Olivia Julianna loves Texas, Fleetwood Mac, and the color olive green. Her favorite food is chicken flautas. She could spend hours watching Modern Family, listening to J. Cole, and making TikToks. But what she loves most of all is when politicians underestimate her.

Just take Texas attorney general Ken Paxton. And Virginia’s Republican governor Glenn Youngkin. And Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott. Oh, and infamously, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who body-shamed 19-year-old Olivia, only for her to turn his fatphobic, misogynistic comments into more than $2 million in donations to abortion funds across the country.

Olivia at the Texas Capital after speaking in opposition to the SB8 abortion ban

The abortion-rights advocate is a political strategist with Gen Z for Change, a youth-led nonprofit that uses social media to raise awareness, fundraise for causes, and get under politicians’ skin. Olivia is a mainstay at protests at the Texas State Capitol in Austin and has traveled to Washington, DC to meet with Democratic leaders including Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer to Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood. With the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, Olivia is laser-focused on efforts to unseat the Republican officials who have made Texas one of the most anti-abortion states in the country.

After the struggles that have brought Olivia here — from family dysfunction to health scares to some relatives considering her abortion-rights advocacy an “abomination” — she isn’t going to let anyone get her down, even a sitting congressman who targets her body to his 1.4 million followers. “I have faced much tougher obstacles in life than someone body-shaming me,” she tells Teen Vogue. “The last thing I’m going to do is let someone like Matt Gaetz, of all people, make me feel bad about myself.” Olivia credits her lifelong love of professional wrestling with helping her develop a quick wit and confidence under pressure. “My confidence has not faltered one bit since this entire thing has happened,” she says, “because I know I’m doing the right thing.”

Olivia is using the spotlight that has shone on her to illuminate the Texas candidates she believes in from Beto O’Rourke, who is running to unseat Abbott, to Rochelle Garza, who is taking on Paxton in the attorney general race. She knows a lot of people write Texas off, dismissively saying that red state voters are reaping what they sow, but she refuses to join in. Olivia loves Texas for what it is and what she believes it can be. “The reality is Texas is not a red state. Texas is a voter-suppression state.” She says she wasn’t able to vote in the last election because of systemic barriers that made it difficult for her to obtain a government-issued ID. “I didn’t have the documents I needed to vote,” she says. “I know from firsthand experience this state is worth fighting for.” This November, when she votes in her first election, it will be for candidates she worked alongside.

Beto O’Rourke giving Olivia a shout-out at an event for Texas Democrats

One of those candidates is Mike Collier, who is running for lieutenant governor and who, Olivia says, is the first politician to take her seriously. On TikTok, the hashtag she launched to share information about Collier, #collierfortexas, has more than one million views. In response to a request for comment from Teen Vogue, Collier said he’s grateful “not only for her indefatigable advocacy for our state but also for her friendship. I am a better candidate and will be a better lieutenant governor because of Olivia. Olivia embodies the best of Texas: grit in the face of adversity, resolve no matter the hardship.”

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