I should start by saying that I am a huge fan of Emma Watson. She's around my age and when she played Hermione is Harry Potter she sent out an important message to my younger self. That you can be smart, and beautiful and sassy and be friends with boys and still be OK. This was something I could relate to and what made me love Harry Potter in the very first instances as an unsure 10-year-old.
In the article, she talks about her own experiences of sexism as she was growing up and it struck a chord with me. Like her, I was lucky enough to feel as though my opinion was always as valid and important as that of my brothers and have been surrounded by strong, independent women all my life. My mum chose to change her career when she had kids so that she could be around more, but that never changed the attitude she had and the fact that she clearly ran the house. And my dad, my dad was the best you could have asked for. He always encouraged me and nurtured me to be more than I thought possible. He spurred me on to climb trees higher than my brother and even got yelled at when we visited a go-kart track because he was urging me to beat my brother.
Growing up, I never even knew that this was something to be grateful for. I argued with whoever I liked, with no regard as to whether they were male or female, and less of a regard for whether I should be speaking to someone of the opposite gender in the way. I defended my brother and male friends and never understood why this would be mocked. In fact, it wasn't until I was much older that I began to see it and even understand a little.
This is what Emma Watson's HeforShe campaign is promoting. For men all around the world to show their support for feminism. One of the first people I ever saw wearing the 'this is what a feminist looks like' was one of my favourite comedians Bill Bailey, but since then thousands of men have been showing their support for the campaign, including my favourite Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston.
I love this issue of Elle Magazine and will surely be putting it on my coffee table for months to come.