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21 Under 21 2018: Girls and Femmes Who Are Changing the World

Don't sleep on these names.

Young people have always stood at the forefront of major change—and 2018 was no exception. From gun control to climate change to tech and science to sports to fashion to beauty, young women, girls, and femmes are leading the charge in innovative, exciting, and ambitious ways.

In the face of what can often feel like hopeless times, these changemakers have been a beacon of light, a moment of hope, and a path forward. Regardless of the fanfare, or celebrity it earns them, they continue to do the work to change the world around them, to reach their goals and live their dreams.

We are proud to present to you this year’s Teen Vogue 21 Under 21, a tremendous selection of activists, artists, and revolutionaries who are making waves in their industry or passion of choice. Eighteen-year-old Edna Chavez powerfully spoke on the steps of the capital about the ways gun violence has torn apart her family and her community. Fifteen-year-old Elsie Fisher starred in the riveting Eighth Grade, a visceral portrayal of the inner life of young women (something that is rarely depicted on the big screen), 19 year-old Amika George who has been a leader in “period poverty”, and 18-year-old Deja Foxx a pioneer on youth and sex ed. There is also actress Josie Totah, 17, who bravely came forward as trans and history-making 18-year-old speed skater Maame Biney.

This year’s honorees were chosen through internal nominations as well as from Teen Vogue friends such as Emma Watson and Rowan Blanchard. This list is diverse and it reflects today’s girls. And while the decision for who made the cut was difficult, one theme emerged from the hundreds of young women we looked at:

Girls are watching, yes, but they will not wait for permission to change the world. They’re already doing it.