I just finished reading the Harry Potter series for the first time ever. I was one of those people who was proud that somehow, they were never exposed to the brilliant movies or novels that are so popular to pretty much the whole world. I was proud that I missed out on it because it was so rare that anyone, by now, would not have read or seen them. Which now makes no sense to me. How could I have gone this long without those books??
Anyway, there’s a character in there that I really like. No, not Harry. (Although secretly I want to marry him.) It was Hermione. I freakin loved Hermione. Here’s how I realized that I really liked her: my mom came into our den while I was watching the fifth movie of the series. She asked me about Hermione; just a simple question that wanted a short summary of who Hermione was. As I was giving her that answer, I described her like this: Hermione was a poor little Mudblood, constantly mocked for her “impure” heritage. She was shamed for not being from a long line of wizards. She went to Hogwartz determined and positive about who she was, and worked so hard that she was better than the majority of her class. She never bragged about her success, though.
Hermione is great because she resembles someone who didn’t mind that she wasn’t the accepted, respected standard. But, instead of fighting against all of her haters and throwing back mean insults at them, she remained a humble, bright person who helped Harry SAVE THE WIZARDING WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Same, by the way.)
This is one of the many characters that Emma Watson has played so far in her career as an actress. As I thought more on what other movies Emma was in, I realized she’s in a lot of my favorites. Harry Potter, of course. Beauty and the Beast. Perks of Being a Wallflower. And then, I stood there and thought on this for a while: Emma represents women really, really well. It seems to me that she was very intentional and wise in playing each of those roles.
In Perks, Emma is a beautiful, broken teenager who symbolizes one of the most accurate statements that I have ever come across: we accept the love we think we deserve.
In Beauty and the Beast, Emma is a kind, intelligent girl who falls in love with someone not because of what they could offer her, but because of what they held in their heart.
In Harry Potter, Emma is known to support herself and her ambitions by taking actions to improve. And when Hermione was ridiculed for being half-wizard, half-normal, she never tried to fight against it in anger or sorrow. She chose to believe that her label would not be included in the things that determined who she was- and when that decision was made, the label immediately withered away. When people made fun of her pursuit to free the house-elves from obeying their masters unconditionally, she poured even more work into her dream of freedom for them.
Emma Watson plays characters who stir something up inside of me. She played someone who was broken, someone who looked beyond the surface, and someone who changed things. Good for you, Emma.
One thing I’ve noticed after watching a few of her speeches about feminism on Youtube: Emma gets it. She understands the negative connotation that the word “feminism” brings up, and she explains to the people something that I really respect: it’s not all about the women, and it’s not all about the men-hating. It’s a goal to create a world where, as she puts it herself, “both men and women feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead of two opposing sets of ideals.”
Isn’t that so true? Really soak in her words. Emma has this gift of being able to say so much with only a few sentences. I want to leave you with one more thing about Emma. Martin Luther King, Jr. said something similar when he was writing his infamous later from a Birmingham Jail. She says this quote: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.” Emma realized “if not me, who? If not now, when? All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.”
It inspires me that Emma chose to pursue things that make an impact, simply because she cares about them.
Link to her mentioned speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9SUAcNlVQ4
That’s all. Love, Katie