Emma Watson hits back at critics over ‘topless’ photo shoot

The 'Beauty and the Beast' star posed for a recent 'Vanity Fair' feature

Emma Watson has responded to the critics who were behind the backlash surrounding her recent photo shoot with Vanity Fair, which saw the actress posing in a see-through top.

Watson is currently promoting the forthcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which hits cinemas on March 17. Disney’s second take on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s famous fairy tale – following the 1991 animated version – will see Watson star as Belle.

However, the 26-year-old has come in for criticism in the past week for a photo shoot she did for a Vanity Fair article. Posing in a see-through top, some commentators – which included one thinkpiece in The Independent that claimed Watson wouldn’t have “known herself” if she had posed “topless because of the patriarchy or despite it” – criticised the attire she wore during the shoot.

Watson has now hit back at those who criticised the Vanity Fair photographs, saying “feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with.”

“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,” she told Channel 4 News. “I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it, it’s quite confusing. I’m always just quietly stunned.

“The shot itself I was honestly slightly taken aback by, because we’d been doing so many crazy things on that shoot,” Watson continued. “But it felt incredibly artistic and I’ve been so creatively involved and engaged with [Vanity Fair photographer Tim Walker], and I’m so thrilled with how interesting and beautiful the photographs were.

“It always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is of what feminism is.”

Watch the interview below.

Last week, Watson also revealed which scene in Beauty and the Beast she found the most “nerve-wracking” to shoot.