Emma Watson hits back at critics over ‘topless’ photo shoot

The ‘Beauty and the Beast’ star posed for a recent ‘Vanity Fair’ feature

Emma Watson has responded to criticism that was behind the backlash surrounding her recent photo shoot with Vanity Fair, which saw the actress pose in a sheer top.

Watson is currently promoting the upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which hits theaters on March 17. Disney’s second version of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s famous fairy tale – after the 1991 animated version – will see Watson star as Belle.

However, the 26-year-old came under fire last week for a photo shoot she did for a Vanity Fair article. Posing in a sheer top, some commentators – including a think piece in The Independent which claimed Watson would not have “known” herself if she had posed “topless because of or in spite of the patriarchy” – criticized the outfit that she wore during filming.

Watson has now hit back at those who criticized the Vanity Fair photographs, saying “feminism is not a stick to beat other women with.”

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“Feminism is about giving women a choice. Feminism is not a stick to beat other women with, it’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality,” she told Channel 4. News. “I really don’t know what my boobs have to do with it, it’s quite confusing. I’m still just dumbfounded.

“The shot itself frankly surprised me a bit, because we had done so many crazy things on that shoot,” Watson continued. “But it was incredibly artistic and I was so creatively involved and engaged with
[Vanity Fair photographer Tim Walker]and I am so delighted with the interest and the beauty of the photos.

“It always reveals to me how many misconceptions and misunderstanding there are about what feminism is.”

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