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Emma Watson Makes Directorial Debut with Prada Paradoxe

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

As a longtime fan of Emma Watson, I admittedly could not wait for her debut directorial project to be released to the world. She has come a long way since her days playing Hermione Granger, acting in films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. She is also an outspoken advocate for the gender equality and climate justice movements. (I highly recommend the conversation she hosted at the New York Times COP 26 Climate Hub with climate activists Vanessa Nakate, Tori Tsui, Viviam Villafaña, and Daphne Frias, to name a few!)

With these various directions in which Watson is taking her career, it seems only fitting that she should add “director” to her job description. She has spoken before about wanting to break the role of the “muse” by getting behind the camera, and it is clear from watching her debut film that she finds this role to be incredibly fulfilling. As much as I enjoy watching Emma portray characters she so clearly holds close to her heart, I found it even more exciting to see a fuller manifestation of her creative vision and ability. In my opinion, Watson turned what could’ve been just another celebrity fragrance campaign into a piece of art that is actually worth watching, regardless of whether one buys the perfume it advertises.

 The prevailing message of Watson’s film is one of self-acceptance, actualization, and love. We see various versions of Emma’s character in seemingly separate spheres, which ultimately comprise the same individual – a woman who is both exploratory and meditative, graceful and edgy, among other supposed contradictions of humanity and femininity. Personally, I resonate strongly with the concept of containing paradoxes within myself: I am creative yet practical, sure of myself and yet endlessly indecisive, mostly feminine in expression but not always or exclusively. As Watson states at the closing of her film, “I am never the same, but I am always myself.” Women and individuals at large are too beautifully complex to be limited by boxes, even those which may give us a sense of pride or belonging. We must learn to assign ourselves value beyond the maintenance of our youth. We must “celebrate [our] imperfections,” and give ourselves permission to live authentically, embracing the countless paradoxes of our unique identities and existences.

Lauren Mlicko

Holy Cross '26

she/her | Queens, NYC | artist & storyteller