Emma Watson defines feminism following Vanity Fair photo backlash

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Emma Watson caught some flak this week when Vanity Fair published a photo of the Beauty and the Beast star wearing a cape that exposed her breasts — a reaction she told Reuters she was “quietly stunned” by.

After the magazine debuted the photo, shot by Tim Walker, publications and social media users criticized and questioned Watson’s decision — for example, Pret-a-Reporter published a story with the headline, “Is actress and feminist Emma Watson a hypocrite for going topless in Vanity Fair?”

In the Reuters interview, Watson tells costar Dan Stevens that critics “were saying that I couldn’t be a feminist and have boobs.” “Feminism is about giving women choice,” she says. “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 tits have to do with it.”

Watson previously talked about the misconceptions around the term feminism in an interview with EW earlier this year. There, she described feminism as about “gender equality, across the board.”

“I think the word is really difficult because it seems to inherently address a preferential treatment of the feminine over the masculine because it has the feminine in the word, and I think that’s a real oversight and misunderstanding,” she said. “This isn’t just girls are better than boys, boys are better than girls. This is just everyone deserves a fair chance.”

Read more from EW’s interview with Watson here, and watch her Reuters interview here.

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