Last week, Emma Watson's Vanity Fair underboob photo sparked an unwarranted debate about whether or not it is feminist to show your body. Watson quickly fired back, claiming in a Reuters interview that, "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 don't really know what my tits have to do with it."
Then, people started seeing hypocrisy in her words because of how she responded to Beyoncé's self-titled album during a 2014 interview with Tavi Gevinson for Wonderland. The "choice," "freedom," and "liberation" she defended her own photos with seemingly didn't align with her critique of Beyoncé doing the same thing. She said, "As I was watching [the videos] I felt very conflicted. I felt her message felt very conflicted in the sense that on the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her."
Emma has been getting backlash for the inconsistencies and, early this morning, she took to Twitter to defend herself and show how her words were taken out of context. "This is the part of my 2014 interview with Tavi where we talked about Beyoncé," she wrote. "My words are in bold."
This is the part of my 2014 interview with Tavi where we talked about Beyoncé. My words are in bold. pic.twitter.com/Y8vumOeyDT- Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) March 7, 2017
The second part of the bolded text, where criticism didn't draw from, reads:
[Beyoncé] does make it clear that she is performing for him. And the fact she wasn't doing it for a label, she was doing it for herself and the control that she has directing it and putting it out there, I agree is making her sexuality empowering because it is her choice.
The second is that I would say you do get sense of, 'I can be a feminist, I can be an intellectual, I can be all these other things, but I can also be ok with my femininity and being pretty and with all these things that I thought might negate my message or negate what I am about'. That really is the most interesting thing about the album. It is so inclusive and puts feminism and femininity and female empowerment on such a broad spectrum.
So, there we have it. Emma Watson might have felt "conflicted" but did ultimately agree that Beyoncé portraying herself in a sexy way is another iteration of feminism.
Again, all of this eludes the bigger picture. As ELLE.com's own Jaya Saxena wrote, "Feminism is not about choices alone, but about the political implications of and equal access to those choices."
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