Today, Emma Watson is one year older—and always wise. The now-26-year-old equal-rights advocate has been leading the fight for years now.
The actress is never one to stay mum when it comes to empowerment, so to celebrate her birthday, we’re looking back at some of her most courageous quotes.
Thanks for the words of wisdom, and Happy Birthday, Emma.
“We want to empower women to do exactly what they want, to be true to themselves, to have the opportunities to develop.” —via Elle UK
“I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago, when I was 8. I was confused at being called ‘bossy’ because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not; when at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media; when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscle-y’; when at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings. I decided that I was a feminist—and this seemed uncomplicated to me.” —via a special event for U.N. Women’s HeForShe campaign.
“I feel if I have to work out four hours a day, and count the calories of everything I put in my mouth, and have Botox at 22, and obsess about how I look the whole time, I will go mad. I will absolutely lose it.” —via Harper’s Bazaar
“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.” —via a special event for U.N. Women’s HeForShe campaign.
“Gender equality not only liberates women but also men from prescribed gender stereotypes. #heforshe” —via Twitter
“Women feel like we need permission. … We need to lead and change that.” —via Facebook
Watch some of the world’s most powerful women share their personal mottos:
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“If you truly put your heart into what you believe in, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen.” —via her 2013 MTV Movie Awards acceptance speech
“WORLD. Remember that little talk we had about not believing everything written in the media?!” —via Twitter