All The Times The iHeartRadio MMVAs Women Were Feminist Badasses

2018 has been a year of wins for women. Whether it’s the united organization of the Women’s March, the emboldened voices of #MeToo and #TimesUp, or the inclusivity of female on-screen representation, we’ve seen various victories. Feminism has evolved into the mainstream as conversations are being reframed with diversity in mind and social media has effectively mobilized generations of girls and women. Gender equality is being galvanized, and the iHeartRadio MMVAs women are harnessing this energy. Here are a few of the times they’ve championed women’s empowerment.

 

Halsey

Performing at the Nobel Peace Prize concert, delivering a speech at the United Nations, marching in the Washington Women’s March in 2017: Halsey stands out when it comes to standing up for women. At the New York march this year, Halsey performed her spoken word “A Story Like Mine.” In a raucous recount, she shares her personal experiences with sexual trauma. The singer is frank when she admits that neither fame or fortune has guaranteed her safety as a woman. While the poem is cathartic and courageous, the conclusion is a resounding invitation for everyone to be vocal allies for all women regardless of their identity.

“Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian / Listen, listen and then yell at the top of your lungs / Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues/ For the people who had to grow up way too young/ There is work to be done/ There are songs to be sung/ Lord knows there’s a war to be won.”

 

Alessia Cara

Cara is a rebel with a cause whose getting attention for all the right reasons.  The Canadian musician’s radio hits have messages that resonate in embracing body positivity, mental well-being, and self-esteem. Alessia Cara makes a statement in her single “Scars to Your Beautiful” and the accompanying music video features transgender models and cancer survivors.

Beyond spreading positivity through her music, Cara has supported two anti-bullying campaigns #IamAWitness and Disney’s #ChooseKindness to empower youth and feel comfortable in their individuality. The pop singer’s also partnered with I AM THAT GIRL, a non-profit that encourages girls to find self-acceptance by creating safe spaces to support girls everywhere.

“At this point, we [girls] really need to lift each other up… we’re living in a very scary time,” she told Newsweek. “We can’t have any progress unless we just help each other, love each other, and it starts with us. The definition of ‘feminism’ is equality for all genders. It’s not saying women are superior, it’s not anti-men… it’s equality for women. I am a feminist and if you’re not at this point, you’re dated and your mindset needs to change.”

 

Sonequa Martin-Green

The actor, writer, and producer, Sonequa Martin-Green made headlines when she was cast as Starfleet captain Michael Burnham in the TV series, Star Trek: Discovery. The role earned her the title of the first-ever black female lead on Star Trek.

In a joint interview with co-star Mary Chieffo for Nerdist, the two spoke about how Star Trek: Discovery showcases the diversity and multi-dimensionality of both men and women. “What I really love is strong women who are still vulnerable, which categorizes every woman on our show. There are these women who are so powerful, but what I love is that they are powerful in their femininity,” Martin added.

“It’s not that they are trying to be men to be powerful. You can feel that sort of mother, but also that captain, soldier, warrior. I love being able to be a woman who is strong innately, but who is also struggling innately.”

 

Tyra Banks

The super-hyphenate has always been known to be bold and speak her mind. Banks is not only a supermodel, but a role model in having proclaimed herself a feminist as early as 2014. “But I know that my body being thicker on that runway meant something. A lot of the things I did in my modelling career as a woman of colour was part of that feminism—of expanding the definition of beauty and making women feel beautiful, no matter what colour their skin is,” she told Yahoo!.

“Right now, with women in power, and not apologizing for being strong or wanting to make money or to be on top, that’s my message—and that’s all feminism.”

 

Meghan Trainor

Trainor’s has a track record of tons of hits that are infectiously feel-good. Though her singles aren’t just mindlessly catchy—they’re purposeful with lyrics that are both uplifting and assertive. In the 24-year-old’s lead single “No Excuses” off her upcoming third LP Treat Yourself, she uses her music to send a message. In an interview with People, the pop star discussed the inspiration for the girl power anthem.

“When I do look back—especially to when I was 18 and 19 in the industry, talking to older adults, mansplaining was very real, and it’s still real—you feel like you’re fighting for your word, fighting to show them you do know what you’re talking about,” she said. “I finally reached a point where I needed to write a song about it … It just reminded me we need more respect in the world, and we need more respect for each other at every age.”

 

Awkwafina

Awkwafina is always unapologetically herself and unafraid to make a statement. The actor, rapper, and TV personality uses her voice to bring attention to feminism, representation, and race. Take “Green Tea” for example, a bouncy collaboration with Margaret Cho that’s tongue and cheek about traditional stereotypes. Awkwafina told The Feminism Project that she wrote the song “for all young women of colour to embrace their quirkiness, their sexuality, their inner-child and their creativity with passion.”

Having achieved a double major in women’s studies and journalism, it may come as no surprise that Awkwafina is so woke and affirmed. But in an interview with The Guardian, she made it clear that her identity is the real political statement. “The existence of someone like me, especially from my earlier videos, when YouTube was a landscape where not a lot of people saw an Asian-American woman being entirely unashamed—save for Cho—is in itself provocative,” she said.

The 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs, hosted by Awkwafina, go down Sunday, August 26 at 9/7MT on CTV and Much. But all the fun starts with Pre-Game show, which streams live at 7:30/5:30MT right here before the Red Carpet at 8/6MT.