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Why does Emma Watson inspire you?

September 23, 2014

It would seem that recent media attention is being closely drawn to the image of the Harry Potter star, Emma Watson.

Her UN speech supporting gender equality in the HeForShe campaign has generated a tornado of social media admiration and respect. Even more recently, a threat to publish nude images of the actress has also hit headlines and brews a number of questions: “Why would someone fighting for gender equality take nude pictures of herself, it’s surely objectifying herself as a woman?”

But what struck me most was a recent and contradicting Buzzfeed post entitled ’15 of the most empowering things Emma Watson has ever said”. First of all, the post states that Emma Watson has said inspiring things beyond her UN speech, however, two of the 15 quotes were from her speech, so already the editor of that post needs to be a bit more careful.

The next thing I noticed more significantly is quote number three, “I don’t want to look like everyone else. I don’t have perfect  teeth, I’m not stick thin.” Can we just step back and look at Watson for a moment? For her to say she is not stick thin is like saying London isn’t a big city.

Emma-Watson-Bikini-Boyfriend-Matthew-JanneyEmma Watson at the beach with her boyfriend in January 2014

Can we also just think back for a moment in relation to quote number five, “Young women are bombarded by images of perfection which no human being can really achieve.” In 2010, Watson modelled for Burberry and was most likely airbrushed and photoshopped to be portrayed as an even more beautiful and slim woman.

emma-watson-burberry-spring-summer-2010-campaign-05

Emma Watson modelling for Burberry in 2010

Ok, so she may have changed her mind since then, and her modelling may now be a regret of hers, but as a celebrity, she is a blatant victim and endorsor of this feminine ideology that she is now striving to abolish. Maybe just stop and take a historical look at someone before you start casting their ‘inspiring’ views as ideal ones because they are a major celebrity turned politician-type.

On a similar note of gender equality, I have recently bought my nephew a birthday present consisting of a frying pan, spatula and pieces of plastic food to pretend to cook with as he loves to watch grown ups cook in the kitchen. But when I looked at the labelling, I noticed it was decorated in a floral pattern. This is a basic gender stereotype, although, when you look at most famous chefs, there is a strong male presence. Have you ever had an experience with gender inequality that we maybe brush past in every day life? Maybe just something to think about.

Please Tweet me your thoughts and opinions as I’d love to hear them – @astrid_hall

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From → For Thought

2 Comments
  1. Love this. I think a fundamental issue that we all face is that even though we support causes or ideologies, our daily behaviors sometimes contradict our beliefs. I think the structure of our society and the culture we live in compels us to do this. For example,our current culture compels me to speak out against the traditional feminine standards of beauty, and yet I often times wish I were skinnier, prettier, etc. I think the difference is Emma Watson is pretty darn close to that standard. As such, it would seemingly be easier to speak out against it without feeling like a hypocrite, even though she may come off as one. With all that said, I am a big fan of Emma and I appreciate her efforts all the same.

    • I completely agree. But I think people were more astounded by her speech because of her place as a celebrity. If I stood up and fought for gender equality with the same speech, I’d probably be classed as just another feminism-pushing preacher.

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