Emma Watson, who we all know from Harry Potter, Perks of Being a Wallflower, upcoming Beauty and the Beast, and whatnot, you know, that girl with a neat acting portfolio and an activist record, has recently done a photoshoot for Vanity Fair. And the public “would’ve taken it seriously” if it wasn’t for the fact that she posed braless. The storm has taken over online, and everyone who’s got an opinion tweeted it at that very moment.

emma watson vanity fair photoshoot

I tweeted about it, too. Keeping it sweet and short, I said one thing: who cares what she does with her body? It’s her business. Her choice to pose braless for a tasteful photography session shouldn’t be concerning anyone. Surely, it shouldn’t discredit the charity work she’s done (and some people tried to hit there, senselessly). Two gentlemen, who looked “feminism” keyword up on Twitter and tried to argue with everything that they found, decided to tweet back at me to explain why they were so outraged because of my reasoning. Fair enough. You don’t lose a game of Battlefield every day.

But let me tell you what I think.

Firstly, let’s go back to basics. If you’ve taken art classes at some point in your life or ever been in an art gallery, you know that human body has been an inspiration for artists since the beginning of the humankind. Would you cover a classicist statue, or a Renaissance painting up? Look, here’s one for you. It’s Botticelli. You should definitely google him.

emma watson vanity fair photoshoot sandro boticelli

Cover your eyes, cause that’s clearly a nude, no? And here’s Michelangelo, so that we do genders justice. Hope it isn’t too much to handle:

emma watson vanity fair photoshoot

Emma did a fashion photoshoot – which, essentially, is a form of art. People have done it before in many forms over centuries. Those who rage about her posing topless should understand the context before they start feverishly ranting on the internet that “now everyone will go outside naked”. As opposed to those who said that, I’ve been outside today. I saw a couple of uncovered wrists, which saddened me because it was cold. What a day.

But then again, that’s just an argument to support this particular case. There’s much more to that.

What’s more important is that a woman’s body belongs to her. She can do with it whatever she wants. Loving your body might mean exposing it as you wish or covering it up as much as you decide to. It’s your personal choice, and nobody should be bothered about it. It reminds me of the fuss about lifting your gown above your ankles or wearing trousers back in the day. Except that a woman wearing whatever she wants doesn’t automatically ask for being sexualised, as one of my opponents suggested. And if she wants to be sexual, it’s her freaking choice, too. I don’t understand why it’s still so easy to try and “shame” a woman just talking about her sexuality.

A feminist can be dressed up in a tracksuit, a tweed blazer or revealing clothes; wear full make-up or no make-up at all. She decides, and it’s her right. It has no relevance whatsoever when we speak about gender pay gaps, the inequalities in some industries, the motives behind sexual harassment, and many more burning issues. Why do we still struggle to judge things as individual cases, rather than generalise?

Conclusion? I’m certainly not going to dishonour the activist work she’s done. And for me, she’s a feminist at her best. Why is anyone still bothered by boobs? If you are, cover your eyes, unsubscribe from fashion magazines, don’t look “feminism” up on Twitter so that you don’t annoy yourself by accident. In addition to that, if you’re a woman (which puzzles me utterly), don’t look down by any means, there’s your cleavage there. But leave women to make choices about their clothes, preferences – and lives.

PS. Using this opportunity – why don’t we make humanities an important compulsory subject at school? Then, let’s create art that brings change. Since it requires art knowledge, open-mindedness, ability to think outside of the box and reasoning ability, pushing arts ahead might be a solution to many contemporary problems.

Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate whenever the opportunity arises. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being. Liked my work? Buy me a coffee!

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