Emma Watson: From Harry Potter Starlet to Feminine Activist & Style Icon

Any fellow bookworms or Harry Potter fans out there? This one is for you. I grew up reading both the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. While I will admit that Lord of the Rings has left more of an impact on my life, Harry Potter has been influential nevertheless. Both film franchises dominated my childhood. I grew up, and admired, Hermione Granger, a character JK Rowling notes was most like herself at that age. The same way I admired the character Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings franchise. Or Mulan, or Pocahontas. Or another fictional heroine in book or film.

In 2014, Emma Watson had the honor of interviewing J.K. Rowling, the author of the hugely successful Harry Potter books on her character Hermione, on her [the character’s] relationship to Harry and Ron, and more for Wonderland, now Hypable. J.K. Rowling notes, “I mean that the intense, clever, in some ways not terribly self-aware, girl is rarely the heroine and I really wanted her to be the heroine. She is part of me, although she is not wholly me. I think that is how I might have appeared to people when I was younger, but that is not really how I was inside.” To some degree, I feel like I connected with Hermione most. Honestly, I still do.

Sshhh! Don’t tell anyone I didn’t finish reading the Harry Potter series.

In a February issue of Vanity Fair, Emma Watson describes her mischievous undertaking for The Book Fairies as: “We’re being ninjas,” she says with a conspiratorial grin as she digs in a big black rucksack of books. “If there were anyone to be a ninja for, it’d be Maya Angelou.”

Introduction

Emma Watson is a 27-year-old actress and activist born to British lawyers in Paris, France. For a decade Emma Watson played spunky and bookish Hermione Granger, a titular character in the Harry Potter universe. It is a role that has shaped Watson’s career and style, on and off screen. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English in 2014 from Brown University. Since graduating, Watson has become an influential and outspoken feminine activist and style icon. She may yet rival Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge!

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With the success of the Harry Potter franchise, her celebrity status was secured. She has since been able to maintain her status by joining the UN as a Women Global Goodwill Ambassador and supporting worldwide literacy supporting the brands OurSharedShelf (on Goodreads) and The Book Fairies. While she has taken a year off from acting to focus on activism, she continues to make headlines: sometimes interviewing authors, sometimes hiding books across the globe, sometimes enjoying the simple pleasures of life. (Yes, I am talking about her recent excursion skydiving.) I’ll admit she’s braver than I am.

While she rose to fame for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, Emma Watson – the actress, model, and activist – has shed her image of starlet based in part by the roles she portrays (Colonia, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Beauty and the Beast, for example) and in part because of her role as an activist. She conveys certain messages, on and off screen. In Beauty and the Beast, Emma Watson had this to say of Belle:

“There’s this kind of outsider quality that Belle had, and the fact she had this really empowering defiance of what was expected of her. In a strange way, she challenges the status quo of the place she lives in, and I found that really inspiring. And also, she manages to keep her integrity and have a completely independent point of view.”

As seen in the February 2017 Vanity Fair cover story “Emma Watson, Rebel Belle”

Through her activism, she shares her passion for equality, books, and sustainable fashion. Not too surprisingly, those are the same things I would advocate for: equal rights for women, sustainability and sustainable travel, and literacy since I am, and always will be, a bookworm.

Social Media Overview

  • Individual Accounts
    • Instagram: 37.5 million followers, 2 following, 61 posts
    • Twitter: 25.1 million followers, 1582 tweets, 212 photos/videos
    • Facebook page: 35,248,967 like her page; 34,809,136 follow her page
  • Brands: OurSharedShelf, also on Goodreads (11,552 likes, 11,802 follows) The Book Fairies (8,258 people like this, 8,417 people follow this).
  • Causes: HeforShe (552,884 people like, 544,829 people follow this)

Analysis and Evaluation

As a Whole

A basic Google search yields millions of results, with top-ranking cover stories, a biography, and links to her individual social media on the first page. Because of her popularity, her digital footprint is extensive: almost anything she does, whether it is skydiving or hiding books around New York City or Paris and whether she is interviewing Canadian author Margaret Atwood or appealing to fans to find her “most special possession,” Watson receives extensive media attention. As a whole, Emma uses her social media as a platform for change and to promote her modeling and/or acting projects like Beauty and the Beast, a remake of the animated 1991 film.

Facebook

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Watson’s Facebook page likely has the most posts; her albums range from on-set photos from Harry Potter, Ballet Shoes, and other movie projects to editorial modeling shoots which she is featured in. She has posted 378 times on her timeline, updated her cover photo 16 times, and updated her profile picture nine times: each update reflecting a current movie project, a certain cause, or a particular portrait that defines the real Emma Watson. Like her presence on other social media platforms, the content remains the same to ensure consistency with her followers.

Instagram

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With just over 60 posts on Instagram, Watson uses the platform to support her causes and brands: OurSharedShelf, The Book Fairies, and her work as a UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador. With over 38 million followers, her account is successful, drawing in Harry Potter super fans, environmentalists, fashionistas, movie buffs, and book lovers. Her followers are equally engaged with many of the posts reaching millions of likes and at least 10,000 comments. Really, what’s not to like about a self-confident young woman who uses her celebrity status for good; as one Vanity Fair interview headline notes: she’s a rebel with a cause.

Since becoming a style icon, her posts generally reflect her choice to wear sustainable fashion to promotion events, premieres and more. In addition to utilizing the platform to showcase her style choices, she documents her journey as a UN Goodwill Ambassador for gender equality: meetings with heads of state, other UN activists, authors, and more. Only a small portion of her Instagram account is used to promote her movie projects.

Twitter

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Emma is generally more active on Twitter, since she has tweeted over 1,500 times since joining in 2010. Her tweets are diverse: from interviews she’s done with best-selling authors such as Margaret Atwood or sharing her experience hiding books for The Book Fairies to writing a plea to her 25+ million fan base to find a precious family heirloom she lost in London and on-set photos promoting recent movie projects. Like her Facebook page and Instagram feed, her posts are succinct. Just check out her interview with kitties by Buzzfeed for the Beauty and the Beast @thepresstour!

Commendations and Recommendations

Based on her numerous interviews and on her editorial modeling & acting career, Emma Watson has grown from being a child star into a style icon and activist – not unlike the character Hermione Granger. For that I admire her.  Since her rise to fame over fifteen years ago, she has personally developed into a strong, outspoken woman who appears to be down-to-earth and self-confident.

Emma Watson has gained a large fan base over her decades-long career as an actress. Her social media accounts show consistency in her posts, profile picture, cover photo (if included), and stories. Additionally, she posts consistently between all platforms, in addition to getting publicity nearly every week with articles appearing on both Facebook and Google frequently. Her feeds clearly exhibit a real and honest representation of Emma Watson: the activist, the model, the actress.

While she sometimes shares about her life, many of the posts exclusively support her causes and career. As such, there is nothing much that she needs to do to improve her social media presence. Perhaps the only suggestion would be to post more often. Being a celebrity has opened doors for Emma, as it has done for other notable celebrities like Angelina Jolie who have become UN ambassadors. Many fans leave positive comments about being a role model, even being compared to Princess Diana. Others realize that she is just another person living out an extraordinary life.

 

 

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Found on Watson’s Facebook page

 

 

Rowling’s final thoughts on Hermione, a missive about herself and Emma: “Just like her creator, she has a real weakness for a funny man. These uptight girls, they do like them funny. It’s such a relief from being so intense yourself – you need someone who takes life, or appears to take life, a little more light heartedly.”

She’s a rebel with a cause.

Cheers for now!

References

https://www.biography.com/people/emma-watson-20660247

http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/emma-watson-interview

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/beauty-and-the-beast-emma-watson-belle-over-cinderella-role-model-disney-a7532666.html

http://emma-watson.net/2014/02/07/emmas-interview-with-jk-rowling/

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/02/emma-watson-cover-story

 

Case Study #3: ModCloth

By Elizabeth Allred

Overview

Anyone love vintage clothing? I know I do.

The company I chose to analyze for this project is ModCloth. ModCloth is an online retail company that sells vintage-inspired looks for weddings and special occasions, casual outings and wear-to-work. Its diversity and distinctly vintage-inspired style is what initially brought me to like and follow the company’s brand.

Their Facebook profile, click here, has over 1,500,00 likes and nearly as many followers. The company joined Twitter in May 2008. Here’s the link. They have at least 136,000 followers and their username is @ModCloth. On Instagram, ModCloth has a following of 533,000 people, over 4,000 posts, and a link to their website. Seriously, check out their feed!

Analysis

Facebook

With over 4,000 posts on Facebook, ModCloth has a definite presence sharing both customer-branded content and in-house content in which the curated feed is diversified. An analysis of the logo and banner defines the vintage retailer’s brand: it’s simple, it’s elegant, and it’s diversified.   According to the company’s About Us section, MocCloth was founded in 2002 and four years later, the company moved out of the basement. It contains a link to the website, information on customer support, and a brief story of its creation.

 

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A recently updated company page on Facebook

 

The company has liked a lot of relevant pages from personal fashion bloggers, public figures, fashion magazines, business and/or product services, and clothing brands. They have multiple photo albums with titles like “Professional Pizzazz,” “Boho Rhapsody,” “The Soda Fountain Dress, A ModCommunity Favorite,” and more.  They post quite frequently, updating the page daily with new content of new sales and new styles. A case in point is that they will post advertisements on the sales going on, such as during Independence Day.

The audience is highly engaged in their content compared to Twitter. One of their most recent posts, a video shared from Glamour, garnered over 1,600 likes. Most of their original or community-shared content only garner likes up to 300 on average. Many of the posts also garner a lot of support from within the community; however, I have seen some negative comments aimed at their buyout with Wal-Mart in March. Here’s a letter from the co-founder Susan Gregg Koger explaining the growth of the company and its recent buyout.

 

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A letter from co-founder Susan Gregg Koger

 

Twitter

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With over 58,000 tweets, ModCloth is a brand to watch. They are currently following 9,193 with at least 136,000 followers, has 1,788 likes, and is currently on 7 lists. Like Facebook, the style of the feed is identical to that of Facebook. Both its logo and banner are the same. Their short biography notes “Our vast collection of unique fashion & décor is distinctively darling! Follow us for style inspiration, exclusive access, & delightful surprises. #modcloth.” Short, sweet, and to the point.

They follow the most accounts on Twitter at just over 9,000. Many of the people they follow are public figures, writers & authors, social media marketers, and fashion bloggers in addition to notable news outlets like Daily Candy, Buzzfeed, and Medium and retail competitors like Gap Inc. and People Tree.

Surprisingly, their engagement on Twitter is typically lower than that of Facebook or Instagram. While they have over 136,000 followers, they have recently gotten at most 20 likes on posts and 5-10 retweets. They post advertisements of sales, repost articles from magazines inspired by the Modcloth brand, and using relevant hashtags and/or tagging relevant accounts such as #StyleForAll and @hellogiggles. Like their other social media accounts, most of their posts contain pictures of styled flat lays, videos, and articles.

They interact with customers via liking posts tagged with @ModCloth, usually praising the company in some way: their style, their fast shipping, their sponsored events. However, on the main feed, customer interaction is limited to few likes and retweets. They need to improve customer engagement on this platform compared to both Instagram and Facebook, where it maintains a good balance.

Fashion is about making a statement. I chose to study this company, because in some way, as a writer I do the same. I love vintage-inspired looks, particularly the dresses.

Instagram

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While their Instagram account has half as many likes as their Facebook page, ModCloth has a commanding presence with a steady stream of likes on each post. On average, posts receive between 1,000 and 10,000 likes, with average comments between 10-50 on the low end to 1,000+ on the high end. Those are strong numbers for a young company.

Like its other profile pictures, it is a simple logo with the emphasis on “M.” As a way to encourage likely customers, they also include a shortened URL link in their brief bio. Their five most recent posts celebrate the brand’s identity: clothing for all women, a vintage and fun style, and summertime favorites. Of the five posts, only one of them received just over 1,000 likes; the others performed a lot better with around 2,000-3,000 likes each.

Similar to their Facebook page, they interact with their customer base quite well on Instagram.

bottomright_photoshoot

While some posts only garner a few comments, others garner thousands. Sometimes, the customer base is allowed an inside look into photo shoots for the brand, as indicated by the picture in the bottom right. Pictures from this photo shoot, for example, are used on the banners on all their social media platforms. They are sending a consistent message to their customer base: be you, choose our style, and join the community. Comments are generally positive on all the posts, as potential customers express interest in styles, compliment the model, and more. ModCloth responds to questions and inquiries from customers interested in the styles or having issues with the website.

Conclusion

ModCloth has a commanding presence on all of the major social media outlets. They are most successful on Facebook, followed by Instagram, and lastly Twitter. Because their consistency between platforms, all of them are generally appealing; however, I personally find the Instagram feed most appealing. Because Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, they are more easily able to connect with and personally engage with customers or likely customers.

Find ModCloth at:

(Please note this was not sponsored.)

Adventure 69 Degrees North: Analysis

Overview

Adventure 69⁰ North is an outdoor adventure blog maintained by Inger and Tor, a couple who is passionate about photography and the outdoors. The blog, https://adventure69degreesnorth.com/, combines their three primary interests of travel, photography, and the outdoors. The blog describes different trips across North America – the United States and Canada – and Norway. The name of the blog implies the adventures along the 69th parallel in the northern hemisphere, for which many of their posts indicate.

Analysis

Layout

The layout of Adventure 69⁰ North is simplistic. It is spread across two dominant pages, adventure and photography. Its header is simple black-and-white emphasizing the title “Adventure 69⁰ North” and its subtitle “Adventure and Photography – Passion for the Outdoors.”

Header_ad69north

In the right-hand corner appears simple links directing visitors to their page to their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages respectively. While its design is simplistic, the blog feels like a magazine as you, the visitor, scroll through each adventure story categorized by date published on the main page. Below the header appears six individual blue and white tabs highlighting the purpose of the blog that include Adventure, Photography, Contact, USA, Canada, and Norway.  The right column features a brief section about the bloggers, it allows viewers to follow the blog via email, indicates which posts are most popular, and invites readers to join the adventure on either Instagram or Facebook. At the bottom of the screen appears in the same color scheme “© 2017 Adventure 69°North.”

Content

The blog merges two dominant passions: travel writing and outdoor/landscape photography. Many, if not all, of the posts are written by Inger, while the photographs for each post may have been taken by either blogger. With few exceptions, this blog provides completely original content. One more recent exception was “Berlevåg and hiking to Tanahorn,” a post where they utilized an old 1942 photograph and a YouTube video for   The top five blog posts are:

  • Hiking to Norway’s iconic Pulpit Rock
  • What you need to see when you visit the North Cape
  • Talkeetna – at the base of Mt.McKinley
  • Morning glory at the Fishing Cone in Yellowstone
  • Homer – A drinking village with a fishing problem

layout

The titles of the posts vary in length from as little as two words, “Old Faithful,” to as much as 11 words: “What you need to see when you visit the North Cape.” While each post contains compelling and relevant information about their most recent outdoor adventure trips, in Norway or in North America, the titles seem less interesting. For example, if you read “Route 888 to Gamvik,” you learn about Inger and Tor’s most recent trip in Finnmark, the sparsely populated county in Northern Norway where the North Cape, Gamvik, Trollholmsund, and Kjøllefjord are located. Inger writes of the fascinating local histories of the tiny fishing villages on the way to Garvik, of the thousands of reindeer that call Finnmark home, and the mythical stories of trolls prominent throughout Norway when discussing Trollholmsund. For comparison, she states that Finnmark is “twice the size of Massachusetts.”

Audience Interaction

While their posts are sporadic, they do have a dedicated audience who actively engage in the content. The majority of their posts receive at least thirty to fifty comments on average. At the bottom of each post, social media links are provided to share their travel stories via various platforms. It does not appear that any of their posts are shared from their viewers, despite maintaining a steady following and posting on Facebook and Instagram as they update their blog. I found out about their blog via Instagram, since I interact with several Norwegians on that platform.

The stories are also generally short and sweet. While many visitors do not re-share their content, they have built a following on Instagram with 12,100 and a smaller following on Facebook with just over 200. Just as many follower’s comment on their Instagram post as the average amount of comments on their blog posts. It is also good to note that they encourage readers to join them on Facebook and Instagram or to subscribe to the blog via email, as it appears on all pages on the right-hand column throughout the blog.

About the Authors

Adventure 69⁰ North is maintained by Inger and Tor, a Norwegian couple whose passion for the outdoors and photography are apparent throughout the blog. On their Contact page, Inger and Tor appreciate the support from comments. Additionally, they encourage readers to follow on Twitter or Instagram with direct links to the respective pages before providing a brief description of who they are (ie, “not full-time travelers and have regular day jobs”), so they request patience with any inquiry you, the reader, may have.

Conclusion

Adventure 69⁰ North, an outdoor adventure blog, that is maintained by a Norwegian couple, Inger and Tor. The blog features stories from their adventures in Norway and North America. The blog, while visually pleasing, needs some improvements including updating their About Us section, changing headlines to be more compelling, and at some point, taking a more active role in maintaining it.

  • About Us: Their About Us snippet is extremely short. Because of their personal storytelling, I think it is important to know a little bit more about the outdoor adventure traveling couple.
  • Compelling Headlines: Another aspect that may need some TLC are their headlines. Because they are writing travel stories, I think it is important to find something compelling about it within the headline. There might have been some improvement throughout the years, but it would still be necessary to improve site traffic and engagement.

The layout is both clean and simplistic, something that works well to support their overall theme: outdoor adventure and a simple life. Something I would surely advocate for.

Poetry: The Art of Life

Poetry is a lesser known art form. Anyone can write it; anyone can feel it; and anyone can tell their story. That is one perhaps one reason why I enjoy writing poetry. But knowing what is good and what is not is equally challenging for the editors perusing thousands of submissions on a daily or weekly basis.

Poets can specialize in spoken word, micro poetry, long-form, and more. Some poets enjoy maintaining a rhyme and rhythm within each stanza. Others, like myself, enjoy breaking the rules with various forms of poetry to find our own voices, spoken or not, in what is termed as free verse. Poets also vocalize meaningful topics such as looking up by Gary Turk in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY. Or David Bowden speaking about who he is in this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw62CpjP0v8. It is not surprising that either of these YouTube videos are critically acclaimed.

Pictured above are recently posted poems on my personal Instagram account @ebm_poetry. They were written for challenges in which I am trying to emphasize strength and vulnerability, respectively. I have learned that one sentence can have a monumental impact on someone else’s life.That is the beauty of writing poetry.

That is the beauty of writing poetry. It gives the writer the power to tell his or her story in a unique way. It can shed light on tough issues, on their personal lives, and on the beauty of nature, among other things. Personally, I am writing a collection of poems inspired by “friluftsliv”: a word with deep cultural meaning that inspires Norwegians to explore their country’s marvelous natural landscapes.

Several websites support the growing online community of poets on Instagram and other platforms. They include literary magazines like Her Heart Poetry and By Me Poetry, both staffed with editors and writers passionate about serving the community and finding incredible talent to feature. It is a platform to speak up, to be heard, and to voice your opinions. It fosters hope, it bridges communities, and it unites us.

It is an art of life.