Emma Watson has been one of my personal heroes since she stepped into Harry’s carriage and told Ron he had dirt on his nose. Her hair. Her eyebrows. Her overdramatic facial expressions. Her intellect. I finally found a female heroine that I really loved and understood, although I was nowhere near as smart and good at academics. I loved school, I wasn’t one of the pretty girls, I was insecure, but a fierce friend who wanted to make a difference. Hermione was and is a great rolemodel for girls and young women, and incredibly, after all those years, all the money and fame and probably traumatising but very lucky childhood into adulthood, the actress who won the envied role has not let her fans down.
You see a lot of tragic stories of child actors turning to alchohol and drugs, battling depression and insecurities, and while I’m not doubting that Emma has had her fair share of hard times, she has constantly worked on self-improvement and made brave and intellectual choices in words and actions. She grew up to be a beauty, and didn’t loose herself in the scrutiny she was put under during the glamorous red carpet events and press junkets as the GIRL in the famous trio. She took an early interest in fair trade fashion, and collaborated with People tree a fairtrade organic clothing company, and saw through the process over several years. She covered countless of magazines, for clothes, makeup, perfumes and this is something she should get a lot of credit for; She always dressed responsibly. And I mean, she should be able to wear whatever the fuck she wants to, but it has been clear in all her choices that she is aware of her influence on younger girls. She has a very attractive style, even sexy, but nothing that raises any brows.
About this, ‘influence’. The trio of Harry Potter continues to impress me, with their integrity, intelligence and constant increasing maturity. They became interesting, admirable adults. Daniel and Emma have both been open with their struggles, without making a whole fucking song and dance about it, while Rupert has kept himself busy but out of the spotlight with smaller projects and close to home with his family. Emma in particular took drastic steps, and I’m not discrediting Daniel’s brave choices of Equus and the Musical he took on and succeeded with, but Emma, went to school. Of course with her Hermione-esque brain she got in to great schools, and slightly naively yet admirably stubbornly went through with it, and got her valued education. While doing all this she took care to choose projects with meaning and integrity, and worked quietly on charities and diplomacy before she finally made a big bang with her He for She campaign.
Feminism is a dirty word, although it stands for nothing dirty, and Emma perfectly delivered an immaculate speech as a UN ambassador and gained a large group of respected and senior entertainment legends as fans. A lot of people dislike her, and always did because of her stiff, posh and awkward and perhaps misinterpreted pretension, while it always felt like to me that her way of speaking, as much as it has improved, is extremely cautious, responsible, thought out and genuine. She was always stiff, awkward, self-conscious and well spoken. As beautiful as she is, being comfortable in her own skin, and carrying herself with self-assurance and just letting go, has been something it seems to me she has struggled with. She’s no Jennifer Lawrence, who we love because of her awkwardness and honesty about everything, her unfiltered and lovable presence, as much as Katniss absolutely made an impact, Hermione was, and IS very very important. More and more a strong, comfortable woman in herself, Emma is completely coming into herself and is much more able to express herself without concern, but with the ingrained sense of carrying the world on her shoulder and being aware of her influence. I admire that Immensely. And I pity the ones who doesn’t see it, they are failing to see her calculated but honest moves, her bravery and her still awkward but strong presence. Ask any younger woman, the girls, they LOVE Emma Watson. And especially now.
Emma has now reached a new generation of youngsters, and even younger now, as she played the iconic and again, important female heroine, Belle, in ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Haters can spat about her money-making movies and call her an autotuned sell out, but Emma made a conscious and careful choice of playing this part, and embraced it and obsessed over every detail and did all she could to bring this feministic character to life in a new way without ruining the original idea of Belle. Her lovely and perhaps a little weak voice was way too controlled by Disney, but it didn’t stop the box office from blowing up, and all the little girls and boys lining up with their parents to see this fairytale of a film. During her press tour, Emma made another interesting and innovative choice of creating an Instagram for her conscious clothing; where every piece was planned thematically and ethically, and made from recyclables, organic and fair trade materials. She defended her Vanity Fair photo that created a controversy and ridiculous criticism because there was a HINT of breasts, – with witty and wordy statements.
Her large vocabulary and good use of words has been a great weapon in her life as she’s batted of several hits as well as for addressing a difficult issue like feminism in front of large and sensitive crowds. It’s probably helped that she has read and written all her life, lots of classics, old and new, which she shares in her public book club. She has kept journals for years, not just one journal but several at the same time, covering different projects, topics and also writing down encounters with meaningful advice from people from all over the world through all her experiences, what a great idea! I have no doubt she one day will write an incredible memoir and perhaps other non-fiction books that will teach masses, and inspire generations.
If you have gotten this far, I’m sure you can see how much I personally admire miss Emma Watson, an how much I’ve read, watched and thought about her. Some of my life choices were influenced by her, and I’ve been inspired by her in countless ways. And I aspire to be more like her, spread her words, follow her example, and wish that more influential young women would too, although her way isn’t for everyone, and her way might not be good mentally for everyone, as it seems she has taken a lot on herself. If you don’t like her, try and take a step back and see what she is trying to do, her intensions. No one can take away what she has accomplished, no matter what movies she is in, what she wears or how she conducts herself in interviews. A lot of her accomplishments, has happened as quietly as she has been able to keep them, but she has embraced her voice and has taken the incredible strain that it is for an introvert like her, to make a difference.