In the midst of a promotional blitz for Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast”, star Emma Watson is finding herself at the centre of some unexpected controversy thanks to a photo in the latest issue of Vanity Fair in which she’s wearing a white crocheted bolero jacket, revealing a peek at her bare breasts.
As an outspoken feminist, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and founder of the #HeForShe campaign encouraging men to become advocates for feminism, Watson has been criticized for the breast-baring photo by those who feel it’s sexual objectification, at direct odds with her feminist ideals.
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Maturing from Hermione to Belle in @beautyandthebeast is a true coming-of-age story for @EmmaWatson: "I couldn't care less if I won an Oscar or not if the movie didn’t say something that I felt was important for people to hear." Read the full cover story at the link in bio. Photograph by Tim Walker.
However, Watson admits she’s “confused” and “quietly stunned” by the criticism. “It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is,” she said during an interview with Reuters.
“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*ts have to do with it. It’s very confusing,” she added.
“I’m confused. Most people are confused,” the former “Harry Potter” star continued. “No, I’m just always just quietly stunned.”
She also discussed the photo, taken by acclaimed fashion photographer Tim Walker.
“The shot itself I was honestly slightly taken aback by, because we’d been doing so many crazy things on that shoot, but it felt incredibly artistic and I’ve been so creatively involved and engaged with Tim and I’m so thrilled about how interesting and beautiful the photographs were,” she said, adding: “But yeah, certainly people have asked and I’ve gone, ‘Is there a controversy about this?'”