This is the perfect depiction of the Harry Potter heroine for 2018
Sophia Canning, an artist and costume designer from the US, has drawn plenty of pictures of Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger before. Several years ago she even drew some images of Hermione as a black woman, sharing the fan art in her creative portfolio.
On Sunday (12 August), Canning noticed that people were commenting on the old images, posting messages such as “I’m all for black empowerment but she’s white in canon” and “I don’t really mind [black Hermione] but it frustrates me” and “Rowling said she was black for brownie points” underneath the original pictures.
“Shut the f**k up, dumbasses,” was Canning’s initial response. Her second? To draw a beautiful new work of art in Photoshop featuring Hermione as a woman of colour, SPEW badge proudly pinned to her chest and bushy brown hair tumbling radiantly around her shoulders, which she shared on Twitter.
Canning captioned the image “a quick Hermione, living her best life”. She noted that she used YouTube vlogger Jasmine Brown as her inspiration for Hermione’s face and that she chose the books Hermione is gleefully clutching specifically.
“I almost gave her Hogwarts: A History but I didn’t because she finished it when she was 11,” Canning tweeted. “She’s got that one memorised by now! She needs constant fuel for that big brain! She’s moved on to An Anthology of Eighteenth Century Charms cuz there’s nothing holding her back!”
The image, which only took Canning four hours to design, quickly went viral garnering more than 150,000 likes and thousands of gushing comments.
There were a few who objected to Canning’s vision of Hermione as a woman of colour. (This is the Internet, after all.)
Some commented that Hermione “was white in the books” and that the image “looks nothing like Hermione. #NotMyHermione”. (Sigh.)
The artist’s response couldn’t have been more perfect.
Fans responded with their suggestions, asking Canning to draw a South East Asian Hermione, a black Ron and Hagrid as a “chill Filipino guy who surfs and is into gourmet sodas.”
And for anyone still up in arms about the possibility of a fictional character like Hermione Granger presented as a woman of colour, may we direct you to JK Rowling’s official opinions on the subject?
“Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever,” Rowling tweeted in 2016, when black actress Noma Dumezweni was cast in the role of Hermione in the inaugural production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. “White skin was never specified.”