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Emma Watson refuses to take selfies—and here’s why

She's aware of how it quickly it would spread.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 1, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 10:09 pm CDT

Emma Watson has had to learn to navigate how to interact with fans since becoming a household name with Harry Potter, but if you meet her on the street she has one rule: no selfies.

She explained her policy in Vanity Fair’s cover story of its most recent issue, and it’s a practical one for her. She may patiently listen to your Harry Potter fandom questions, chat with you, or offer you an autograph. But for being part of a fandom that has become a phenomenon—and stayed that way years later—it’s a different story: she’s met fans who’ve leaned on the Potter books to get through cancer as well as fans who have tattoos with her face.

“For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not,” Watson said. “If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they’ve created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data.”

Watson tries to lead a private life outside of her work as an actor but she tends to have one exception because she sees how a meeting can affect people.

“I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact,” she added. “When am I a celebrity sighting versus when am I going to make someone’s freakin’ week? Children I don’t say no to, for example.”

Premieres, however, are likely a different story. Watson is attending those in a public capacity—especially ones for movies she stars in like Beauty and the Beast—so fans already know she’s at that particular place in a hand-picked outfit for the premiere. And Watson has created a new Instagram account to highlight the outfits she’s wearing on her global (and very visible) press tour.

Nihao Shanghai! Had the most wonderful premiere at Disneyland this evening. So excited to be here and thank you for the generous welcome 🇨🇳 🌹 P.S. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is amazing! Gown crafted from left-over fabric from a previous @eliesaabworld Haute Couture collection. The dress is made from 15 metres of tulle, embroidered with silk thread, sequins, beads and stones, five metres of illusion tulle and four metres of crepe georgette silk. Trainers by: @Veja, a brand that uses innovative, ecological materials, such as Amazonian wild rubber and recycled plastic bottles. @goodguysdontwearleather who do not use any animal products and make their collections in Porto to help preserve the traditional shoe making industry. @allbirds, who recently received status as a certified B Corporation, meaning they meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Gown validated and fashion information verified by @ecoage #ecoloves Make-up base is @kjaerweis Cream Foundation and @rmsbeauty “Un” Cover Up. Kjaer Weis is a certified-organic and natural make-up line that creates refillable metal packaging to help reduce waste. Cheeks tinted with @beautycounter Colour Sweep Blush Duo, which has a compact made of FSC-certified paper, and @tataharper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint. Beauty Counter have ‘The Never List’ of 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that they never use in their products. Eyes are @jilliandempsey Khôl Eyeliner (who chooses to use organic and naturally-derived ingredients when formulating her make-up line), @vapourbeauty (who operates its own USDA-approved organic lab) Mesmerize Eye Colour and Kjaer Weis Eye Shadow. Highlight in the inner eyes was created with Kjaer Weis Radiance and brows were finished with @janeiredale Brow Gel. Kjaer Weis Mascara was used on lashes. Lips are a mix of @absolution_cosmetics Sweet & Safe Kiss Lipstick in Rouge Bordeaux and Kjaer Weis Lipstick in Beloved. All brands are cruelty-free. Beauty brands verified by @contentbeauty

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H/T Mashable

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*First Published: Mar 1, 2017, 7:39 am CST