Emma Watson is known for casting spells on screen as Hermione Granger in the famed Harry Potter movies, but in the real world she has become known for a different kind of magic – her fight for women’s rights. From her appointment as a UN Women’s Goodwill ambassador in 2014 to her HeForShe campaign that encourages men to support the feminist movement, Watson has fought to reduce the gender wage gap and for female equality. But after a recent photo shoot, she has been on the receiving end of social media backlash, with some even accusing her of being a hypocrite.
The photo, which appeared in a recent issue of Vanity Fair magazine among a spread of other photos of Watson dressed in glamorous gowns, features Watson in a knitwear that is not meant for the cold and leaves very little to the imagination. As a result, some on Twitter were quick to question whether she was starring in Beauty and the Beast or “Beauty and the Breasts.” The clever pun was just the beginning of the tirade of comments in response to the near-topless photo.https://twitter.com/JuliaHB1/status/836873834414366720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
But for every negative comment that calls her a hypocrite, there are even more who are sending supportive messages regarding the photo, accusing the social media backlash as a being a complete misunderstanding of what feminism truly means.https://twitter.com/votsiz/status/837257614119460864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://twitter.com/TheRuddleKip/status/836874051473784832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Regardless of your stance on the issue, there is no denying that Emma Watson has been a massive presence in the fight for women’s equality around the world. But does showing a little skin completely downplay her efforts? Feminism is, after all, about empowering women, and that means empowering women to have the right to choose how much (or how little) clothing they wear. Perhaps this social media outcry is yet another example of the hypersexualization of the female body that has run so rampant in society.