We all know Emma Watson is queen/bae/flawless/superhuman. She is crazy talented, has amazing style, and at one point was a literal witch. However, her magic extends past a chic dress and ability to cast spells. Watson’s an out-and-proud feminist who is a key person in the HeForShe campaign for gender equality. (She gave a speech about this to the United Nations in September 2014 to the delight of the entire Internet.) In other words, she’s real as hell.
In honor of Watson’s 25th birthday — Hermione’s all grown up! — here are 15 times Watson proved she was the coolest chick in the game.
When her thoughts on gender were spot-on.Getty Images
During her HeForShe speech to the United Nations last year, Watson said, “It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals.” Praise.
The time she became a certified yoga instructor.Getty Images
In 2014, Watson confessed to ELLE Australia that she is still dealing with many of life’s uncertainties, from where she’ll live — “I’m too young to decide right now if I want to live here or in New York or in L.A. or wherever else” — to what she’ll do. To find some inner peace, she did something pretty awesome: got certified to teach yoga and meditation. “I was like, ’I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself,'” she said, according to ABC Radio. “Because I can never rely on a physical place.”
When she cut off all of her hair and gave zero f–ks.Getty Images
After playing the same character for more than 10 years, Watson decided it was time for a change. Naturally, she gave herself a pixie cut. “I didn’t get to experiment with dyeing and chopping off my hair like most teenagers,” Watson told Metro UK. “I also felt, right, I’m 20, I’m not a little girl any more. I’d been on Harry Potter for 10 years, so I needed to mark the end of it in some way.” LOL at the time Jennifer Lawrence tried to copy the queen.
The time she attended Brown University like an average Jane.
Starring in arguably the world’s biggest film franchise didn’t stop Watson from enrolling in Brown University in 2009 as a NORMAL STUDENT. Like, random roommate and everything. “It probably wasn’t advisable to go to college and room with a complete stranger who I had no idea who they were, and to share a bathroom with like eight other people,” Watson told W magazine. “That was my rebellion, in a funny way.” Also, let’s not forget about when Watson’s bodyguard posed as a student (cap, gown and all) during her graduation.
When she dedicated an award to a hamster because she could.
While accepting her Brittania award in 2014, Watson talked about how the British film industry has served as a “surrogate family” and specifically mentioned what the set decorators on the first Harry Potter film did when her on-set hamster Millie died. “[They] built a small, mahogany-sized hamster coffin,” she said. “And it had a velvet lining and a silver plaque on the front which had Millie’s name engraved on it.” After this touching anecdote, she dedicated her award to the late, iconic hamster. “Rest in peace, Millie,” she said. “This one’s for you.” Angel.
The time she gave the most progressive dating advice ever.Getty Images
Any time she shut down Harry or Ron’s bulls–t. (Yes, Hermione is an extension of Watson — deal with it.)
Ultimate shade master.
When she gave the metaphorical middle finger to the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister by laughing.
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) August 1, 2014
During a speech in summer 2014, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said, “A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent. She should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times.” So, how did women respond? By posting laughing photos all over social media. Watson got in on the fun too, because she’s everything.
When she gave men the thumbs up to cry.Getty Images
During the HeForShe Facebook conversation in March, Watson gave the green light for dudes to not be afraid of their feelings. “I’m really disturbed by this idea that men can’t cry,” she said. “It’s crazy. It’s what makes you human, how you feel, how you express yourself.”
The time she chose pizza and sleeping over the Vanity Fair Oscars party.
While visiting The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March 2014, Watson admitted to ditching Hollywood’s most exclusive awards show party for some R&R. “I got back to my hotel room to change, took the dress off, like, got into someone’s coat, and ended up just falling asleep in the coat,” she said. “Someone woke me up and was like, ’Do you want to get changed to go to the party now?’ And I was like, ’I kind of just want to stay here.’ So, I just ate pizza and fell asleep, and it was actually perfect.” She has her priorities straight.
When she became a Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. (as one does)Getty Images
In July 2014, the U.N. announced Watson would serve as its new Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women, the organization’s gender equality branch. (Only two months later, Watson revealed the HeForShe campaign. She got to work quickly!) “Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting,” she said in a statement.
The time she shut down flip-flops.
While chatting with Ellen DeGeneres in 2012, Watson dished on the differences between American and English guys. While she appreciates ’Merica boys’ “open and very straight forward” personalities, she doesn’t appreciate the same qualities in their footwear. “But [American boys] wear flip-flops, and I don’t know how I like that,” Watson said. BURN ALL THE SANDALS.
When she admitted to watching Pretty Woman at seven years old.
Watson told W magazine that Pretty Woman was the first movie to have an impression on her. No kidding, given she was just a child when she watched it. “I probably know most of Julia’s [Roberts] lines in that movie,” she said. “I was seven, which is really inappropriate.” A true rebel.
When she joined the #BringBackOurGirls activism.
It's important that these men are held accountable for their crimes and that we keep up the pressure to find these girls. #BringBackOurGirls
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) May 9, 2014
In 2014, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Nigeria by an Islamist extremist group. The terrifying crime led to the trending hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which many celebrities posted to their social media platforms. Watson tweeted a message supporting the hashtag last May. She also posted a picture, which received 46,000 retweets.
And finally, when she said this.