We grew up with her as she portrayed Hermione in the Harry Potter films, saw her seamlessly transition into her post-Potter era with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and are eagerly anticipating her upcoming performance as Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Emma Watson, actress, Brown University graduate, and activist has been known to deliver both compelling performances and exceptional advice over the many years she’s been in the spotlight.
From her speeches at the UN heralding in the massively popular HeForShe campaign to creating an Instagram account to display her environmentally-conscious ensembles for the Beauty and the Beast press tour to dishing out advice in Grand Central Station, Emma is well known for her thoughtfulness, confidence, and poise.
Through her outspokenness and dedication, she has consistently provided a levelheaded example of a celebrity who uses her influence to advocate for a better world.
Emma’s insistence on valuing yourself in spite of imperfections encourages people to accept both themselves and others, and her activism with HeForShe has shown a new light on feminism and striving for worldwide gender equality. (As a sidenote, check out this hilarious video of Emma beatbox with Lin-Manual Miranda about International Women’s Day. It’ll make your week.)
Here are some of our favorite quotes from Emma:
On Self Image:
“I keep telling myself that I’m a human being, an imperfect human being who’s not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure.”
“I’m excited about the aging process. I’m more interested in women who aren’t perfect. They’re more compelling.”
“I don’t have perfect teeth, I’m not stick thin. I want to be the person who feels great in her body and can say that she loves it and doesn’t want to change anything.”
On Her Career and School:
“There have been hard moments in my career when I’ve had an agent or a movie producer say, ‘You are making a big mistake,’ but what’s the point of achieving great success if you feel like you’re losing your freakin’ mind? I’ve had to say, ‘Guys, I need to go back to school,’ or ‘I just need to go home and hang out with my cats.’ People have looked at me and been like, ‘Is she insane?’ But, actually, it’s the opposite of insane.”
“Now I really know how to take care of myself, how to be alone, how to deal with stress. If I hadn’t been through that time, I wouldn’t have got there. I never knew I had limits… You realize you can’t do everything.”
“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.”
“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom. It’s about liberation. It’s about equality.”
On Standing Up For What’s Important:
“In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly, if not me, who? If not now, when? If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you, I hope that those words will be helpful.”