Famous Women Who Have Been Defying Gender Norms Since Day One

Jordan Claes
Billie Eilish selfie.
instagram | @billieeilish

Up until very recently, human beings were split like dichotomous trees and put into boxes. You were either a boy or a girl. You wore pink or blue, and woe to anyone who'd even think about upsetting the status quo.

Thankfully, that's started to shift — thanks largely to the actions of a few brave and bold women. So as a way of paying tribute to their continued sacrifice, have a look below and check out these famous women who have been defying gender norms since day one.

Sydney Sweeney is a total gear head.

Sydney Sweeney with a backwards hat wearing cover-alls working on a truck.
instagram | @sydney_sweeney

The star of Euphoria is so car-obsessed that she's been restoring a Ford Bronco in her spare time. Sydney knows how to do everything from wire-brushing rust to rebuilding a rear axel.

Demi Lovato recently came out as gender non-binary.

Demi said that the revelation that they identify as non-binary came after a year of soul searching and addiction recovery. Demi proudly proclaimed their new pronouns (they/them) and firmly believes they are representing the most genuine version of themself.

Ashley Judd helped to give women all around the world a voice with the Time's Up/#MeToo Movements.

Were it not for Ashley Judd making the brave decision to tell the story of how she fought off unwanted sexual advances from Harvey Weinstein, our society would not be where it is today in regards to gender equality.

Ruby Rose has become a role model for gender-fluid people all over the world.

Ruby Rose in bed with her dogs.
instagram | @rubyrose

"It took years," Rose told The Guardian. "But eventually, I came to a place where I went: ‘OK, I think I’m just very androgynous and very in tune with the masculine energy."

Emmy Rossum fought tooth and nail for equitable pay while starring in 'Shameless'.

Emmy Rossum in 'Shameless'.

Emmy was the unequivocal star of Shameless for nine seasons, yet she was making only a fraction of what co-star William H. Macy was taking home. She refused to return until showrunners ponied up the dough.

Jennifer Aniston has shunned the ridiculous notion that a woman needs to be married with children in order to be happy.

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston on the beach.
instagram | @jenniferaniston

Jenn once told Huff Post that "We are complete with or without a mate." Marriage shouldn't be the end goal of any relationship. Rather, the end goal should be to love and feel love.

Chelsea Handler believes that we need more women in positions of political power.

Chelsea Handler wearing a black dress smiling.
instagram | @chelseahandler

For years now, Chelsea has used her show, as well as her podcast, as platforms to help advocate for gender equality. She's a proud feminist and an outspoken enemy of the patriarchy.

Jennifer Lawrence has a lot to say on the subject of gender inequality.

Jennifer Lawrence in 'Joy'.

So much so that in 2017, Jennifer made the decision to publish and write an open essay titled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?"

Kate Hudson is raising her daughter Rani using a genderless parenting approach.

Kate Hudson standing on a swing in the back yard with her kids.
instagram | @katehudson

While speaking with People magazine, Hudson said "I think you just raise your kids individually regardless — like a genderless approach. We still don’t know what she’s going to identify as."

Margot Robbie is tired of being asked when she'll have children.

Margot Robbie sipping a glass of champagne in 'The Big Short'.

Margot told Vogue that she doesn't buy into the social contract that dictates a woman must have children after marriage. Whether she decides to have children or not will be on her terms.

Goldie Hawn has been living happily unmarried for the past 40 years.

Goldie Hawn holding her dog.
instagram | @goldiehawn

Goldie Hawn doesn't need a ring on her finger in order to love or to feel loved. Both she and Kurt Russell were married before they found one another, and feel that marriage has largely become cold and transactional.

Emma Watson is a UN Goodwill Ambassador and a champion for gender equality.

Emma Watson presented at the SAG Awards.
Giphy | BAFTA

Of all Emma's many cinematic accomplishments, the thing she's most proud of is helping to launch the #HeForShe Campaign — a social movement that encouraged boys and men to stand in solidarity with women.

Lena Dunham believes that being a feminist and believing in gender equality go hand-in-hand.

Lena Dunham sitting down, wearing a flowered dress.
instagram | @lenadunham

As Lena explained in a video interview with Vanity Fair, being a feminist simply means that you believe you're entitled to the same respect and consideration as those not of your gender

Kerry Washington believes in equality for all.

Kerry Washington holding golden balloons.
instagram | @kerrywashington

"I want to make sure that people society has labeled as 'other' have a chance to be leaders," Kerry said during the Women At Sundance Brunch. "And to make the table look like what the real world looks like."

Diane Keaton is a cultural hero as well as a fashion icon.

Diane Keaton in 'Annie Hall'.
Giphy | Top 100 Movie Quotes of All Time

Before the release of Annie Hall, it was considered highly unusual for a woman to want to dress like a man. But after seeing Diane donning slacks and a tie, the paradigm began to shift.

Beyoncé has been empowering women and young girls for more than two decades.

Beyonce wearing all read, sitting on a couch, with white heart-shaped sunglasses.
instagram | @beyonce

Even before she became Queen Bey, Beyoncé Knowles was singing about female empowerment and being a strong independent woman. Songs like "Survivor" and "Independent Women Part 1" are just two of the many examples of her leadership.

Kristen Stewart believes that a person's preferred pronouns are important.

Kristen Stewart sitting down.

Kristen believes that gender is a very unique and personal question. That putting people into boxes is a dangerous practice and that we could all stand to be a little more understanding and compassionate.

Zendaya was quick to call out a gendered question while taking 'Vanity Fair''s Proust Questionaire.

Zendaya was asked to name her favorite quality in a man. Not wanting to be profiled, Zendaya rephrased the question and answered the quality she admired most in a person.

Amy Schumer is the master of her own feminist destiny.

Amy Schumer wearing a one-piece black bathing suit.
instagram | @amyschumer

"I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say," Amy said at the 2014 Gloria Awards and Gala. "I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will."

Natalie Portman fought for equal pay for US female soccer athletes.

Natalie Portman saying "No more questions."
Giphy | Saturday Night Live

Earlier this year it was announced that the US Women's Soccer Team won a groundbreaking $24 million equal pay settlement thanks largely to Natalie Portman and Angel City FC.

Ariana Grande has spoken out publically on several occasions about male dominance in the music industry.

Ariana Grande in a black dress with her dog.
instagram | @arianagrande

Ariana has said that she longs for a day when she sees as many women in the Billboard Charts as she does men.

Miley Cyrus has been an advocate for sexuality and gender equality for years.

Miley Cyrus drinking a cup of tea in bed.
instagram | @mileycyrus

Miley herself has gone on record, stating that she identifies as gender-fluid. It's not about how she looks or a physical compulsion, this is simply how she feels.

Lady Gaga changed the socio-political landscape forever with "Born This Way."

Lady Gaga in an interview wearing sunglasses.

When Gaga first came out, there were rumors floating around that she was either a man in drag or a woman with a penis. Instead of getting offended, Gaga embraced her androgyny.

Billie Eilish helped to redefine how a pop star should look.

Billie Eilish backstage.
instagram | @billieeilish

Billie has said time and time again that she doesn't want to be judged on her appearance. But rather, she wants to be remembered as an artist — not as a sex symbol.