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Emma Watson hits out at "dangerously unhealthy" pressure on women

Emma Watson has admitted that the "dangerously unhealthy" pressure on women in the public eye made her feel bad when she was younger.

The 23-year-old Harry Potter star opened up about the adverse influence of the fashion industry in an interview with The Sunday Times this weekend.

"I can take criticism on the chin a lot more," she said, referring to the impact of being in the spotlight and the need to look perfect.

"As a younger woman, that pressure got me down, but I’ve made my peace with it. With airbrushing and digital manipulation, fashion can project an unobtainable image that’s dangerously unhealthy."

Watson, who stars opposite Douglas Booth and Russell Crowe in this month's biblical action adventure Noah, added that she preferred women who did not conform to the perfection label.

"I’m excited about the ageing process. I’m more interested in women who aren’t perfect," she said. "They’re more compelling."

The actress also opened up about the difficulties of dealing with her high profile among fellow students when she attended Ivy League university Brown on Rhode Island (she's due to graduate from there in May this year).

"After Harry Potter, all that mattered was university. I didn’t even know if I wanted to be an actress," she said.

"On the first day, I walked into the canteen and everyone went completely silent and turned around to look at me. I had to say to myself, 'It’s OK, you can do this.' You just have to take a deep breath and gather your courage. I have moments where I walk into a bar and it will take me making a joke to put people at ease, to realise I am just a girl."

"It wasn’t always easy to break down barriers, as having men from the British press following me with cameras didn’t help my mission to integrate myself," she added.

Emma Watson with Douglas Booth in biblical epic Noah

Despite starring in the string of blockbuster Harry Potter movies, Watson said she felt "really intimated" to tackle other films after she exited the closeted world of Hogwarts in 2011.

"I’d done two tiny plays when I was, like, six and eight, but I wasn’t driven to act. I wasn’t doing Oscar acceptance speeches into a hairbrush. I took a Beanie Baby to my first Harry Potter audition," she said. "It took me a year or two to find my confidence."

Emma in one of her earliest red carpet appearances, in 2001

The actress said she still looks to her childhood friends in the UK to ground her.

"I feel so strongly tethered to England. The people who have known me longest are here," she said. "The time I remember before I was famous was here too.

"They are two different parts of my life. The time before I was famous is important as it formed who I am, and my closest friends, who I completely trust, are from then. They ground me, which is something I purposely cultivate."

The star refused to say anything about her relationship with Oxford University student Matt Janney, saying, "I can’t comment on it, I’m sorry."

===[[[http://www.stylist.co.uk/fashion/emmas-favourite-fashion-labels Click here to see Emma Watson's style in photos]]]===

Words: Anna Brech, Photos: Twitter

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