Quite a few years ago, if you’d asked me what I thought of Shailene Woodley, I’d have probably said she wouldn’t make it big in acting. At the time, she was starring in the ABC Family TV show The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which I thought was just a passing fad. Little did I know, she would become not only an amazing actress, but also a badass role model for girls everywhere, making her our #WCW this week.
Shailene Woodley was born in 1991 to a school teacher and principal in California and began her foray into show business by modeling at age four. She had quite a few minor roles in TV, but her big break didn’t come until she starred alongside George Clooney in the 2011 film The Descendants, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Although she hasn’t done many films, the films she has taken on have made big waves across the country and internationally. Some of her most notable roles include Aimee Finecky in the film adaptation of The Spectacular Now, Hazel Lancaster in the film adaptation of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, and Tris Prior in the film adaptations of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.
While Shailene has played a lot of amazing, strong young women, it is important to highlight how strong a young woman she is in real life. At age 15 she was diagnosed with scoliosis, which is an unnatural curvature of the spine that affects about 2 percent of the population. Due to this diagnosis she was required to wear a plastic brace to prevent her spine from curving further. Not only has she gone through her own personal struggle, but she’s also taken on her roles very seriously, advocating for the message they send. In her role as Hazel Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars, a terminal cancer patient, Shailene opted to cut her long locks and donate them to be made into a wig for a child with cancer who had lost their hair due to chemotherapy. She also encouraged others to do the same in the name of helping those who have lost something that they often hold so dear.
Shailene has taken each of her roles very seriously, also advocating for the badass-ness that is her character in Tris Prior in the Divergent series. She’s all about girl power and fully supports the confidence Tris’ character instills in other girls all over the world.
Shailene is a shining star who is far from fading and we know that her next role will be even bigger and better than the ones before.