She accomplished more than teaching us how to correctly say “leviosA”. Emma Watson is known worldwide as the one and only wizard genius, Hermione Granger. Like many celebrities, she lives her life under the spotlight. Unlike many celebrities, she uses this vice as a catalyst for change. The power of media and press is undeniable, and for Emma, this is a tool that can be used to make a difference around the world.
Emma Watson was appointed as UN Goodwill Ambassador July 2014, her mission, to empower young women around the world. Her work as ambassador launched with the #HeForShe campaign, a movement for equality that hopes to end discrimination and violence against women by asking men to take a stand. Emma Watson is the role model our generation needs. Here are some of the reasons why Emma inspires me, and hopefully inspires you too:
- Emma has fought to end the negative stigma against the word feminist. Many intelligent and strong young women have avoided the word feminist in fear of the negative associations that come with it. Feminism is a moment that fights for equality and an end to sexist discrimination. Feminist issues are not just women’s issues; they also affect men as well. Emma extended an invitation to men in her UN speech to embrace gender equality as their issue too. “Gender equality not only liberates women but also men from prescribed gender stereotypes.” As UN ambassador, Emma has fought to inspire the public to embrace the term feminism, and the positive implications it implies.
- She uses her star power, elegance, and work ethic to fight for the issues she believes. This is a combination not often seen when paired with stardom and celebrity. Like many other famous actors, Emma grew up in the limelight. Despite this, she continued to live a life as normal as possible including continuing her education. Rather than act out she chose to fight for human rights, work hard to make a difference, and to speak with confidence and elegance whenever possible. To me, this maturity is one of the key qualities that I admire in Emma.
- She inspires women to be courageous, speak our minds, and to own our intellect. Emma has often stated that the saddest thing is for a girl to mask her intelligence for others, especially boys. In her role as Ambassador she encourages women to stand up for each other and be proud of our accomplishments. As she has stated, she is inspired to be a women who is both cultured, well rounded, and educated. “I want to be a Renaissance woman. I want to paint, and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do everything.” She hopes to be the best version of herself she can be, and I think that is something we can all aspire to.
- She stresses the importance of education, and the privilege that it is. Despite fame Emma continued to further her education studying English at Brown University. Emma also stresses the inequalities of women in leadership and the work place. She hopes to put into place policies that allow both men and women to thrive and to obtain the positions they deserve. “Women account for 60% of college graduates but only 3% of leaders worldwide.”
- She encourages everyone to live life the way they want to, and although that seems simple, it’s something many of us struggle to do. It’s often hard to find ones path, and even more so to follow it. Emma has always been one to follow the beat of her own drum. Her fashion, interests, and ideas are always unique and individual because she freely expresses who she is, and is not afraid to do it. In her younger years Emma was truly a real life Hermione Granger. “Becoming yourself is really hard and confusing, and it’s a process. I was completely the eager beaver in school, I was the girl in the front of the class who was the first person to put her hand up, and it’s often not cool to be the person that puts themselves out there, and I’ve often gotten teased mercilessly, but I found that ultimately if you truly pour your heart into what you believe in—even if it makes you vulnerable—amazing things can and will happen.” Even if it wasn’t “cool” Emma was always herself and was dedicated to her education.
Sharp minded, strong willed, elegant and classy, Emma Watson is my role model. I hope after reading this if Emma wasn’t already a role model for you, now she is. Emma has been a huge influence in my life. Nothing would make me happier then fighting for the rights of those who are unable, to be the voice of change, and to stand up for what is right. It would be a dream come true to work for the United Nations Women, or any human rights group as Emma is. As I follow Emma’s career, I am filled with inspiration to work hard and dream big.
With so many celebrities and information on the web, young adults have a plethora of influences at their fingertips. My hope is that more celebrities follow Emma’s example and use their star power to make a difference in the world, and that parents direct their kids to role models like Emma Watson.