As a celebrity, Emma Watson is well aware of the platform she has and she is well know for mindfully using her fame like a podium with which to draw attention to the causes of her choosing. When she came into the picture as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, I remember the impact of her first speech which introduced the public to her campaign HeForShe. While there was a lot of praise for Watson, I also remember a lot of the opposite as well. Many felt that she was too far removed from issues of suppression to have a voice. Personally, I was impressed with Watson then, and I still am now. In more recent news, Watson has also caused a bit of an uproar with her new film, the remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Watson has definitely received a bit of skepticism in regards to her acceptance of the role of Belle who is commonly thought to be a victim of stockholm syndrome. While I can’t go too far into my opinion yet (ask me again in March), I can say that I’m impressed with the influence she has had so far. To this point, we know that Watson refused to wear a corset and has influenced the role of Belle as being not only a bookworm, but an inventor just like her Father. By encouraging development of the character, and cutting ties to certain expectations for women (and in this case, Disney heroines), Watson is quietly utilizing her power as a pop culture icon, to draw change into pop culture media. In my opinion, that’s a pretty huge feat!
While reading about Watson and Beyonce, and the debates surrounding their claims of feminism, my mind kept wandering to another celebrity who has suffered a great deal of ridicule over the years for not falling in line with ideas of how women should act. While she may not be a spokes-model for modesty, I find Miley Cyrus to be a fantastic example of Feminism. She has used her massive platform of celebrity to raise awareness to the many issues (gender and otherwise) supported through her nonprofit organization
Feminism, much like gender, does not simply have one presence. Sure, feminism can be done wrong in a lot of ways, but it can also be done in incredibly abundant right ways too. Let’s start celebrating that!