In honor of Harry Potter star, feminist hero, humanism advocate, and all-around wonderful being Emma Watson's 26th birthday, let's discuss all the ways Watson and her HP character Hermione Granger are alike.
It's a fitting way to celebrate, right? Without Hermione, Watson wouldn't have had the means to influence millions of people. She never would have developed a platform, or a significant voice that now serves as inspiration to thousands of people across the world. In many ways, it's safe to say that Hermione inspired Watson herself.
Both Emma and Hermione stand for gender equality
Hermione as a character was partially defined by the incredibly positive male friendships she had at Hogwarts. She proved not only that she was equal to her masculine counterparts intellectually and emotionally, but that it was entirely possible to carry on platonic relationships with them. Eventually, Hermione and Ron did get together, but the graduation of that relationship was on her terms.
Similarly, Watson aspires to bring men and women together as more unified allies, not hardening either gender to the other but instead pointing to the aspects of gender inequality that damage both sexes. As she said during her now famous UN HeForShe speech, "Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too...
"I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less 'macho'—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either."
Just like Hermione, Emma puts people (of all shapes and sizes) first
Throughout the Harry Potter series, a resounding theme is Hermione's compassion for all beings — large and small, beautiful and ugly, trollish and magnificent. Throughout Watson's career, she's also put people first, donating to groups like ShelterBox, UNICEF, and the Millennium Villages organization to stamp out global poverty.
Both Hermione and Emma are incredibly well-educated
Just as Hermione receives top-of-the-line magical education at Hogwarts, Emma received top-tier education at Brown University. She graduated in 2014 with a degree in English Literature.
It's hard to say which of the two is more addicted to books.
There's a bit of a difference between Steinem and Herbology, but it's an immense amount of reading just the same.
And they both love traveling to far-off places.
Happy Birthday, Emma Watson!