Emma Watson discusses gender equality in fashion for Vogue Video
Last year Emma Watson spoke very openly in front of the United Nations in New York and launched the HeForShe campaign, urging men to step up and get involved in the movement for gender equality.
The idea behind HeForShe is that gender equality will benefit both genders as it allows people to be themselves, free from outdated gender roles and norms. In her moving speech Watson said: “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.” This September she is back as Vogue cover girl and has brought out a short film with Vogue Video, opening a discussion on what gender equality means within the fashion industry.
In the video we see some big names in the fashion industry, including Stella McCartney and Jonathan Saunders, speak up about their ideas on gender equality. Watson leads the discussion asking questions about the role gender equality plays in fashion, starting with the big question: “Are you a feminist?” A straightforward question but an important one as describing oneself as a feminist can invite all sorts of hostile responses; many people tend to avoid answering by arguing about semantics. “I’m a humanist, I think that covers the whole thing,” states Bella Freud.
In this hostile environment it is wonderful to see people like Watson, someone with a huge fan base consisting of both men and women, “reclaiming” the term for the better. Sexism is still an everyday occurrence in too many people’s lives and gender roles are perpetuated through the media. It is refreshing to see leading names in fashion recognising the responsibility they have when it comes to portraying men and women. “We need to give a better message to women,” says McCartney. “We need to allow women to feel comfortable in who they are”.
Watson concludes the video stating she is positive about the strides she has seen the fashion industry taking towards gender equality and expresses her hope for more diverse representation of men and women “in any way that makes them feel empowered”.