Truth? I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen a “Harry Potter” movie from start to finish. I’m pretty sure the rest of my family has joined a support group over it (“Loving Your Non-HP-Loving Child” or some such), but there it is. And I wanted to be sure to admit my ignorance before we get started today, because I would like to discuss one Emma Watson, with her adorable new pixie cut!
I’m still getting used to it, but I feel like I have ownership over it. Because I kind of felt my hair was half me, half Hermione, and with this, I can obviously completely disassociate myself from that role. […] I have Hermione to thank, in a weird way, for my sense of style. Playing this role, fashion was my way of expressing myself away from that school uniform. When I got the chance to dress myself, I was so thrilled to be able to be Emma and show a different side of myself. Maybe I would never have been this interested in fashion if I hadn’t played that role for so long and sometimes felt so constrained by being identified with her so much. I mean, I just wasn’t allowed to do anything: wasn’t allowed to cut my hair, put on nail varnish, tan, wear a bra that made my boobs in any way look [larger], have any flesh showing, wear any makeup when I was playing Hermione. I always had to back-comb my hair — ‘She looks too pretty, take down the blush or the mascara, take it off.’ Fashion was my rebellion.
I’m assuming that Emma is just talking about when she was on the HP set, not in every minute of her life, but considering how long they’ve been filming the damn things, you can’t blame her for chafing. I know I feel free as a bird now that I’ve graduated Beauty U and can wear any color of the rainbow again — Emma’s deal seems like that, times a thousand. Especially because she had to deal with all those rules while being a teenager, precisely the time when you’d want to be going nuts with the dyed hair and the misguided belief that leggings can serve as pants. (They can’t. Except maybe jeggings. I am still making up my mind about those.)
I do get that Harry Potter is fantasy, which means, perhaps even more than other films or TV series, that the characters had to maintain an almost cartoon-like aesthetic consistency throughout. But I am a bit unnerved by the degree to which they monitored her ahem, development. And I also wonder about Emma rebelling by… being a really hot girl. Points for the daring short haircut (long hair being one of our culture’s default beauty standards) but otherwise, she’s hardly throwing a beauty ideal gauntlet here.
But like I said, I’m out of my depth here. Just recognizing that this is an Important Issue (obviously, right up there with healthcare and global warming and such) about which many of you will have strong feelings.
So! Quiz time! And then tell us more about what you think in the comments.