By Brianna Green
On the last day of the year, the world was excited to say goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022. However, we were stunned by the news that Betty White, an American treasure, had died only 17 days before her 100th birthday. White is known for her long Hollywood career,starring in television shows such as Date with the Angels (1957-1958) and The Golden Girls (1985-1992), and hit movies like The Proposal (2009) and Toy Story 4 (2019).
Yet, White was more than just an incredible TV personality and actress; she was also an advocate. The cause she’s most known for supporting is animal welfare. According to CNN, “she volunteered with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for more than 40 years as a trustee and chair. She strongly supported the conservation and educational missions of zoos.” CNN adds that White helped with many other animal organizations such as American Humane, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center.
White didn’t just advocate for animals though; she was an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. Blade reports that “White told Parade magazine in 2010 – ‘I don’t care who anybody sleeps with… I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.” The Advocate adds that she also helped bring awareness to HIV/AIDs research by promoting and becoming a spokesperson for Lifeline Program, which assists patients with HIV and the elderly.
Outside of being an advocate and ally, White was a badass feminist. White was born in a time where it was expected of women to have a family and children, but she didn’t. White was divorced twice, married three times, and never had biological children. Not only that, but CNN reports how White, in 1949, produced her own program, “The Betty White Show;” “she produced, co-created, and starred in her own sitcom, hired female directors, and deliberately chose her career over marriage. She was TV’s original trailblazing feminist.”
Betty White is the kind of woman people thought died “too soon” even though she was about to turn 100 years old on January 17, 2022. She will be remembered as a caring and inspirational icon for years to come.