Emma Watson’s topless photo shoot sparks outrage

By Marriska Fernandes on March 2, 2017 | 30 Comments

Emma WatsonEmma Watson at Beauty and the Beast China premiere, 25, has long been a proud feminist. But she may have gotten into hot water with her latest Vanity Fair photo shoot.

The Beauty and the Beast actress has long been admired and applauded for her continuous campaign supporting women’s rights and her public debates on feminism.

However, in a recent provocative photo shoot for Vanity Fair by British photographer Tim Walker, the actress is seen posing topless with only a cut-out crochet top covering her — a sexy look that has surprised many.

Daily Mail columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer, known for her controversial statements, openly criticized Emma and tweeted the racy photo, which was featured on page 3 of The Sun. She captioned it: “Feminism, feminism… gender wage gap… why oh why am I not taken seriously… feminism… oh, and here are my tits!”

Journalist Giles Coren also joined in the criticism, before the two distastefully commented on the size of Emma’s assets.

Some fans are angered by the actress’ decision to bare all while taking a stance on feminism. However, others have defended and supported the Harry Potter actress by stating that the two actions are not mutually exclusive.

Emma is a Global Ambassador for the United Nations and played a crucial role in launching the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which advocated for gender equality.

What do you think about Emma’s Vanity Fair photo shoot? Sound off below. ~Marriska Fernandes


Comments & Discussion

  1. Snepts • March 2, 2017 @ 9:14 AM

    Now we know what Justin Bieber would look like with a boob job.

  2. Judy • March 2, 2017 @ 10:40 AM

    Who cares. Not a big deal.

  3. Pauline • March 2, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

    Quote @JuliaHB1: “Feminism is about giving women FREE CHOICE. They can cover up or expose their bodies as they want. You’ve missed the point”

    But I guess accordingly to Julia Hartley-Brewer, to be a feminist is to be a prude and if you ever want to do something FOR YOURSELF like a sexy photoshoot, you are condemned. What a load of bs.

  4. Daniel • March 2, 2017 @ 11:31 AM

    Still covered so not a big issue. Im more concerned why they made her hair horrible and covered her with an ugly top!

  5. Crystal • March 2, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

    I highly doubt she gets to decide how her hair will look or what she’s wearing. Her job is to promote and like most models wears what she’s told. The fact that she posed how she is just shows how comfortable she is with herself and has nothing to do with her work for the un. Feminism isn’t putting other women down, it’s not male bashing, it’s believing we’re all equal and accepting nothing less but equal treatment for all and accepting who you are. Instead of focusing on one picture why not focus on her message at the very least keep the negative comments to yourself there’s enough of that in the world and we certainly don’t need more if anything more love, understanding and acceptance

  6. Dierdre • March 2, 2017 @ 1:16 PM

    Really!!!! Her main parts are covered, its a work of art, we all have seen worse. Some people now a days are way to up tight and their thoughts out of sight. Losen up peeps life is really to short to be so behind in times. Have a nice day

  7. Bill • March 2, 2017 @ 1:20 PM

    How is this topless? She is covered more than some of the Kardashians at red carpet events! Give it a rest folks. Being a feminist doesn’t mean being a prude. It means equal rights for woman.

  8. psky bellefleur • March 2, 2017 @ 1:26 PM






  9. Matty G • March 2, 2017 @ 1:43 PM

    Well I guess this will cover up for her ‘tax evasion’ on using off shore bank accounts at least; seems everyone has forgotten due to her…. assets, lol.

    Feminism doesn’t really play a role in her exposing herself; there should be no ‘yay or nay’ reactions regarding this from a feminist point of view. No offence ladies, but feminism is a joke in general.
    Ladies have all the power now adays but you still want more; give it a rest.

  10. Mike • March 2, 2017 @ 1:44 PM

    Wow..some people..everyone can do what they want with their own bodies and there is absolutey nothing wrong or offensive or hipocritical about this photo. All women should be proud of their bodies and let no one tell them otherwise.

  11. Don Kirkwood • March 2, 2017 @ 2:46 PM

    There is nothing wrong with this image. It is quite tasteful. After all, she is a young woman and women have brests.

  12. Helen • March 2, 2017 @ 2:59 PM

    Her body, her choice, that is the point people.

  13. A-nony-mouse • March 2, 2017 @ 3:29 PM

    Wow! So she made a conscious choice to dress the way she wanted to (she could have said no when they asked about her wearing the outfit). She made a choice! And somehow, because it’s not completely covered it’s anti-feminist? Talk about slut-shaming! The point of feminism is to be free to choose, not to be constrained and forced to dress according to the desires and mores of someone else. The fact that people are slamming her for this shows why active feminism and education are still needed!

    Matty G – feminism is about equality of the sexes, not who has more power. And women do not have all the power nowadays. The fact that that is still a belief and that feminists want more power than men is another reason why feminist discourse and education on what feminism means for everyone is still needed.

  14. Lina • March 2, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

    Why is this news? And who cares??? Seriously people, who cares???

  15. bushwah • March 2, 2017 @ 3:42 PM

    Some reeaaal ignorance of feminism here. No, it is not about “women’s free choice”. It is about women’s freedom to make choices and about women’s rights and interests, and about working to defend women’s rights and interests. Defending women’s freedom to make choices does NOT mean defending every choice that every woman makes. :Eyeroll: Feminists have no need to support women’s choices that harm the interests of other women any more than we need to support men’s choices that do that.

    It’s like freedom of speech that way, y’see. Defend someone’s right to speak — and exercise your own right (and sometimes responsibility) to criticize their speech as strongly as necessary. Defend women’s right to make choices — and exercise your own right to criticize the choices they make.

    Watson wants “to engage men and boys as agents of change by encouraging them to take action against negative inequalities faced by women and girls” (He for She) … and then she presents herself as an object for the leering male gaze, and thus encourages men and boys to think of women as objects for their use, and legitimizes those attitudes toward women and the actions that express those attitudes. Hey, Emma, way to go. “Engage” those men. What a brave soul you are. /sarcasm

    Her behaviour is vacuous and shameful. She needs to be shamed.

  16. Julie • March 2, 2017 @ 4:16 PM

    She clearly didn’t think this one through. I wonder if it’ll have any sort of impact on Beauty and the Beast ticket sales.

  17. Samantha • March 2, 2017 @ 5:26 PM

    She should have waited at least a year until after Beauty and the Beast had come out. This is unfortunate timing and just plain stupid on her part.

  18. Amy • March 2, 2017 @ 6:15 PM

    Who cares? She’s not doing anything outrageous. I think there’s a lot more to worry about in the world than a pair almost naked breasts.

  19. Jacqui Graham • March 2, 2017 @ 7:56 PM

    I would be more upset about this were it not for the shocking number of famous actresses who pranced around in provocative gowns at the Oscars. Tell me, which is worse: wearing a dress split to the navel, or nearly transparent except for a few strategically placed bits of embroidery, on public television to an audience of millions, or appearing on the cover of a magazine with a specific and limited audience, wearing an artistically-draped shawl?

  20. Gareth • March 2, 2017 @ 7:57 PM

    @Bushwah. What nonsensical diatribe u spew!! She gives men and boys something to leer at? really? Men and boys is the target audience VANITY FAIR is trying to attract? You are an idiot! Furthermore there is NOTHING there to stare at. If anything the title (Beauty and the Breast) is by far the most anti-woman (feminism is joke if it is what you describe it here as, so i will use woman instead). She is covered up and I as a straight male find nothing at at all sexual about that pic (her hair is the thing that draws my attention because it looks all wrong). By your attitude we should then equally condemn all females who parade on beaches around the would in less garb than this, or the countless hard core feminist who march in the major pride parades either fully nude or breast bared (where way more men come out to leer I bet, than those subscribing to Vanity Fair). By your logic all women should be covered from head to toe to discourage those terrible terrible weak and despicable males who will look for any chance to sneak a peek at any bare female flesh and succumb to their uncontrollable male bestial urges! Yeah let’s make society more pro-women by making then cover up from head to big toe in black robes with nothing but eye slits…..wait a minute someone tried that already,,I wonder how it going for women in those “progressive” societies. Before you even think of spewing more garbage my way, FYI this is coming from one who fits into about 5 disadvantaged groups and have been subject to more discrimination and inequality in a yeah than you will in your lifetime so i know of what i speak.

  21. A-nony-mouse • March 2, 2017 @ 8:21 PM

    “and then she presents herself as an object for the leering male gaze, and thus encourages men and boys to think of women as objects for their use, and legitimizes those attitudes toward women and the actions that express those attitudes.”

    So, because your opinion seems to dictate that women should not at any point show any part of their bodies that may be considered by people as sexual but are for the benefit of children, like say, when they are in an artistic photograph, she isn’t a feminist (btw, Vanity Fair is primarily aimed at women, not men… though men certainly do read it as well)? She must remain covered up at any and all times in order to be considered to be completely feminist and 24-7-365 not legitimising possible sexist attitudes? You do realise that that is a sexist attitude?

  22. Dave • March 2, 2017 @ 8:59 PM

    Well said a.nony.mouse! I would like to mention that I am sick of these double standards that people are so hypocritical about. Both men and women’s nipples are exogenous zones, but men go top less whenever you want. Or the idea that many middle eastern cultures perpetrate that because men might be tempted by seeing exposed female flesh that all women should be covered head to toe. Why people think a feminist can’t also be considered sexual is a mystery to me. I suppose we should only allow nuns to be feminists. Oh wait, I forgot people can think whatever they want to in our society.

  23. bushwah • March 3, 2017 @ 12:07 AM

    So, A-nony-mous, because your choice is to LIE AND LIE AND LIE about what the person you are addressing — me — has said, you know what you can do!

    You and Jacqui Graham (who certainly has a point) seem to be sadly unfamiliar with Vanity Fair. Maybe you could try that google thingy. You can even read it on line.

    Oh right, someone called Dave shows up. Did you know that it is not illegal for women to go topless in Ontario? I wonder why women don’t. Do you think you can guess? Does Emma Watson go to the grocery store topless?

    “Why people think a feminist can’t also be considered sexual is a mystery to me.”
    Damn, I’m with you there!
    It’s also a mystery to me how cows jump over the moon.

    Yup, people can think whatever they want — in every society in the world, in every time and place in human history. How could it be otherwise? Die Gedanken sind frei, you know. What has that got to do with what people SAY and DO? And with OTHER PEOPLE’s perfect right to state their opinions about what people SAY and DO?

    You boys have a perfect right to say state your opinions about what I have said. Just not — in civil discourse — to lie about me or what I said.

    Women’s bodies plastered on every object in our lives has nothing to do with women’s sexuality. Just in case you thought that women’s sexuality was all about you, Dave.

  24. J. • March 3, 2017 @ 1:58 AM

    While I am certainly not for women objectifying themselves, I think the particular photo in question is quite tasteful. Emma looks beautiful and strong, plus this photo shoot in no way obscures her tremendous work for feminism. It is her choice to do the photos, and I really wouldn’t say that she is topless in them anyway.

  25. perfetech • March 3, 2017 @ 4:11 PM

    I do not consider that topless. I have seen bathing suits that are a lot more revealing.
    Get a life!

  26. Katt • March 3, 2017 @ 4:50 PM

    Bushwah, please learn to respect other people opinions. You have your own, but it gives you no right to flat out put people down for their own opinion. Do you want other people telling you that you have no right to an opinion? No, you wouldnt. Frankly I think a-nosey-mouse and Dave are spot on. I am a female and I personally think that this photo has nothing wrong with it. I also think feminism is a waste of time and most feminist are up tight and are set in their opinions and dont listen to others, especially Males. Feminism is supposed to be about equality between the sexs, not just females putting males down. People need to start treating others equally and not putting others down for their opinion.

  27. Dirk • March 4, 2017 @ 12:14 PM

    Admiring uncommon beauty is evil. Emotional stimulation is modern, visual stimulation is archaic. Men should be praised for their feminine qualities and punished for giving into their biology. Revenge is the best. Feminism.

  28. bushwah • March 6, 2017 @ 11:06 PM

    Katt, please grow up. I have told NO ONE they “have no right to an opinion”. (What that would even mean, I have no clue.) I have a right to express MY opinion about their opinion. And I have every right to “put people down” for opinions I consider stupid or evil. I really, really do. In fact, when the opinions are on matters of significant public interest, it is my opinion that I have a RESPONSIBILITy to do so.

    Why don’t you try addressing the SUBSTANCE of what I (or whoever) says, instead of offering silly schoolyard lectures on manners?

    I don’t give a flying fig what you think about feminism, just so’s you know. Obviously, your opinion about feminism makes your opinion about Watson’s conduct particularly worthless, of course.

    It’s never too late to learn, though: no, once again, feminism is NOT “about equality between the sexes” (and dog only knows why you would decide to start bleating here about “females putting males down”: a dumb red herring). It is about WOMEN’s rights and WOMEN’s interests.

    And forgive me, but “People need to start treating others equally and not putting others down for their opinion” really is one of the dumbest things I’ve heard today. But hey, if YOU think it’s good advice, YOU could try following it and cut your out own crap about feminists. There ya go!

  29. A-nony-mouse • March 9, 2017 @ 4:08 PM

    I’m female. And a lifelong feminist of 45 years. And don’t call me a liar when I said it seems like. You seem to need to learn how to read and the meaning of certain words. Please kindly avail yourself of a dictionary. Also, I love how you assume you know who or what I am.

    And why do women not wander around without a top? Because societally it is still perceived as sexual when a woman exposes her breasts. As a matter of fact, here in Regina, you can go topless, provided there are no children around who would see it. How is this a breakthrough? It still sexualises a part of a woman’s body that is essentially the same as a man’s outside of function and societal view of a body part used to feed children.

    And your point about not going to the grocery store without a top on is less than pointless tbh. It still does not speak at all to art and a woman’s choice of when to show their bodies. And if it’s okay for women to go to the store without a top on (and this doesn’t offend you, I presume based on your post), why are you offended that a woman chose to do so in a magazine?

    And I have to say, you have not swayed me to see your opinions as not being sexist or specifically anti-feminist. Your response to me was not to respond to what I said, but to attack me. That’s called an ad-hominem fallacy (just so you know). How being able to access Vanity Fair online negates my observations is questionable. You can Google lots of paintings, statues, mosaics, etc online and it doesn’t make them less artistic. The images were taken as art. Photographs can be art. Photographers are artists.

  30. bushwah • March 10, 2017 @ 2:50 PM

    “So, because your opinion seems to dictate that” blah blah blah — No, IT DOES NOT SEEM TO DO THAT. That is a lie. You had NO BASIS WHATSOEVER for making that assertion. I said NOTHING that even remotely resembled “that women should not at any point show any part of their bodies that may be considered by people as sexual but are for the benefit of children” blah blah blah. NOTHING.

    You chose to frame me as the stereotypical feminist prude. That was YOUR choice. Own it.

    “And why do women not wander around without a top? Because societally it is still perceived as sexual when a woman exposes her breasts.” You think? I don’t. I think it is because most — virtually all — women simply have no desire to, and in particular have no desire to expose themselves to the leering of a million men.

    By the way, learn your law. While the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decision about female toplessness may not apply directly in Regina, no law against it would survive a Charter challenge in this millennium.

    “art and a woman’s choice of when to show their bodies” – Yeah, women’s bodies are “art”. Ah, the beauty of the female form, yada yada yada. Art as the male gaze, is all that is.

    “why are you offended that a woman chose to do so in a magazine?” Why do you choose to frame — trivialize — what I said as my being “offended”? Did I say I that was offended? Did I hint that I was offended? No. Again: grow up. I’m not some clueless undergraduate you can manipulate with your anti-“PC” games. I was, literally, a feminist before you were born.

    And I’m a lot of other things, none of which is a patsy. Oh, one of which is the holder of a degree in philosophy. There is no hyphen in “ad hominem”. Since I don’t use exclusionary language, I refer to argument ad locutorem: literally, argument against the speaker. You’re welcome.

    I didn’t set out to sway your opinions. I set out to hold you to account for your incivil discourse. The ad locutorem “argument” was all on your side. You misrepresented what I said, you attacked me for saying something I never said (that one’s the “straw person” fallacy, fyi).

    You falsely attributed opinions to me — with the cowardly little “seems” and bum-covering question marks stuck onto the end of them — and attacked me for ideas I do not hold. No discourse is possible with someone who starts out doing that.

    And you really really need to learn what Vanity Fair is. It really really is not some obscure fashion magazine. It is a publication about USAmerican culture, including investigative political reporting:
    Google “vanity fair” + trump
    Women just are not that interested in looking at other women’s boobs. Particularly the artfully perfect ones that Vanity Fair specializes in.

    And your average accomplished, or ordinary, woman is just not that interested in being “art”. Most of us would much rather be what we are: full and complete human beings, recognized for what we do and who we are, not for how perky our breasts are.

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