Skip to main content

Emma Watson and Feminism: It's About Freedom and Liberation

The author shares her views and advice on a wide variety of family, social and cultural topics.

The Infamous Shot


It Isn't About The Body

It's aggravating to hear that people are slagging Emma Watson for being a hypocrite. She has been denigrated since her Vanity Fair photo shoot with fashion photographer Tim Walker because there was a very artistic shot where she was shown wearing a cropped bolero jacket and what appears to be a very sheer top, and the shot is done in such a way that the curve of her breasts and her bare belly are seen.

Here's the thing; this isn't about her taking multiple shots of herself in front of a mirror completely naked to show off her assets. This is a tastefully done shot, where outside of the obvious bare skin, she is more or less clothed. She isn't posing nude and claiming she's doing it to promote notions of sexuality.

In fact, she was very up front when responding to the Vanity Fair controversy that erupted as a result of the shot.

“I don't know what my tits have to do with it," she told Independent. "It’s very confusing. Most people are confused. I’m always just kind of quietly stunned. They were saying that I couldn’t be a feminist and have boobs.”

Her confusion about what her breasts have to do with notions of feminism isn't wrong. She was involved in a tastefully done photo shoot that focussed on the theme of being a rebel. While the photo shoot could have been done in many different ways, this was the choice made by the photographer and the editor. Watson was on board because she supported the photographer in his artistic choices, and felt the shot was artistic.

Feminism has about as much to do with breasts as being a man has to do with the size of his package. It's an ideal, and it's about women being treated as equal to men. We are very much aware of the physical differences; what feminists are trying to do is encourage women to help make their voices heard so that they are respected for their contributions as much as men are for theirs. Displaying the human body isn't a part of feminism; the human form has been a part of art for centuries and millennia, in all its forms—dressed or undressed.

The mindset is what feminism is partly about. Looking for equality. Wanting to be considered in the same way as men are for what they bring to the table.

What part of showing bare breasts is any of that?

Modern Woman, Encouraging Women And Men To Support Each Other


Really, What's The Problem?

In a world where there continue to be complaints about how our young people aren't wanting to be involved in politics or anything Earth-, or at least society- changing, why are people complaining about a photo which is tastefully done in which Watson looks elegant?

Watson has done—and continues to do—some great things with her fame. She's partnered with the United Nations for He for She, a campaign designed to encourage men to support and fight for women's rights, and she's also trying to encourage people to become more literate by starting her own online book club. She's taken the time to ensure that her privacy is protected and that she is still able to live her life on her terms - at the very least, that is definitely the image she has cultivated, and from the interviews she has given, it would seem that she's taken the time to ensure she is well educated on the issues that she's supporting. It's not as though she's spewing words unintelligently and talking nonsense; she's a thoughtful, thought provoking woman who is using her celebrity status to bring awareness to important issues.

What could be a better use of celebrity than that?

She's also trying to encourage people to learn more about feminism, which truly is about the ideas of achieving equality not in a physical sense but in the sense of fairness and equity between the genders. Women have been notoriously paid less than men and treated as "less than" on a worldwide scale. Emma Watson has gotten informed about that, and she's doing what she can to make life more equitable for women.

And she's sparking a discussion about what feminism is, which could be quite probably more empowering for all of us in the long run.