Over the past few years, Emma Watson has morphed from a child actress into a woman respected by millions of people worldwide — a woman capable of standing up in front of an international audience and urging men to “take up the mantle” of gender equality.
She’s a celebrity who’s really found her voice, and her voice has a distinctly feminist tone. But while the 26-year-old star seems entirely confident in her beliefs, opinion, and indeed herself, even she struggles from insecurities.
Talking to Grazia, Emma admits that she almost once stopped herself from talking about sexism because she was scared she would be labeled “difficult.”
“I had a huge fear that someone was going to call me a diva and was so terrified that I would do anything to appease anyone in order to avoid it,” she told the magazine. “At some point, the sting has to come out of words like diva. It was ammunition against me because I was so afraid of being called spoilt or difficult (like Jennifer Lawrence was), or of people saying movie stardom or fame had changed me.”
But Emma’s stood strong, reveling in her role as the UN’s youngest ambassador ever and starting a feminist book club. She’s even hit the pause button on her acting career in order to devote herself entirely to feminism and her “personal development” for the next year.
“What makes you a feminist is not saying that you are a feminist, it’s actually in how you choose to live your life, what you do and the action that you take,” she said. “Feminism is more of a verb than just a description, so trying to change the idea around that is quite important.”
Part of the actress’s goal is to change the way that women look at themselves. “There is certainly a big part of conditioning in society that still very much tells women that the most important thing is their appearance and their bodies and how they look.” But Emma thinks that’s changing and “thinks women are learning to be valued for what they are saying.”