In an age when teen stars’ influence correlates to the number of Instagram followers they claim, singers Grace VanderWaal and Billie Eilish are using their popularity to shine the spotlight on important issues of the day, including abortion rights.
What does Roe v. Wade mean to a girl who was born 31 years after the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling? “Freedom for women — and their bodies,” says VanderWaal, who is 15 and won “America’s Got Talent” in 2016 at age 12. “I was shocked, truly lost for words,” says the Kansas City-born artist of learning that multiple states had adopted restrictive laws against terminating a pregnancy. “Seeing everything that is happening, and as a young woman in America, it hurts my heart to know that women’s rights aren’t being fulfilled. I want everyone to stand together and say what’s right.”
Eilish, the 17-year-old breakout whose just-released album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” is already generating Grammy buzz, places the blame for the bans firmly on Washington. “I have no words for the bitches in the fucking White House,” says the Los Angeles native. “It’s so unbelievable. Nobody should be telling women how to live their life, how to do shit. Men should not make women’s choices.”
Echoes VanderWaal: “No matter your situation or what you’ve been through, women’s bodies are just that. Their bodies. Period.”