Emma Watson Sparks Online Fury With ‘Topless’ Magazine Shoot

#Hypocrisy! Fans react to Emma Watson's new 'topless' photoshoot

Emma Watson has ignited an online war of words following a Vanity Fair photoshoot, in which the 26-year-old Harry Potter actress appears to be posing ‘topless’. In the snap (captured by legendary photographer Tim Walker), Emma’s breasts are only partially covered by an ornate white brocade-style Burberry cape, causing fans to raise a quizzical eyebrow as to whether or not her stance on feminism has been called into question as a result.

The online backlash began with a slew of Twitter users berating the actress for what they considered ‘hypocrisy’, being that Emma helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe — which advocates gender equality — and the fact that she’s always been very vocal about women’s rights.

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‘Feminist: Page 3 girls? Topless? Ban them! Emma Watson topless? Brave and Stunning! #hypocrisy’ one Twitter user raged in response to the picture, which appears in the new March issue of Vanity Fair.

‘Emma Watson is a disgusting hypocrite for this and I hate her even more,’ another commented.

This vicious attack was met however with a flood of fans rushing to Emma’s defence. Many argued that the picture actually promotes feminism in the sense that Emma’s (partially, yes *shock horror* partially) bare breasts are an expression of her own free choice, plus, we here at LOOK towers are left asking the question: why does everyone feel so threatened and angered by a young, intelligent woman’s decision to celebrate her body? Does being a feminist mean that once that figurative bra is burned, you can’t show your breasts without being accused of hypocrisy?

Read: Emma Watson Leads The Fight For Equality With Empowering Short Film

‘Apparently you can’t be a feminist and love your body – the two are mutually exclusive,’ one user tweeted.

‘Yes we are still having the f*****g convo that if you are feminist you have to desexualize yourself,’ another quipped.

‘Ah, I hadn’t realised that feminism had a strict dress code,’ stated another.

We have to admit that this criticism of Emma came of something of a shock. We’ve taken a look at the photoshoot, and it’s quite frankly, beautiful. The ‘topless’ shot doesn’t look in any way raunchy, or sexualised. It very much fits in with the visual narrative of the shoot, and is indicative of Tim Walkers’ dreamy, fairytale style.

It’s baffling that people feel so affronted by what we see as simply artistic expression, and that Emma’s work as a champion for women’s rights should be critiqued because of it. Come on guys, they’re just boobs. And boobs ARE beautiful. If someone chooses (and we emphasise the word, ‘choice’ here) to bare them as an expression of their *gasp* sexuality — be it a Page 3 girl, a burlesque dancer or Emma Watson — does it make you any less equipped to discuss feminist issues?

Do you think this picture is hypocritical? Let us know via Twitter @Lookmagazine