It’s International Women’s Day and one thing that’s been really annoying me lately is the stick Emma Watson has been getting for a shoot she did recently in which she posed for some images “topless”. Because she is a proud and vocal feminist, some people have been hitting back by saying there is no way that Emma could be both an advocate for women’s rights and also – shock horror – allow her breasts to be seen.
Some may think I don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to talking about feminism given the nature of my job and how it is, fundamentally, to feed a man’s pleasure. There is a whole blog post on that particular topic that I will (at some point!) write; I am writing this one today, off the cuff, while I felt inspired.
As far as I can tell, this is the image that has caused such outcry:
For a start, it’s “Vanity Fair” and not “Reader’s Wives”. If you look at the other images in the set, they are so far from being sexy its laughable (no offence, Emma). Maybe it’s because my arsehole is all over the internet but I struggle to see how this could even be considered a topless image. I wouldn’t even say it’s a particularly erotic image, more like high fashion. I read somewhere recently that Emma Watson refused to wear a corset when filming “Beauty and the Beast” because she didn’t feel it was realistic attire for a woman who is running around and doing the amount of stunts that she was having to do. But nah, honestly, don’t worry about any of that – just focus on the fact that she’s got tits.
I feel like feminism as a whole gets quite a bad rep in the mainstream with some dismissing feminists as being “man haters” or “bra burners”. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to defining what feminism is and I do consider myself a feminist, despite what anyone else might say or think about me. And why the fuck shouldn’t I? Just because of what I do or have done for work doesn’t mean I should be followed home or have men chase me to spit in my face when I asked them to please stop following me or that I should risk getting paid less than my male counterpart if I was to go back to a “normal” job.
I don’t want to make this into a whole discussion about feminism and where I feel I fit within it all – like I said, that’s a post for another day – but just because a woman wants to look nice does not mean she has to hand in her “feminist card”. I think it is admirable for any woman to feel good in her own skin, especially in this day and age when we women are bombarded by such unrealistic expectations and pressures everywhere we turn.
So Emma Watson did a shoot that showed a bit of her boobs? You may as well get as angry about the fact that she is wearing makeup as you are that her boobs are the tiniest bit on show. She would have had the shoot concept run past her long before the shoot took place, she would have been fully aware of the styling of the shoot and what she would be wearing and would have undoubtedly had the final say on what images she was happy with being printed. She was obviously happy with how she was being portrayed in said images. She wasn’t forced into doing anything by some big, bad man who is profiting from her against her will. I wouldn’t even say she’s “owing her own sexuality” as frankly I think the shoot is so overly tame – not even a nipple in sight! – that the whole matter has been blown well out of proportion. It’s a good shot and she looks good. There really is no more to it than that.
Would I want my daughter to look up to Emma Watson? Hell flipping yeah I would! Even though I know that I would have made a much better Hermione than her, I still think she’s an excellent role model. She’s bright, articulate and she uses her platform in a really positive way. Plus, anyone who starts a book club is destined to be my best friend, should we ever meet.
Would I consider myself a role model to other women or girls? Of course bloody not. I definitely don’t want my daughter behaving in the same way I have conducted myself at times in the past. But I’m still a feminist okay, so shut up.
There is no right or wrong way to be a woman. Feminism should be women not judging other women for the choices they make. God knows we get enough shit from (some) men without turning against each other as well. Just leave Hermione alone, maaaaan, she’s a good egg with or without a bra on.