And she's standing up for herself following those Beyoncé comments ...
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Emma Watson has been busy promoting her new film, the live action version of childhood classic Beauty and the Beast. She has set up her own Instagram dedicated to sustainable fashion and her ethical sartorial choices, and she has also been channeling Cinderella at many of the premieres.
But one thing that everyone felt the need to focus their attention on was that ‘topless’ fashion shoot for Vanity Fair (read: not topless at all).
Critics claimed that Emma couldn’t possibly be a feminist and have boobs, but the 26-year-old actress was quick to shoot the naysayers down in an interview with the BBC when she laughed: ‘Feminism is about giving women choice, feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women … I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.’
However rather than calm the storm, people began to resurface an interview Emma gave in Wonderland magazine back in 2014, where she discusses feeling ‘conflicted’ by Beyoncé’s music videos.
She has been hailed a ‘hypocrite’ for commenting on Beyoncé’s sexualised videos, yet posing in a revealing shoot herself.
Was this enough to quiet Emma? Of course not.
She proceeded to tweet the transcript from the interview that was being used against her to highlight that she was not slamming Beyoncé at all – instead, she was praising her for ‘putting feminism and femininity and female empowerment on such a broad spectrum’.
In her tweet, she wrote: ‘This is the part of my 2014 interview with Tavi where we talked about Beyoncé. My words are in bold.’
In the extract, Emma says: ‘I’m quite nervous to bring it up because I still haven’t really formulated my own ideas about it but [both laugh] Beyoncé’s new album. I don’t know whether you have spoken to anyone about it, but my friend and I sat and we watched all the videos back-to-back and I was really conflicted.
‘I so admire her confidence to put her music out in that way, in amidst all these very sensationalist performances, I was so psyched about that.
‘On the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, this very strong woman – and she had that beautiful speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in one of her songs – but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her and I just wondered if you had thought about that?’
Emma has been an avid campaigner for equal rights, and even opened up recently about her sad reaction to the feminism backlash after her famed United Nations speech.
However, she has never been one to let the critics shut her up, instead admitting to using their negativity to spur her on further.
A true modern feminist icon.