Emma Watson is a hero for so many girls and women out there. She played the Queen of Bookworms Hermione Granger and lodged herself in our hearts, she’s spoken out about feminism and crusaded for women’s rights. Now she’s playing another legendary bookworm, Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but that’s still not enough for some people.
Last week, Emma posed for a stunning shoot with Vanity Fair and she hasn’t heard the end of it since. Why? Boobs.
“They were saying that I couldn’t be a feminist and… and have boobs.”
Here’s the shot that got everyone all fired up.
Maturing from Hermione to Belle in @beautyandthebeast is a true coming-of-age story for @EmmaWatson: “I couldn’t care less if I won an Oscar or not if the movie didn’t say something that I felt was important for people to hear.” Read the full cover story at the link in bio. Photograph by Tim Walker.
Emma has received an onslaught of hate and criticism for this nearly topless photo, but why?
As someone who has fought for the empowerment of women and gender equality, some people are saying that Emma is being anti-feminist. Feminism is the right and the freedom to choose. For a woman and only her to choose what is right for her and her body – surely that’s exactly what Emma is doing? She is choosing to pose in that way and owning her sexuality.
After all, if a man poses topless no one blinks an eyelid. But some side boob? A hideous anti-feminist appears. Emma was shocked and confused at the reaction for those reasons and a few more.
But we can also see the other side of the argument. Emma is profiting from the standards that persecute other women. Women that aren’t young, fair, slim, rich, beautiful – the women that embody the ideas of Western beauty standards.
And yet it doesn’t feel right to land that on Emma either. It’s not her fault. She’s using the advantages she has in her industry to further her success, even if those advantages are ones constructed outside of feminism.
As far as we see it, Emma would have been shouted down whatever she did. Women are caught in an endless loop: strip down and you’re an anti-feminist, cover up and you’re a prudish feminist; be confident, but humble; be opinionated, but quiet about it – there’s no winning side. All that’s left is to do what’s best for you. And we think that Emma looks incredible.
I can't believe the criticism Emma Watson has received. This is why feminism is needed. Feminism doesn't have a dress code.
— ♠︎ Billy Taylor ♣︎ (@billy_author) March 4, 2017