She’s just been proclaimed the most outstanding woman in the world by Askmen.com,  who clearly have good taste. Widely touted as the face of feminism right now, Emma Watson was the natural choice to front Emirates Woman’s Peace and Love issue.

Emma Watson, Splash News

The fresh face of feminism

It would have been easy for the actress – who turns 25 in April – to rest on her Harry Potter laurels and lead a laid back life of luxury. Instead, Emma Watson took a year off from making movies to focus on finishing her degree at Brown University, before throwing herself, body and soul, into her role as UN ambassador to promote gender equality. With a rousing speech watched by over 17 million viewers, Emma launched the HeForShe campaign in which she calls upon both men and women to act as agents of change.

emma watson brown university

Emma Watson has graduated from Brown University

She’s also doing whatever she can to save the environment – one small action at a time. “When I was 18, I designed a line of organic clothing, because I am really interested in the environment. Ultimately, damaging the world also means damaging human beings. It all comes back around and affects us too in the long term. So I have always been really interested in sustainability. I don’t eat very much red meat, I recycle, I turn lights off. I do very small things on a day-to-day basis. I hope I make a difference. I would like to leave the world knowing that I left it as I found it,” she told reporters while on the publicity trail for Noah last year.

And despite admitting that at one stage she wasn’t even sure she wanted to be an actress, the star – who was plunged into the Harry Potter franchise 14 years ago – clearly has drama running through her veins as she’s thrown herself wholeheartedly back into her career. With two thrillers coming out this summer, her willingness to tackle challenging roles out of her comfort zone prove that she’s got what it takes to be an actress of substance.

“It feels like I was building a portfolio over the last five, six years, “ she recently said to Total Film on the subject. “Now I feel like I’m ready to really be carrying films. I’m really just ready now to focus on my career full time and go full steam ahead. It’s exciting at the moment.”

Emma and her pal Jennifer Lawrence enjoying some high jinx

Emma is now focusing on meaty, complex lead roles, just like her pal Jennifer Lawrence

Emma on the word feminism:

“Men think it’s a women’s word and it’s only for women, but really it just means you stand for equality. If you stand for equality, you are a feminist. Sorry to tell you.”

Emma on actresses in the film industry:

“Currently, females comprise seven per cent of directors, 19.7 per cent of writers, and 2.2 per cent of producers in the film industry. When you have a female writer, there’s a higher representation of women. So that’s a pretty huge problem. Why are women not telling their own stories?”

Emma on chivalry:

Chivalry should be consensual. Both parties should be comfortable with that.”

Five things you didn’t know about Emma Watson

  1. She was born in Paris to English parents and moved to Oxfordshire aged five.
  2. She has two cats named Bubbles and Domino.
  3. Harry Potter was her first ever audition and author JK Rowling fought for her to get the role of Hermione Granger.
  4. At the age of 15 she became the youngest person to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue magazine.
  5. Claims she will never date anyone famous.

For those of you who missed Emma’s impassioned HeForShe speech at the United Nations here it is:

What you will learn from the April issue

*The truth behind Female Genital Mutilation and why there needs to be progressive discourse on this barbaric practice

* If love is down to science or if it’s written in the stars

* That you can bare all with foundation-free skin

*Why road testing Moschino’s Barbie style will put a smile on everyone’s dial

* How to be a haute hippie


 Main image: Vincent Peters / Trunk Archive and Splash News