What Emma Watson Wants Critics Of Her Photo Shoot To Know About Feminism

"It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality."

Actress Emma Watson appears on the cover of the March 2017 issue of Vanity Fair, for which she gave an honest interview about fame and posed for a high-fashion photo shoot with photographer Tim Walker. One photo, featuring Watson exposing part of her chest in an elaborate jacket, has caused some controversy online.

Critics of the photo, including English radio broadcaster and columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer, seemed to argue that Watson's choice to show skin for a photo shoot somehow undermined her platform as an outspoken feminist. Hartley-Brewer tweeted a reprint of the photo in The Sun newspaper and wrote, "Emma Watson: 'Feminism, feminism... gender wage gap... why oh why am I not taken seriously... feminism... oh, and here are my tits!'

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While promoting her new film Beauty and the Beast, Watson responded to the backlash in an interview with Reuters, making an important point about the meaning and purpose of feminism — and how often people mischaracterize it. Despite what some may think, being a feminist and posing like Watson does in Vanity Fair are not mutually exclusive.

"It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is of what feminism is," said Watson, a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador who also hosts a feminist book club for her fans. "Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It's about freedom, it's about liberation, it's about equality. I really don't know what my tits have to do with it. It's very confusing."

She went on to praise Walker's photos as "artistic" and beautiful."

Her co-star Dan Stevens, who was also being interviewed, asked what people were saying about her. He seemed just as confused by the controversy as she was.

Watson explained, "They were saying that I couldn't be a feminist and ..."

"And have boobs?" Stevens offered.

"And have boobs," she agreed.

"That's ... not true," he said.

And there you have it.

(H/T: Huffington Post)

See more of Watson's thoughts on the matter in the clip below:

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