Emma Watson is arguably one of the most influential female actors of the 21st century. She is known best for her role as Hermione Granger, but her acting career has flourished with films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Beauty and the Beast. To me, she is one of the most iconic celebrities because of the way she has used her to platform to elevate the #MeToo campaign, as well as BLM and feminism. I will admit, I might be a bit of a fan girl ever since I modestly fancied myself as Hermione Granger when I first read the Harry Potter books (I was six or seven, so I deem this justifiable).
Recent speculation has suggested that at the age of thirty, Emma Watson has retired from acting. These articles have come from The Mirror, The Sun, and The Guardian, so it won’t come as a surprise to many of you that they were critical of Watson and in some senses, pretty misogynistic. What else do you expect when the topic is a young, female star who has spent the majority of her life in the spotlight?
The rumours were created because Watson’s most recent acting role was as ‘the second most boring sister’ in Little Women (what a lovely quote from the Guardian) in 2019, and that her social media has been lying dormant since June 2020. Naturally, The Mirror used this to encourage the rumour she was doing this to spend more time with a rumoured (!) fiancé, Leo Robinton. I really want to know where these journalists get these ideas from, considering Emma Watson has not made any comments on her love-life since ‘self-partnering’ in 2019. I really commend this, because the media only care about a woman’s love-life and their scandals, rather than crediting their work and activism.
When you look up ‘when did Emma Watson…’ the options came up with ‘When did she start puberty?’; ‘When did she lose her V card?’, and ‘when did Emma Watson peak?’. This infuriated me, because the overt sexualisation of women in the media is still a massive problem and will continue to be for a long time. It is not just Emma Watson who has been sexualised from such a young age, I would even go as far to say that every woman in Hollywood has been sexualised to an inappropriate extent, and then criticised for doing the very things they have been encouraged and forced into. The media manipulation of female actors is clearly evidenced by these rumours surrounding Emma Watson’s career, and the massive proportions it was blown up to, despite her agent denying any of these rumours.
The worst bit to me? The fact that other women have been writing these articles. Women should be supporting one another, rather than this horrifically patriarchal criticism to Watson’s acting skills and reputation. Rumours are just rumours, but the media glorifies and blows up these ridiculous stories at the detriment of female voices and identity. Emma Watson has been criticised since her debut in Harry Potter, but there seems to be little praise with all her accomplishments following the #MeToo movement and a greater focus on her relationship status.
So, this article regarding the rumours surrounding Emma Watson’s acting careers is really a way of expressing my disgust at the media and the way it manipulates women, taking it too far, as always.