Emma Watson has addressed the controversy surrounding her recent Vanity Fair photo shoot in which she posed with her breasts partially exposed. Speaking to Reuters, the star and activist responded to critics who argue that the photo undermines her feminist ideals. Watson says that the criticism “reveals [to her] how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is.” Watson admitted.
The 26 year old, who launched the #HeForShe campaign dedicated to inspiring men to fight for female equality, continued, “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It's about freedom, it's about liberation, it's about equality. I really don't know what my t**s have to do with it. It's very confusing.”
The photograph in question features the actress in a cropped, crochet bolero jacket without anything underneath. Once published inside Vanity Fair’s March 2017 issue, it did not take long for internet trolls to point out what they saw as a hypocritical decision by Watson. British journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer suggested that the image, taken by fashion photographer Tim Walker, was hypocritical given Watson’s feminist work. “Emma Watson: Feminism, feminism . . . gender wage gap . . . why oh why am I not taken seriously . . . feminism . . . oh, and here are my t- -s!” Hartley-Brewer tweeted.
In her interview with Reuters, Watson responded by saying “They were saying I couldn’t be a feminist and have boobs…I’m confused. Most people are confused.”
Meanwhile, inside the Vanity Fair cover story, Watson spoke of the highlights and disappointments she has experienced through embarking on a career in the pubic eye. The UN Women Goodwill Ambassador said “I've been doing this since I was 10 or 11, and I've often thought, 'I'm so wrong for this job because I'm too serious; I'm a pain in the a**; I'm difficult; I don't fit…but as I've gotten older, I've realised, 'No! Taking on those battles, the smaller ones and the bigger ones, is who I am,'" she explained.
The British actress is set to star as Belle in Disney’s live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” which hits cinemas next week. The live-action remake has given the 21 year old classic a significant update. While there has been much controversy surrounding the sexuality of LeFou’s character, Watson’s Belle is given the kind of makeover that is sure to help redefine what it means to be a female lead in a Disney film.
Costume designer Jacqueline Durran, who has dressed women in films such as Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina, worked closely with Watson and director Bill Condon to embody the new Belle. Speaking about Belle’s educational pursuits in the film, Durran said “It’s not a massive reinterpretation, she was always bookish, always engaged. But I think that’s moved forward. She's more of an active heroine then she ever was before.” Belle doesn’t wear a corset in the film and portrays the kind of woman that embodies the some of the best aspects of the feminist movement. For these reasons it seems that Emma Watson’s casting in the role was a no brainer.