Emma Watson was more “quietly stunned” than bothered over critics that accused her of going against her feminist values for posing with her breasts partially exposed in her cover shoot for Vanity Fair.
In an interview with Reuters, Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and the pioneer behind the #HeForShe campaign, responded to the controversy by clarifying the definition of feminism to critics.
“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is,” she said. “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 t—s have to do with it.”
She continued, “I’m confused. Most people are confused. No, I’m just always just quietly stunned.”
Once the photos were released, some social media users and publications accused Watson of being a hypocrite. Radio host Julia-Hartley-Brewer tweeted, “Emma Watson: ‘Feminism, feminism… gender wage gap… why oh why am I not taken seriously… feminism… oh, and here are my t–s!’ “
In one of the photos, shot by Tim Walker, Watson is shown topless, with a white shawl covering some of her chest. Watson added that she remains “so thrilled about how interesting and beautiful the photographs were.” “We’d been doing so many crazy things on that shoot, but it felt incredibly artistic,” she said.
Watson is currently promoting her new movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” in which she plays Belle. In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman said the live-action Disney reboot is “a sometimes entrancing, sometimes awkward mixture of re-creation and reimagining,” but praised Watson as “a pitch-perfect Belle.”
“Beauty and the Beast” hits theaters on March 17.