Forbes may as well have slapped themselves in the face when they published this week’s cover story; “The World’s Most Influential Women 2016” and within it, featured Rob Pattinson’s stunning girlfriend, Kristen Stewart. The story opened with the headline: “The Kristen Stewart Story,” which sounds so trite when compared to the woman behind the headlines. The article was an in-depth look at the 28-year-old’s life and career, and although it was a puff piece that mostly regurgitated what Stewart had already tweeted and blogged about, it did contain a few surprises.

Kristen Stewart’s Early Life

Kristen Stewart was born in Newmarket, Ontario, on December 20, 1986, the second of three daughters born to Diane and Gordon Stewart. Although she initially grew up in a large family, the birth of her younger sister, Rose, in 1988, sparked a competitive spirit within her. She became determined to be the best sister and spent a lot of time helping her parents with their gardening business, which they had founded. It was through her assistance that she earned the nickname “Sunny” (after the popular Canadian band, Prairie Sun).

Stewart’s Family And Early Career

Diane Stewart died of renal failure in 2012 at the age of 59, and her passing devastated Kristen Stewart. After years of battling depression and anxiety, the 28-year-old began to find comfort in her activism, which she had previously kept private. She became determined to support and empower women and began speaking publicly about mental health issues and supporting women in need. With the help of a personal stylist and makeup artist, she began to slowly transform her public image from that of a fragile flower to a strong, independent woman.

Breaking Into Film

In September 2014, Stewart made her musical theatre debut in the Canadian production of Once, which was met with rave reviews. The musical later opened on Broadway, where it continues to run strong, and also became the recipient of eight Tony Awards, including Best New Musical. The following month, Stewart appeared alongside Emma Watson in the British anthology series, Sex Stories. A year later, she was featured in the romantic comedy, While You Were Sleeping. In June 2016, she made her big-screen debut in the Sundance Film Festival’s premiere of the comedy, Annie, which was met with rave reviews. The following month, Stewart appeared in the romantic comedy Sisters (2016). In October 2016, she starred alongside George Clooney in the thriller, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Rob And Kristen Begin Dating

In 2012, shortly before Diane Stewart’s death, she and Gordon Stewart had reconciled and decided to rebuild their marriage. Although they had begun dating again, it was Kristen Stewart’s decision to keep this a secret from the public. In an effort to maintain the romance, they held off on revealing their relationship to avoid spoiling the surprise of their reunion with Rob. The truth eventually came out, however, when Stewart and Rob decided to go public with their romance in early 2015. They began dating in the fall of 2014 and were soon after engaged. After months of speculation, the couple married in a whirlwind wedding in France on November 11, 2015. The wedding received worldwide media coverage and was lauded for its “glowing” reports from wedding bloggers.

No Regrets

On November 10, 2016, Stewart gave birth to a baby boy, Knox, with her husband, Rob, in an effort to become a family of four. The birth of her son was a surprise to many, as she had previously stated that she did not wish to have any children, choosing to focus on her career. Although she initially kept quiet about her family life, she has since embraced motherhood and the opportunity to share her experience with others. In the months since giving birth, Stewart and Rob have kept busy with their new baby and have also worked hard to dispel any doubts about her parenting skills. The couple’s publicist confirmed that the actress now “adores” her new baby and that “she looks forward to being a mother every day.” In January 2017, Stewart and Rob welcomed their second child, a girl named Deacon, into the world.

The Influence Of Stewart’s Career

Kristen Stewart is now one of the most recognizable faces in the world and has used her celebrity to help other women in need. She has been vocal about mental health issues and actively promotes #FreeTheNipple, a cause that fights the stigma surrounding breast cancer. She has also been an outspoken proponent of “body positivity” and has worked to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Through her work, she has been able to help many women who have shared their stories with her, providing them with guidance and support.

Changing Public Perception

It is amazing how, in the space of just three years, a once-in-a-generation talent like Kristen Stewart has been able to evolve from a fragile flower to a strong, independent woman who is unafraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in.

What is abundantly clear is that Stewart’s journey to this point has not been an easy one, and she has had to overcome a great deal of opposition along the way. While many may still look at Stewart and believe she is incapable of doing anything on her own, her continued ascent to the top reaffirms that nothing can stop her now. And, for that, we can all be very proud.