My bare breasts are not a feminist issue, Watson tells critics
Emma Watson has hit back at critics who claimed her controversial topless shoot for 'Vanity Fair' undermines her feminist views.
The actress was criticised after one of the photographs, by the fashion photographer Tim Walker, showed her posing in a white crocheted jacket with no top or bra on underneath.
Julia Hartley-Brewer, the journalist and broadcaster, wrote on Twitter: "Emma Watson: 'Feminism, feminism...gender wage gap... why oh why am I not taken seriously...feminism...oh, and here are my t**s!"
Some hit back on Twitter at Ms Hartley-Brewer with self-described feminist Evie saying: "Feminism is about giving women FREE CHOICE. They can cover up or expose their bodies as they want. You've missed the point".
Others claimed on Twitter that the shoot was no different from 'The Sun's' Page 3, which has often been accused of objectifying women.
But in a BBC interview, alongside Dan Stevens, her co-star in her new film, 'Beauty and the Beast', the 26-year-old actress said her choice to pose topless did not undermine her feminism.
"Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women," she said. "It's about freedom, it's about liberation, it's about equality.
"I really don't know what my t**s have to do with it."
She added that she was "confused" and "quietly stunned" by the debate.
Her critics were effectively arguing she "couldn't be a feminist and have boobs", she said.
Some observers online defended her, arguing that clothing has little to do with her credentials as a feminist.
The actress, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, has been a high-profile advocate for women's rights for several years. She was appointed as Women's Goodwill Ambassador by the UN in July 2014.
In September that year, she started HeforShe, a campaign which aims to encourage men to stand up for women's rights.
She has previously spoken out against the gender pay gap and last year began a feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. (© Daily Telegraph, London)