Battle of the Youth Icons: Emma Watson vs. Kristen Stewart

Find out which of the fantasy series heroines wins in a battle of style and popularity.

Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart have a lot in common. Both got their cinema breakthroughs in highly successful fantasy film franchises. They are both born in April 1990, only a week apart. Now both actresses have been pitted against each other by their fans and loyal readers of their respective franchises. Another thing that connects them is how they break the mold of a typical Hollywood “starlet”. Watson and Stewart started out as child actors, and grew up in the glare of the spotlight. In spite of this, they have managed to maintain a low profile throughout.

Born in Paris, English actress Emma Watson trained at theater school as a child. Her first big screen appearance was in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as the loyal know-it-all Hermione Granger. She reprised her iconic role for the next seven movies in the series. Like her character, Watson is smart, driven, and a perfectionist. She is one of the few working actresses today who has pursued a full-time degree and achieved it. Apart from films, she has also modeled for Burberry and Lancôme. Her other films include The Bling Ring, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah, and the upcoming live action adaption of Beauty and the Beast. Watson has a unique sense of style that is quintessentially British. Her aesthetic can be described as minimal and classy, with a dose of youthful appeal. She often sports sleek hair and understated makeup, with a bold lip to finish. In 2014, she won the award for Best British Style at the British Fashion Awards.

Watson is a passionate social activist, and has used her fame to promote causes like education for girls. She was appointed the UN’s Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, and delivered a well-received speech at its headquarters as part of the HeForShe campaign for gender equality. Her smart and modern take of feminism earned her spot number 26 on the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. With so many achievements (both onscreen and off) in her kitty already, it’s not hard to see why Watson’s work has earned her a youth icon status.

California native Kristen Stewart grew up with parents who worked in the entertainment industry. Naturally, she was predisposed to a career path that led her to acting. Stewart started acting at eight, with small role in feature films, before getting noticed as Jodie Foster’s daughter in the thriller Panic Room. Her career made strides, before she finally found worldwide fame when she was cast as the lead character of Isabella “Bella” Swan in the Twilight movie series. By 2012, she was the highest paid actress. She went on to star in high-profile commercial and independent films like Snow White and the Huntsman, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Still Alice. She was the first American actress to win the prestigious César Award.

Stewart is known for her edgy and often androgynous sense of style, and has been the face of Chanel and Balenciaga. On the red carpet, she effortlessly dons couture, all the while maintaining a casual body language. Her street style is distinct in its laidback simplicity. Stewart tends to experiment with her hair a lot, having worn it both long and short recently. She supports charities like Oxfam and Red Cross. Stewart’s appeal to the new generation is due to her “cool” persona. She is admired for her sense of independence and individuality, and her frankness in dealing with the media glare.

Both Watson and Stewart have carved out a niche for themselves in the industry, making them true role models for the youth. It would be unfair to pick only one of them, given the talent powerhouses they both are!

Emma Watson

“My idea of sexy is that less is more. The less you reveal the more people can wonder.”

“I love fashion. I think it’s so important, because it’s how you show yourself to the world.”

“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”

“I’m a perfectionist, so my bossiness definitely comes out.”

“I think it’s quite British and very much about individuality.”
Kristen Stewart

“The strangest part about being famous is you don’t get to give first impressions anymore. Everyone already has an impression of you before you meet them.”

“I’ve always had an aversion to looking sexy, but I’ve grown out of it.”

“I think I’m a bit less inhibited, and not thinking too much before speaking.”

“I think romance is anything honest. As long as it’s honest, it’s so disarming.”

“I feel like I’ve succeeded, if I’m doing something that makes me happy and I’m not lying to anybody.”

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