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Image / Editorial

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by Jennifer McShane
09th Jan 2016

PASADENA, CA - APRIL 2: Actress Amandla Stenberg poses for a portrait during the NBCUniversal Summer Press Day at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on April 2, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NUP_168114_1027.jpg

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What were you doing when you were 17? Maybe you were anxiously debating your school crush or worrying about similar teenage angst issues. Well, one 17-year-old actress has left us seriously impressed after she revealed that the issues on her mind run a little bit deeper, and she isn’t afraid to share them with the world.

Amandla Stenberg, who starred in The Hunger Games, who recently garnered universal admiration for a video she posted on social media calling out the appropriation of black culture and rightfully, Kylie Jenner for wearing?cornrows and now she has been greeted with similar praise for choosing to open up about her sexuality via Snapchat.

Taking over Teen Vogue’s Snapchat account, she earnestly told?fans about how difficult it has been to keep a part of herself hidden.

http://amandla.tumblr.com/post/136866720678/so-i-took-over-the-teen-vogue-snapchat-today

?It’s a really, really hard thing to be silenced and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mould yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t in,? she said in the above video, which she also posted to her Tumblr. ?As someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman, I’ve been through it and it hurts and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable.?

The young teen demonstrates an admirable maturity well beyond her years, as she talks of staying true to who she really is, both for herself and in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.

?I definitely believe in the concept of rebellion through selfhood and rebellion just by embracing your true identity, no matter what you’re vein told,? she said. ?Here I am, being myself and it’s hard and it’s vulnerable and it’s definitely a process but I’m learning and I’m growing.?

After being called one of TeenVogue’s newest faces of feminism,?Stenberg also used the video and her Instagram account highlight her views on the importance of race representation.

“There’s a secret language between black girls destined to move mountains and cross rivers when the world sometimes tells you to belong to the valleys that surround you. You feel it like a rhythm you can’t shake if you even dared to quiet the sounds around you. Amandla (@amandlastenberg) knows it all too well. So here we are, connecting as non conforming black gals. Connecting as girls who recognize the borders that have been built around us, but tearing them down while coloring outside every line.” – soul healing honey mama Solange (@saintrecords) I think that when you’re a black girl and you grow up you internalize all these messages. Everywhere you look tells you that you shouldn’t accept your hair, or your natural features, or that you shouldn’t have a voice, or that you aren’t smart. In terms of my evolution I think those internalized messages built up in my mind until I was given the tools to recognize the situation. And understand that no, there’s nothing wrong with me, these are just that these are just messages that we’re fed. I feel like the best way to deal with that has been just to be myself and connect with all these other black girls who are awakening and realizing that they’ve been trying to conform; and the only way to fight that is to be themselves on the most genuine level. My undying gratitude to @teenvogue for giving me the opportunity to be myself. All of my love to all of you for giving me the confidence to be genuine. Our soul baring is our power. #RepresentationMatters #blackgirlmagic

A photo posted by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on

The budding star is broadcasting her views in a positive, intelligent manner and we’re not surprised so many have rallied behind her following her posts. She also thanked a few of her famous pals for being supportive in her journey toward coming out.

?I realised because of Solange [Knowles] and Ava DuVernay and Willow [Smith] and all the black girls watching this right now that there’s absolutely nothing to change,? she continued. ?We cannot be suppressed. We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears and be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow.?

It seems a number of young starts are using the medium of social media to voice their personal thoughts with legions of fans; Lily-Rose Depp did something similar last year.

Via TeenVogue

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