When I read about actress and activist Rowan Blanchard’s new book, I thought once again, it’s a damn good time to be a teen girl. Teen girls, in fact, might be the most powerful force to be reckoned with right now; they’re making — insisting — on political and social change, and they’re creating great art to top it off.
Blanchard, who is 16, wrote Still Here (her first book) about growing up “whenever that is,” she told W. The actress got her start on Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World and is going to be in one of 2018’s most anticipated films A Wrinkle In Time, which means she’ll sharing screentime with the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. It just so happens that she also wrote a beautiful book.
Still Here is made up of art and essays from Blanchard herself and contributors like poet Rupi Kaur, Sour Grapes author Jenny Zhang, and photographer Gia Coppola. The concept for Still Here came to her at age 13, when she had the idea to record “teenage survival.” Blanchard writes incisively and naturally about anxiety, about growing up, about being unsure of yourself and others around you.
“I am too old for myself and too young for others,” Blanchard writes. “My growing pains take the form of foggy car windows and the simplicity and multitudes contained the words ‘How does it feel.’ With writing like that — and also a penchant for public speaking, whether at the United Nations about gender inequality or about intersectional feminism at LA’s Women’s March — Blanchard is an icon in the making.