By Felipe Bueno, Trending Writer
Celebrities are the people who we, as a society, decide to place on a pedestal. For a multitude of reasons, we bestow upon them the right to be our heroes, our villains, our unrequited loves, and the people who can make us laugh like no other. Due to the emotions they stir within us, we entrust them with our attention and devotion, and every time a celebrity is suspected of changing relationship status, we make a mad dash to the shelves. This iconic status also comes with an implied power: the mass influence that celebrity opinions have over every day life. As soon as Kanye West began sporting his iconic pink polos, shudder shades, or Louis Vuitton luggage, teenagers all across the world began doing so as well.
But this mass influence can be incredibly beneficial, especially when it is used for a good cause. According to Vanity Fair, Emma Watson, British sweetheart and everyone’s favorite teenage witch, has taken a year off of acting in order to reflect and better understand the feminist struggle. During her hiatus, Watson meditated on what it means to be a feminist, reading the most important authors on the subject, and pondering how she could use her influence to help the issue. Watson came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with the issue is to do exactly what opponents of feminism do not want her to do, and discuss the problems. In 2014 Watson spoke before the United Nations on the state of gender inequality in the modern world, and during her hiatus encouraged her opponents to call her a ‘diva,’ ‘feminazi,’ ‘difficult,’ or a ‘First World feminist,’ but made certain that she would not back down.
Her activism goes beyond just words and extends into her actions. According to Self.com, in the remake of Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast, Watson worked with filmmakers to ensure that her character, Belle, who originally had very little backstory and existed almost entirely as an object of desire, was a strong and self-actualized woman. In the new take on a classic tale, she will be an inventor with her own skills, interests, and personal past. Additionally, Belle will no longer be wearing a corset under her iconic yellow dress in order to ensure that Belle would be an active princess with no restricted movement.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 24th print edition.
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