, for her grounded, hardscrabble toughness; Ida Lupino, for her emotional daring. Margot has all this in addition to a unique audacity that surprises and challenges and just burns like a brand into every character she plays. She clinched her part in The Wolf of Wall Street during our first meeting—by hauling off and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a thunderclap of a slap on the face, an improvisation that stunned us all.
This is not a complete answer to the perennial question, but it’s a start. Margot is stunning in all she is and all she does, and she will astonish us forever.” – Martin Scorsese
EMMA STONE, 28
“I can’t imagine film without Emma Stone. And I don’t want to. As an actor, Emma is brave, devastating, hilarious, real, complex, charming and so much more. Her Oscar-winning performance in La La Land is just the latest example.
But Emma takes on significant roles off-screen as well. The selfless friend. The wise psychiatrist. The fearless leader. The coolest girl at the party. (She’s even the intense soccer mom, cheering you on, no matter what, at the top of her lungs.) I know that she has played all of these roles in my life. And for that I’m lucky to call her my friend.
But what I really admire about Emma the person—as well as Emma the actor—is that she is never afraid to show us the most difficult thing you can show the world: yourself. What that entails is not always pretty. But with Emma, it is real, and it is beautiful.” – Brie Larson
ASHLEY GRAHAM, 29
“Every inch of Ashley Graham’s face tells the story of beauty—inside and out.
Every word she speaks shouts to all who lack faith in their reflections. Every Graham of her body embraces anyone who ever doubted themselves.
Ashley’s firsts will last in our minds forever, permanently imprinted in our skulls that all of our beauty matters.
Yes, Ashley. You did that. And I am beyond proud, in admiration and in awe of your power and influence over so many people’s self-worth.
It is time for everyone to bow down to the fashion industry’s—no, make that beauty’s—new queen.” – Tyra Banks
Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club