Emma Watson is unanimously everyone’s favorite. The 25-year-old is smart, beautiful, talented and dedicated to using her platform to promote gender equality. In the world of child stars, she is the exception to every rule. So it doesn’t quite make sense that Twitter is out for an apology from the seemingly perfect actress.
Gal-Dem, an online magazine, broke the story earlier this week that, in 2013, Watson was the face of Lancome’s Blanc Expert skin-whitening product. Gal-Dem, and now Twitter, claims that because Watson is white, she is used as the desired outcome of using the product. It’s a stretch, but if you close your eyes real tight, you can see their argument.
For her part, Watson (who is no longer associated with Lancome), stands strong, saying, through her rep, that she “no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women.”
That should be enough to stop the online chatter. It’s classy, direct and unapologetic, which, on the spectrum of child stars' indiscretions, is about as mild as you get. But for some reason, the public creates media darlings and then works tirelessly to tear them down. When it happened to Jennifer Lawrence, no one was safe.
It should be noted that the “whitening” description of the product is more closely associated with “brightening and evening skin tones” — a product that almost every beauty brand has. But when it comes to online outrage, there is no place for logic or understanding.
The problem with all this outrage isn’t that we shouldn’t be picking on Watson, or any celebrity for that matter. If they are being insensitive or blatantly offensive, they should most certainly be called out. But when it reaches the point of scouring people’s pasts to come up with any kind of dirt, it enters the world of ridiculous. We all need to step back, recognize what a great job Watson is doing to further an inclusive society and forgive her for that one time she endorsed a product that maybe could have possibly sent a less-than-perfect message.
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