The Humanitarian Works of Emma Watson

I am sure that if you were to ask yourself “who is the most influential person in the world today” Emma Watson isn’t someone you would name off hand. In fact, some may even question “who is this Emma Watson?” I would find this reaction entirely reasonable and understandable. She had grown up on the set of world renown fictional movie series Harry Potter, and for so many, her image remains associated with her childhood character Hermione Granger; An incredibly smart, talented young wizard at Hogwarts, waving a wand, and correcting other peers on potions and spells. Today, Watson has transformed into a lovely young woman with many accomplishments that go far above and beyond her role as an actress: An active humanitarian, a graduate from Brown University, and a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Unfortunately, most of her inspiring work has fallen beneath the headlines of other celebrity gossip, entertainment, and news stories, and even behind her own image as an actress. Let the truth unfold for why Emma Watson is the ideal role model for our generation and an influential person in our world today.

Everyday we are bombarded with entertainment and celebrity headlines. Celebrity gossip gets splashed allover magazine articles that display at your everyday grocery store checkout lanes Reality television shows and movies aim to whisk the mind away to a deceptive idea of reality. News stories tend to get carried away on community gossip and the latest traffic accident or neighborhood crimes. Commercials and advertisements try to sell people on the latest luxuries; cars, clothing, music, electronics, etc. What all these sources fail to do is pull insight to more pressing, social, and global issues and the activists that are out there striving to bring awareness as well as change. While someone was thumbing through a magazine and getting the details on where to shop for Kim Kardashian’s latest dress, Emma Watson was out on a mission in Bangladesh to get acquainted with the women who were given very low compensation for their work to make handmade clothes.

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She got to see first hand the negative effects of ”fast fashion” versus “fair trade”. When interviewed later on her experiences in Bangladesh, Watson states: | always find it difficult to impress on people what ‘handmade’ really means. To make a simple garment they have to produce the yarn, hand-dye the yarn, get it onto the loom, then weave the fabric, cut it to the pattern, sew it into the garment and then embroider it — all by hand. It is so hard for people to imagine what it takes to create something and how special that item of clothing is. A startling fact that Emma came to learn, along with the entire process of making these articles of clothing by hand, is these workers only get paid an average of £6 a week for their tedious craft. In conjunction with the poorest of living conditions, pollution, and the risk of child labor.

Watson, in an effort to make a difference, got involved in a new clothing line called People Tree. In support of Fair Trade, People Tree states on their website. When you shop with People Tree, you can trust that your goods were made ethically and sustainably. People Tree is a different kind of fashion business giving customers an alternative to fast fashion. The fast fashion industry is fueled by insatiable demand for cheap clothing and accessories. Fast fashion has a devastating impact, from sweatshops and child labour to pollution and global warming. Slow Fashion means standing up against exploitation, family separation, slum cities and pollution, all the things that make fast fashion so successful. We make beautiful garments that are a living blueprint for our values: people and the planet are central to everything we do. Our garments are hand-crafted in organic cotton and sustainable materials using traditional skills that support rural communities.

When investigating further, one would learn that fast fashion is prevalent in many popular clothing stores: H&M, Forever 21, Wet Seal, Rue 21. and many others. Many people have gone without ever hearing about Watson’s mission in Bangladesh. One would have to imagine how this would (if not learned about already) impact the views of so many before ever stepping into a Forever 21 clothing store to shop again. Little do many people know. Watson is currently at the forefront of the movement of Gender Equality. She was elected as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, shortly after graduating from Brown University in English Literature. She kicked off a new campaign called “He for She” in 2015 inviting not only feminists from around the country, but also men addressing them with the words from her speech.

“Gender equality is your issue, too.” A snippet from Emma Watson’s speech brings insight to the goal of this campaign: 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 not as two opposing sets of ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we areiwe can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. it’s about freedom. Emma Watson’s speech was met with support by many, including fathers that wrote letters to Watson describing a new found hope for the future of their daughters. There was also some backlash from other antifeminists which only further inspired Watson to press on with her campaign, stating, ”If they were trying to put me off, they did the opposite.

” More recently, Emma Watson interviewed 18-year-old Malala Yousafzai about her new documentary called He Named Me Mala/a that highlights the issues of achieving gender equality and education for all children. During the interview, Malala expresses inspiration from Emma Watson’s HeforShe speech when she states: “Interestingly, this word feminism, it has been a very tricky word, and when I heard it the first time I heard some negative responses,” Yousafzai tells Watson. “I hesitated in saying, ‘Am I a feminist or not,‘ and then after hearing your speech when you said, ‘If not now, when? If not me, who?‘ I decided that there’s nothing wrong with calling yourself a feminist.” From here we can see how Watson’s efforts have already begun to stir the thoughts of supporters and influence people to stand up and make change. While tackling five films, being an active humanitarian, and a UN Women’s Goodwill ambassador, Watson also attended both Oxford and Brown University, eventually graduating with her Bachelors in English Literature.

When questioning why a famous actress would bother to attend college while so many other actors and actresses would consider their lives complete with fame and their career, Watson explains: When I finish my degree I will have a lot more time to pursue other passions, and I want to figure out what those will be. i love having something completely unrelated to the film industry. I want to find something that will let me use my brain in another way. I like connecting people who aren’t part of that world, too. For being only 25 years old, Emma Watson’s many accomplishments is something to truly admire. Not many young adults have been capable of or have even had the privilege to see and do all that Watson’s position gives her the chance to do. Knowing so, Watson takes this in stride and uses the full advantage of her position to help others. We can only expect to see more from this remarkable young woman for the duration of her future career.

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The Humanitarian Works of Emma Watson. (2023, May 10). Retrieved from