I don’t know about you ladies, but I am super PUMPED that “Beauty and The Beast” is going to be in theaters soon! I grew up idolizing and loving the character Belle. To me, she represented the ULTIMATE woman; Confident, fearless, educated, beautiful…A dreamer who believed anything was possible, and of course, looked beyond to see someones inner, true-beauty.
With the anticipation of this movie, I have been following Actress, Emma Watson, and was horrified at the scrutiny over her recent Vanity Fair photo shoot. For background you can read this: Emma Watson, Anti-Feminist Response
OR- For Quick Cliffs Notes: Emma Watson isn’t a “feminist” (despite all her amazing work and grace being a role model for women) because she posed showing some skin in a sexy-styled Vanity Fair photo-shoot. ..Really?!?
You can see the Photo Gallery Here
In my opinion, the shoot was a mix of both masculine and feminine looks. One shot even included her fully-covered in a suit jacket. She had natural make-up and there was nothing overly-provocative about any of the shots. It was artistic, tasteful…and likely a refreshing change of pace for the dynamic Actress to showcase another side of herself, after just playing a polished and poised Disney character. Women are allowed to be sexy…or no? Not allowed?…Can’t show skin? Must hide their body?…I guess, apparently true, if you are a “Feminist.”
Since it is International Women’s Day, I felt compelled to share some thoughts on this topic, since Women Empowerment and Sisterhood are EXTREMELY important themes of The Balanced Beauty and part of women making healthy choices:
The Balanced Beauty Take on “Feminism”
For many artists, the human body is often used as a tool or instrument, in part of expression.
A ballet dancer wears a skin-tight, pink, tan, black or nude-colored leotard, mostly to blend into the skin, so you can see the body’s movement clearly….Should ballet dancers be considered sluts, whores, or anti-feminist because they are scantily clad and showing off their bodies?…The question never really comes up. It would be ridiculous to think a ballet dancer couldn’t also be a feminist… So, why does it come up for other women?
A woman should have the right and freedom of choice to express and liberate herself in any way that makes her feel strong, confident and beautiful in her own skin. I do not believe anyone has the right to criticize or judge a woman’s particular preference; Especially to say one woman is “more of a feminist” than another, depending on her own unique choices.
These types of “feminist” debates are exactly why I am NOT PROUD to be a woman and why I am always left baffled by the hypocrisy of it all. Women, no matter the topic, always seem to find ways to tear each other down… Of course, we all have the right to our opinions, but when can we STOP the pettiness, body shaming, and just support one another?… Find the beauty in each other? Understand we all make choices that are empowering and liberating that are unique to us, our bodies, our cultures, our artistry or perspectives?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman connecting to her body, sexuality or feminine spirit, in a way that feels right to her. Most women use their femininity, as an artistic form of expression; as a strength, not a weakness…If you ask me, Emma Watson looks more fearless and badass than ever before in this photo shoot- Like no one can stand in her way and she is ready to take on the world…Yet, people are calling her “anti-feminist” and a hypocrite as an advocate for women?
In a society where most girls are programmed to compare, feel not good enough, or turn to plastic surgery- Why is someone with self-love and body confidence looked at as a negative, instead of a beautiful and empowering inspiration?
NOT TO MENTION–WHY IS EVERYONE SO SENSITIVE or WORRIED ABOUT WHAT SOMEONE ELSE IS DOING THESE DAYS?….The countless articles and backlash for many female stars our artists baring skin or being provocative stir up so much controversy. Do guys get offended when other guys take off their shirts? Dance sexy? I feel like most guys will have 2 reactions:
- “That guy is jacked!”
- Click, Flip the channel, Turn the page…They don’t look and it’s over. You don’t hear scrutiny over it everywhere you turn. It is never the same.
We can learn a thing or two from men by taking this approach.
I have also taken time to pause and reflect– I have noticed in my own life, if I have ever succumb to not feeling good about myself, it has always been at the cost of another girl or woman, not a man. Women have an awful way of judging and criticizing one another. What may be right for you, may not be right for someone else. This is true for EVERYTHING IN LIFE.
Women should choose what makes them feel most confident and empowered. In doing so, they will be able to put their best foot forward in all they do. We each have different roles and are wired differently. There is no right or wrong– There is simply diversity and that’s what makes the world so great! If a higher power wanted us to all be the same, we would be.
There is total beauty in owning who you are and sharing that with the world. We each have a light inside us that shines brightest when we let go of fears and judgements of what others think of us. When we follow our instincts and are connected to our inner-truth, that is when our own, unique magic happens… For someone, like Emma, it happens in-front of a camera, in a Vanity Fair photo shoot- There is no greater force than that of a confident woman, and a true feminist would see the power in her choices.
Until women can learn to come together and support one another , we will always live in a man’s world.
“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is of what feminism is,” she said…
“Feminism is about giving women choice,” she went on. “Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.” -EMMA WATSON
FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Should Belle no longer be considered a role model for young girls because she changes into an evening gown and bares her shoulders, even shows a little cleavage? Do we look at her differently now? ….
She is still the same role model to me- just as Emma Watson is still an incredible inspiration, as an Actress doing amazing things for women… Vanity Fair cover and all.