The Feminist Voice of Emma Watson
There has never been a woman quite like Emma Watson.
Whenever fans recall the star, they remember the wise and courageous character of Hermione Granger.But ever since she entered adolescence she continues to empower women through the choices she makes. For instance, her preference in portraying strong-willed females in films rather than the traditional princess archetype has inspired young girls to follow in her footsteps. Her bossy and flamboyant attitude sent the message that women can speak out and not be ashamed by it. In fact, the UN Women could not have made a better choice when they appointed her as their Goodwill Ambassador. Her passionate speech which defined feminism and clarified its misconceptions garnered the world’s attention.
Her achievements are a testament to what women can do when they become empowered. “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice, but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too. I want them to reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.
” Watson said in her speech in the UN. Emma Watson becoming a global ambassador for women has made feminism the trend. She remains to be one of the most inspiring actresses in Hollywood- and much more. Emma Charloette Deure Watson was born in April 15, 1990 inOxfordshire. Her lawyer parents Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson met in Paris. After her parent’s divorce, she moved back to England but maintained her skills in the French language.
Even before Harry Potter, Emma proved to be a jack-of-all trades. Her mother enrolled her at The Dragon School which is Britain’s top prep school, and Headington School for Girls which is one of Britain’s top public schools. At the age of 7, she proved her mastery with the written word by winning poetry contests. At 9 years old, she received eight A* and two A grade As at GCSE and trained as a ballerina in Stagecoach Theatre Arts. Makes us all ashamed of our childhood, right? Her love for the Harry Potter series drove her to audition for David Heyman.
Once upon a time she was living a peaceful life in Oxford with her family; the next she was sent to a whirlwind of chaos. A normal childhood would be traded for 10 years’ worth of filming and promotions. She would be forcefully stripped off normal experiences such as prom, graduation and school. Paparazzi’s constantly violated her right to privacy. In fact on her 18th birthday her town was full of photographers wanting to get a shot of her drunk. ‘It was pretty tough turning 18,” she says in an interview with DailyMail “I had a party in town and the pavements were just knee-deep with photographers trying to get a shot of me looking drunk, which wasn’t going to happen.
I don’t have to drink to have a good time. The sickest part was when one photographer lay down on the floor to get a shot up my skirt. The night it was legal for them to do it, they did it. I woke up the next day and felt completely violated by it all.” Through it all, Emma’s parents and Heyman tried to create a semblance of a normal life.
The set of Harry Potter was far from any sense of normalcy; however, it became a safe environment one could call home. The maturity that Watson manifested as a child has led her to make good choices far from the perils of child stardom. Fans of Hermione Granger by how Emma is an exact replica of her character. Her thirst for knowledge led her to maintain her A levels during filming even if she wasn’t required to go to school. On set, she manifested a near obsessive commitment to her work. She went as far as learning her co-stars’ lines and practicing her own lines for hours until she got them right.
Watson’s path to adolescence highlighted her interests in other fields such as literature, fashion and feminism. What is amazing is that in every path that she pursues she never fails to make an impact. In 2009, she was invited by Christopher Bailey to appear in Burberry’s fall campaign. She signed a contract with Lancome to promote the fragrance Tresor Midnight Rose. Through countless photo shoots and modelling stints she has proven that you do not need to show a lot of skin to be considered sexy.
But her real impact has been wearing the clothes of young British designers who just started out and needed publicity such as Hakaan Yildirim and Erdem Moralioglu. At the same time, she collaborated with People Tree (a free-trade clothing organization) and Alberta Ferretti to make four collections. In Vogue magazine she admits, “It was such hard work. I didn’t realize what I was taking on. I was doing twelve-hour days on Harry Potter and then coming home to work for two more hours, sizing and cutting designs.
” With all this going on, she managed to graduate from Brown University with a degree in English Literature. She also took classes in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and an acting class at Brown University. Having played the same character for 10 years, she started to doubt herself as an actress. But since the completion of the Harry Potter series Emma has constantly proven her skill as a performer. She starred in the 2011 Golden Globe- nominated “My Week with Marilyn Monroe.
” She starred in a teen-angst movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” as Samantha- a rebellious teenager who does drugs. This led her to win the People’s Choice Award for Dramatic Movie Actor and Best Supporting Actor Award at the San Diego Film Critics Society. Her good girl image made critics doubtful of her role as Nicki in Sofia Coppola’s film entitled Bling Ring. Nicki is a criminal and fame monger who illegally enters celebrities’ homes out of obsession. Always known to go beyond the extra mile, she observed Kim Kardashian to truly understand Nicki’s behavior.
“I’ve probably earned the right to screw up a few times,” she says in Vogue “I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.” At just 24 years of age, Emma was appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador for the HeForShe campaign which seeks to promote gender equality. Since then Emma has been involved in humanitarian efforts in Bangladesh and Zambia to help promote girls’ education. “Being asked to serve as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling,” Emma is quoted saying at the UN women’s website, “The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting. I still have so much to learn, but as I progress I hope to bring more of my individual knowledge, experience and awareness to this role.
” Without a doubt, Emma Watson is truly a diamond of our generation. Her successes as an ambassador, as a designer and as an artist are all feats which are unparalleled for someone her age. Her impact to feminist discourse may have only just begun but the possibilities waiting for her are endless. Her story is far from over.