English actress Emma Watson is known for speaking on feminism and has led global movements to fight for gender equality. Emma aka Hermione from the Harry Potter series has multiple strings to her bow that certainly makes her a force to be reckoned with. From acting to activism – she’s a true star and potentially in a better position than many of her peers. Her universally adored role as Hermione Granger, in the big screen adaptation of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, is a rare case where an actor being conflated with their role might be a good thing. This way, her widespread influence on young minds – millennials, who are still forming their opinions on gender roles and advocacy is even stronger than other high-profile defenders of the F-word, even better than the queen herself – Beyoncé.

Her journey as a thought leader and activist started back in 2014. When she spoke at the One Young World 2016 Summit at Ottawa, Canada, she shared how her new role as an activist had been "scary". The young woman of today addressed 1300 delegates at the premier global forum for young leaders. Emma fights against gender stereotyping and she believes that we all have feminine and masculine energies. And it is important that both forces are lifted up as well as respected. Emma encourages the world to work together in her powerful speeches, inspirational social media content and initiatives. We hope Ms. Watson continues to represent feminism goals for the years to come. Here are five of such times that she made an impact and left everyone spellbound.

“This isn’t just, ‘girls are better than boys, boys are better than girls.’ This is just, ‘everyone deserves a fair chance.’’ – Emma Watson


When she gave a game-changing speech for the U.N. in 2014

In the summer of 2014, Watson who had just finished her college graduation was named a U.N. ‘Women Goodwill Ambassador’. The ripples of her involvement in the topic of feminism all over the world couldn’t go unnoticed. The then 23-year-old actress gave an earnest speech on feminism and gender at the U.N. headquarters in New York in September that year. Watson’s speech, which was met with a thunderous standing ovation, not only called for action from male allies but clarified a persistent misconception about feminism in general

She also launched the “HeForShe” campaign which aimed to invigorate over one billion men to spread awareness to end the inequalities that women face globally.

‘‘Feminism is not here to dictate to you. It’s not prescriptive, It’s not dogmatic. All we are here to do is give you a choice’’ – Emma Watson


When she was on the Independent Happy List 2015

British online newspaper, The Independent released a collection of 100 inspirational heroes and heroines whose ingenuity, compassion and bravery made Britain (and the world) a better place to live. The list that started in the year 2008 is an annual antidote to the lists that celebrate just riches or fame. Interestingly, The Happy List is backed by the British Prime Minister. In the eighth year in 2015, the long-time feminism activist Emma Watson secured a place among 99 other unsung heroes.  

‘If you stand for equality, then you are a feminist. Sorry to tell you’’ – Emma Watson


When She Defended Herself in 2017

Emma Watson is not one to sit and take. Watson was accused of hypocrisy, citing an interview that she gave in 2014 with Wonderland. She had discussed Beyoncé's first visual album in the interview. The activist expressed her praise for the album as she found it to be quite inclusive in a way that puts feminism, femininity and female empowerment on such a broad spectrum. In 2017, media published some reports of the accusation and she had to turn to Twitter to defend herself confidently yet gently.

When she encouraged women to be the leaders they want to be

The ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ actress has encouraged young women to live up to their potential. Emma pointed at the importance of female leadership during the HeForShe Conversation on International Women's Day 2015 as well. She said ‘‘women have so much to offer and we’re such an untapped part of the world’’. Emma went on to say: "Why are you not recognizing what she can bring to the table? We need that balance. We need female representation. We need leadership."

When she masterfully handles the Vanity Fair Photoshoot Backlash

The world doesn’t have a dearth of reasons to be angry for. Same is the unfortunate case that happened to Emma Watson for a magazine shoot she did in 2017. Emma featured in a stunning fashion shoot wearing a ‘revealing’ white outfit. The inspiration behind the shoot was her ‘transition into a woman’ as Belle in Beauty And The Beast breaking her stereotype for her child-actor role as Hermione. The shoot didn’t go down well with people. The images garnered attention for being ‘too revealing’ and for Emma being ‘too outspoken’. In her opinion, she took ‘charge of her destiny’ much like her role Belle in the movie, and said – ‘Feminism is about giving women choice…I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing’’. Well, what an absolute Disney princess!