Emma Watson isn’t any less of a feminist because she posed semi-topless
Shocking new concept: women can do whatever they choose with their bodies???
Along with being an exceptionally talented actress Emma Watson is now also the new face of scandal following her racy photo shoot for Vanity Fair. The photo in question sees Emma wearing a skirt, no top, and a mini cape to cover her nipples. She looks genuinely magical. And the hate? That stems from the fact that she calls herself a feminist, but then gets her tits out.
As if failing to wear a top somehow compromises her identity as a feminist. Yes, once again the age old dilemma: you can’t possibly believe in equal rights for men and women, and still be sexual. Because how can you call yourself a feminist if you show off your body in this way? Well, as Emma herself once said, “If you stand for equality then you’re a feminist. Sorry to tell you”.
People have been quick to call her out for being a hypocrite, and anti-feminist, particularly because she once said “the less you reveal, the more you can wonder’, and apparently something she once said when she was like 18 is something that must stick with her forever – she’s obviously not allowed to change her mind, right?
It’s not like she’s maybe grown up in the last eight years, and the opinions she had when she was 18 are obviously going to have changed by the time she’s 26? Yes, the photo is a far cry from her usual photo shoots, but in an article where she discusses her transition to womanhood, is it that surprising that she might want to experiment a bit?
It’s hard to believe that in 2017 some people still need it spelt out for them what exactly feminism means, but here we go. Feminism is literally the belief that women should be treated fairly and equally to men. Calling yourself a feminist means that you understand and respect the fact that in certain places across the world (most places, to be honest, but some definitely worse than others) women are treated unfairly simply because they are women, and you want to help change that. That’s it. That’s literally it.
There is no secret, hidden clause that says in order to be a feminist you must remain fully clothed at all times, never showing an inch of skin. No where does it say that feminists can’t be sexy, or cannot show of their bodies. Feminism is about making sure women can do what they want with their bodies – they have the right to make their own choices.
Emma Watson is a feminist because she strongly believes in gender equality. She launched He for She, supports feminist causes, and consistently campaign for women’s rights. Showing a tiny portion of her breasts does not suddenly erase all of that hard work.
She is also, undeniably, a very proud feminist, and she’s proving that you can be a feminist while still feeling comfortable in your body, while still wanting to be sexy, and sexual. And anyone who’s comparing this photoshoot to the No Page 3 campaign needs to seriously read up on what exactly that campaign was about. Page 3 was a symbol of society unable to come to terms with it’s own sexism. It was practically stuck in a sexist time-warp, sexualised images of women being used to decorate news that both featured, and was aimed at, men.
Emma Watson’s Vanity Fair shoot is a far cry from that: it is a woman who is happy with her body, and is embracing everything about it. And she’s been in the spotlight long enough now to make it perfectly clear that she wouldn’t do something if she didn’t feel right about it, if it wasn’t right for her, or she simply didn’t want to do it. Case in point: she turned down the Oscar winning role of Mia in La La Land because she just didn’t think the project was right for her.
And the way she has shaped the character of Belle, to make her character more realistic as a woman proves how far she will go to ensure that the work she does adheres to her feminist values. She was determined to make Belle her own, transitioning her from nothing more than a dreamy bookworm into her inventor father’s assistant, refusing to have a corset put in her dress because it was restrict her movement too much, and insisting on riding boots over ballet pumps because of the practicality.
Emma Watson has always made one thing clear: being a feminist does not mean she is against her sexuality. Being a woman standing up for your rights does not suddenly make you a hypocrite for showing parts of your body, and this is just another example of the media focussing on how a woman looks rather than the power of what she is saying.
By claiming that Emma Watson is not actaully a feminist because she exposed part of her chest to the world – in a very tasteful, fashion-y way – does not make her any less of a feminist, it just proves that you don’t understand the first thing about feminism.
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