I was once a K-Stew hater. I know, I’m disgusted with myself too. I was unable to see the light beyond the tunnel of Twilight’s grip. But now I’ve seen the light. Now I ask you to put aside your old hatred for Kristen Stewart, because it’s unfounded. She was in an abysmal franchise before, but that never stopped any good actor from getting good work after the fact. If you’ve seen Adventureland, you know beneath her familiar screen presence, there is warmth and power in her best performances. I have yet to see Camp X-Ray but I’ve heard she’s dang good in that too. The thing about Kristen Stewart is that she actually kicks ass. A whole lot of it.

Kristen Stewart (K-Stew) might not have the range of a Jennifer Lawrence, but she deserves just as much respect. Furthermore, K-Stew can deliver beyond solid performances given the right material and direction. Something like Twilight, which has no basis for anything more than misery porn and emotional abuse, doesn’t suit her talents. Anything with meat on the bones of the script breathes life into her performance. Remember when she did The Runaways in the middle of the Twilight franchise? Not just anybody could have played Joan Jett.

Let’s not forget Stewart is the first American actress to win a Cesar Award for her work in Clouds of Sils Maria (awards are iffy but this one’s European so it’s more important). I think it’s safe to say everyone was surprised at how raw her performance was in Still Alice (watch Still Alice). Sadly, she isn’t the lead of either movie. Her turn in supporting roles is still welcome but she needs a movie production to headline – and something worthy of her own talents.

Outside of Stewart’s acting choices (which seem to only be evolving overtime) she is an outspoken feminist. With so many people constantly dismissing feminism as anything other than equality for all genders, I appreciate her willingness to shine a light on the consistently disappointing gender politics of Hollywood.

“That’s such a strange thing to say, isn’t it? Like, what do you mean? Do you not believe in equality for men and women? I think it’s a response to overly-aggressive types. There are a lot of women who feel persecuted and go on about it, and I sometimes am like, ‘Honestly, just relax, because now you’re going in the other direction.’ Sometimes, the loudest voice in the room isn’t necessarily the one you should listen to. By our nature alone, think about what you’re saying and say it-but don’t scream in people’s faces, because then you’re discrediting us.” 

Take a moment to applaud that statement. Now let’s talk about why it rules.

It’s common for audiences to often relegate women to a single type of “empowerment” through what they perceive as acceptable. We can all accept there’s no one type of person, right? Each of us is vastly different from one another. That goes for feminism as well. There’s no single way to focus on an issue like establishing gender equality if we’re only going to allow a singular approach to the endeavor. Kristen Stewart gets nervous onstage. She trips over her words sometimes. She partook in infidelity. She makes mistakes. To err is human, is it not?

How many times is she going to have to prove herself as a good actress or an even better human being? She’s determined to stay strong and not allow her voice to be diminished. She demands to be heard. For someone who the media portrays as anxious and vulnerable to a fault, Kristen Stewart sure finds a way to make that work to her benefit.

What I’m really saying is we should embrace Kristen Stewart as a symbol for equality. Happy birthday, K-Stew.

 

 

Featured Image: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Summit Entertainment