Scorpio Risen

Harry-Potter-Movie-poster inspired rant

Posted on: 16 July, 2007

It was brought to my attention today that posters advertising the new Harry Potter film along the London Underground have had to be re-done after it was noticed that the posters starring Emma Watson (is that the right name?), aka Hermione were clearly photoshopped to make her breasts look more enlarged, and her waist smaller, to conform to patriarchal expectations.

Hmm.. With this one, it’s hard to decide where to begin.

How about that in the film she is supposed to be playing a 15 year old, and is actually about 16 years old herself IRL, and so – in my most humble opinion – it’s a bit fucked up to try to sexualise her like that? Or how about, given that she is 16, it is completely unfair to change her body by computer wizardry (no pun intended, well, maybe a little bit…) because it implies that there’s something wrong with her body the way it is naturally, and – although it’s an everyday thing for, like, every woman with a pulse irrespective of age – it is wrong to imply that, because it affect’s people’s self esteems, and trust me…15 to 16 year old girls have a rocky time of it with their self esteem, whether they’re a movie star or not.

Or, how about the fact that the character Hermione is supposed to be respected for her brains, and that she isn’t actually judged for whether or not she can fit a C cup, D cup or F cup, and that photoshopping a picture of Hermione just goes against the grain of her being a strong, intelligent character? Now, don’t get me wrong…it is quite possible to be sexy and intelligent, but this just takes the biscuit.

Or, how about that they wouldn’t feel the need to photoshop Ron or Harry because their male, and their worth isn’t based on their curves or their hair or their face, since they are part of the priviliged caste in a patriarchal society?

I mean, damn, don’t you get sick of how everything is male-defined? I know there’s been quite a bit of debate about “male gaze” and what have you, but really…what is the point of photoshopping Hermione/Emma Watson? Other than to sexualise her character and to assert a value on her aesthetic, when in the books she is primarily judged by, and valued for her intelligence and strength of character; it’s like a fucked up patriarchal currency exchange.


4 Responses to "Harry-Potter-Movie-poster inspired rant"

Ugh, that pisses me off, too – not even a brave, intelligent character from a children’s fantasy novel, who is played by an actress who professes to be pro-feminist, escapes pornification!

Yeah, I remember seeing something in Private Eye a couple of years ago about the Sun being all “Let’s get these horrid paedos!” on one page and then on another going on about 14-year-old Emma Watson and how she was growing up into a fine-looking young lady (knowing The Sun, probably along the lines of “Cor, chest bumps!”). I think being a female child star must be one of the worst things that can happen to you.

Although, Hermione does change her appearance with wizardry in the book, she changes the size of her teeth and makes her hair less bushy, and there is an opposition between her braininess and the possibility of her being attractive.

And really, movie posters are the least of my problems with the whole franchise. For instance, in one of the books Hermione is constantly ridiculed for her position on house-elf rights. Then there’s the completely ridiculous racial and national stereotypes, from the Patil sisters to the guy from Durmstrang and of course Fleur Delacour: way to stereotype everyone in the general direction fo Germany as dumb nazis and the French as aloof and snobby seductresses, and maybe not entirely honest.

Damn right!
In the entire series there is precisely one moment when Hermione gets prettied up- and that is at the Yule Ball, takes everyone by surprise and doesn’t happen again because quite frankly she has better things to do like saving the world and campaigning for elf rights.
Doing that to Emma Watson is particularly cruel when you consider her age and the insanely crazy world she’s been thrown in. I have a soft spot for her ever since she said she’s “a little bit of a feminist”. If she grows to be clever like her character that’d be great- finally a good example for young girls. I pray the studios don’t get their claws any more into this.

What the others have said..ugh. I really hope she doesn’t feel the need to be coerced into stuff she doesn’t want to do (like posing for a mag or whatever) later on. She’s still got 2 films to go. It’s unbelievable that the minute she turn’s 16 (men’s and the media’s idea of suddenly being ‘legal’ to objectify her) it’s seen as okay to do such an objectifying thing.

Hopefully her feminist stance will get stronger and she’ll complain about it? You never know…:)

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