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Emma Watson and the Importance of Creating Our Own Image

Harry Potter fan or not, we’ve all been dazzled by the beauty that is Emma Watson. For the Potterheads, it might have been when she walked down the steps in that purple dress for the Yule Ball in The Goblet of Fire. For others, it might have been when she fearlessly graced the red carpet of the 2014 Golden Globe awards in her half pants/half dress outfit. But underneath all that beauty is a driven woman – one who has defied the media and shown people that she is more than just Hermione Jean Granger or “that Harry Potter girl.” Emma Watson is a prime example of the importance and results of being able to set an image of yourself by yourself despite external forces setting one for you.

First, we see her pursuing higher education despite the fact that she has had a successful career for most of her childhood. Yes, Emma Watson is a college graduate from Brown University, in case her selfie that made us wish we all looked that flawless at graduation didn’t give it away. But she’s also got Ivy League to add to that attribute (as if we weren’t amicably envious enough).

You would think portraying such a high profile character onscreen would gain her positive attention. However, even within the walls of Brown she was ridiculed for being “that Harry Potter girl.” “Ten points for Gryffindor!” people yelled as she spoke up in class, which we are all entitled to do. Nonetheless, our role model pulled through. Sure, she had to have a bodyguard beside her at her graduation ceremony, but at one point haven’t we all wished to be of such importance that we need a bodyguard at our side?

Besides taking on more serious roles such as those in My Week With Marilyn and Noah, Emma reaches the epitome of being an inspiration through her appointment as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, now marking her spot in the world as someone who has joined the magnificent crusade that is feminism. Has she made us swoon enough? Before you answer that question let me tell you about her movement. You should have heard about unless you live under a rock: her speech at the He For She campaign. Her modest yet firm presentation of the movement showed us that she is a woman for the women (and might I add that she respectfully told men to wake up and smell the coffee). She followed up on that speech just a few weeks ago, urging everyone to hop on board and not only get involved with the movement, but share how they are doing it and who they are effecting.

So, there you go world. She’s not just Hermione Granger, or “that smart witch.” She’s hope for anyone trying to break free of a stereotypical or preconceived image enforced by societal pressures. It is so important for us as growing women to be able to set our own image – that way we know who we are based on our own volition, not based on others who don’t even know us.

However, just because Emma has broken free of the image of Hermione, doesn’t mean she will forget it was what got her to the point of being such a successful actress and growing activist. “I could be 100 years old and in my rocker, but I’ll still be very proud that I was part of the Harry Potter films,” said Watson.

Thank you Emma, for showing us how to embrace womanhood in the most graceful way possible. There are numerous women like her, representing the gender proudly. Can you think of one? Are you one? Don’t be shy! Speak up and share your experiences with people. You may not think that you are making a difference, but you always are. Emma is proof of that.

Photo Credits: Elle UK

Second year junior. Environmental Science and Policy major. More of a feminist each day.