Emma Watson - known to most of us as Hermione Granger - is turning 26 next week (the day before I do!), so here's a celebratory WCW post on her.
I actually don't think I've seen Emma in anything other than the Harry Potter films (though I am looking forward to her twirling around the ballroom as Belle in the upcoming Beauty & the Beast), but I know that, to a lot of us, she was Hermione, the brightest witch of her age. There are key moments in the books that you can't help but picture in Emma's voice, especially in the earlier installments.
Apart from inspiring a generation of girls to be a warrior princess, she uses her fame and status for good. She's a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador plus she helped launch - and is very involved in - the UN Women campaign HeForShe. Emma has also recently taken a break from acting so that she has more time for her philanthropic projects and is very vocal about her position as a feminist on social media.
Emma is also gorgeous; I mean, not all of us can chop off our hair and rock a pixie cut like she did post-Potter. She certainly comes across as being a lot more put-together than a lot of people who are the same age as her (*cough like me cough*), but despite constantly making it onto "Most Beautiful People" lists, Emma is still relatable in that she can be just as self-conscious as the rest of us not-gorgeous people. I've read interviews where she mentions suffering from low self-esteem, and it's encouraging to see someone as famous as her preaching about the importance of self-acceptance.
In between acting and philanthropy, Emma also made time to get a bachelor's degree (don't let anyone ever tell you that being smart isn't sexy). And, like a true Hermione, she's even started a feminist book club where she encourages people to read and discuss books on gender equality. More than just talking about change, Emma is trying to make changes happen, and it's amazing that she's getting her fans involved, educating them on the issues and inviting them to debate the different perspectives and points of view.
Happy early birthday, Emma Watson! Here's a throwback to one of my favourite Hermione moments.