Emma Watson defends topless photoshoot after backlash

Emma Watson has hit back at critics who say she has betrayed her feminist principles by posing for a revealing picture in the March issue of Vanity Fair, in which parts of her breasts were visible. The 26-year-old, who has been busy promoting Disney movie Beauty and the Beast, admitted she was surprised by the backlash. "It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is," she told the BBC. "Feminism is about giving women choice."

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"Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with," she added. "It's about freedom, it's about liberation, it's about equality. I really don’t know what my [breasts] have to do with it. It's very confusing. I'm confused. Most people are confused. No, I'm just always just quietly stunned." In the stunning photo shoot, shot by photographer Tim Walker, Emma proved she's all grown up as she stripped down. The actress, who is also the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and launched the HeForShe campaign, defended the photographer's artistic direction. She explained: "We'd been doing so many crazy things on that shoot but it felt incredibly artistic and I've been so creatively involved and engaged with Tim and I'm so thrilled about how interesting and beautiful the photographs were."

Emma Watson has defended her topless Vanity Fair photoshoot after backlash

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In the magazine's accompanying interview, Emma confessed she is still coming to grips with being a Hollywood icon. "I'd walk down the red carpet and go into the bathroom," she said of her early life in the glare of the spotlight. "I had on so much makeup and these big, fluffy, full-on dresses. I'd put my hands on the sink and look at myself in the mirror and say, 'Who is this?' I didn't connect with the person who was looking back at me, and that was a very unsettling feeling." Emma, who was only 11-years-old when the first Harry Potter film premiered, admitted: "I was finding this fame thing was getting to a point of no return. I sensed if this was something I was ever going to step away from it was now or never. It dawned on me that this is what you’re really signing up for."