Update: This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Kristen Stewart. Guardian Liberty Voice apologizes for the error.
Emma Watson, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart have a lot more in common than constant media attention, paparazzi plaguing them and being tabloid fodder. They are all the same age – 24 years old, very wealthy, been in the public eye for years and widely looked at – and criticized – as role models.
Two of the 24 year olds have both been in the media the past few weeks for different reasons:
- Watson blew everyone away in a galvanizing speech on feminism before the United Nations General Assembly. Appointed a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador right after graduating from Brown University, Watson is choosing to use her fame to make a difference in the world.
- Pictures of Lawrence were part of the massive leaks of actresses’ personal nude photos that hit the Internet in three waves this past month.
Not a week goes by without a photo of at least one of them hitting the Web. Imagine every move, outfit, choice, restaurant meal, date and other aspects of day-to-day life being dissected. While the four have experienced this for years, it cannot be easy to have every date, break-up and bad hair day scrutinized. They are all remarkably poised with the impact fame has had on their lives.
Watson and Stewart have literally grown up before everyone’s eyes starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Panic Room. Lawrence and Swift did not become nationally known until later in their teens.
The three actresses were all cast as leads in some of the most highly successful movie franchises of the past 10 years: Harry Potter and the …, X-Men, The Hunger Games and Twilight, which is a lot of pressure and public scrutiny when just trying to find themselves as young women.
Watson was born in Paris and raised in England, studying singing, dancing and acting as a child. At 9, she auditioned for the role of Hermoine Granger, a role she played till age 20. Between Potter films, she primarily focused on school and did not branch out into other film roles until 2011’s My Week with Marilyn. She has pretty much shot a movie a year, while attending college.
Lawrence was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, with two older brothers. She started modeling and acting at 14. Her first major role was in 2010’s Winter’s Bone, which earned her first Oscar nomination. Besides her visibility as Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) and Mystique (X-Men), she has continually worked and earned an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook.
Stewart’s parents work in the industry and she was raised around it in L.A. She started appearing in film at 9 years old, but really caught attention as the diabetic daughter trapped with Jodie Foster in Panic Room. She was just 17 when playing Bella in Twilight launched her and eventually her relationship with co-star Robert Pattinson into the public eye.
Swift was born and raised on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania. At age 9, she became interested in musical theater and began taking lessons. She began writing songs at 12 and released her first album at 16. Anyone who did not know her name before the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 learned it when Kanye West grabbed the mike away from her during her Best Female Video acceptance speech. Swift’s first few years in the limelight included a lot of scrutiny of her love life, both from songs she wrote and dating several people also in the public eye too.
For many, 24 is a time for settling into a career after college. Given their tabloid attention Emma Watson, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart have grown up fast and have more in common with each other than others their age.
By Dyanne Weiss