Why Emma Watson's Vanity Fair Shoot Is Feminist
Over the last few years, one of the most vocal young advocates for feminism and equal rights has been Emma Watson.
While she gave life to one of our generation's most iconic characters through her portrayal of Hermione Granger, it was what she chose to do post-Potter that really stood out. Sure, she has worked on iconic films such as "Perks of Being" and "Beauty and the Beast," but it's what she's chosen to do off-screen that makes her a true icon in the making.
Emma Watson has become not only an advocate for eco-friendly clothing and makeup (she made an Instagram to showcase her environmentally sound wardrobe), but she has also become a goodwill ambassador for the UN and began the #HeForShe campaign reminding everyone that the feminism fight is not exclusive to women.
Her most recent photoshoot with Vanity Fair to promote Beauty and the Beast has received a lot of backlash from the feminist community. The idea that her "revealing" top goes against feminist ideals, frankly, irritates the hell out of me.
In the photos, Emma is wears a white Oscar De La Renta gown and one of the hottest pieces from London Fashion Week, the chunky knit Burberry cape. Only, unlike the runway, Emma wasn't wearing anything beneath the cape. All you see is some subtle underboob.
This apparently has people up in arms as it goes against all of Emma's work when it comes to feminism. Let me call some bullshit real quick, shall I?
The entire point of the Woman's March (which Emma happened to fly to D.C. to participate in) was to fight for a woman's right to choose. This includes the right to choose whether or not she wants to be on birth control, the right to choose whether or not she wants an abortion, the right to choose who she loves and the right to choose how she loves.
It was about the rights for women to choose how they live their lives when it comes to their health, sexuality, career and more.
Emma Watson made the conscious decision to wear this amazing designer cape with nothing underneath for a powerhouse publication. This was an artistic choice, a career choice, a personal choice and most importantly, a feminist choice.
Emma Watson is not new to this game. She has been doing promotional tours since before she was a teenager. The only way for this Vanity Fair shoot to be anti-feminist would be for it to have been forced on Emma Watson. And if you have the nerve to question whether of not she had a say, then you clearly don't know Emma Watson.
She could have worn a layer beneath the cape if she felt uncomfortable. She would have insisted. She chose to show off her body, which is exactly the type of choice the feminist movement is advocating for.
Feminism means having the opportunity to say yes or no, and to not be scrutinized either way. Women want to be seen as people and not as sexualized objects. I, as a woman, want to be able to talk about sex without getting dirty looks and I want to show off my body, no matter what it looks like, without someone telling me that it goes against what I'm fighting for. It is exactly what I am fighting for.
That's exactly what Emma is trying to say with this photo shoot. It's her choice to show off her body in this way. It's her choice to do with her body as she pleases and that's one of the biggest points of the feminist movement she fights so hard for.
Being a feminist is all well and good, but it's the follow through that's just as important as the words. Emma Watson is the embodiment of her beliefs as she proudly shows that subtle underboob.
If people are angry that she's doing so, that's a matter of their own ignorance, not hers. You can't say you support a woman's right to choose and then tear her down when she makes her choice. It doesn't work that way.
Women are not to be seen solely as sexual objects. We can show parts of our body and do it in the name of art, fashion or even for the sole reason of "we feel like it."
We should fight for women to feel comfortable in their skin and know that it's not only OK to feel that way, but empowering to feel that way.
Emma Watson has done that and continues to do that. Fight on, ma belle (see what I did there?).