Covering up, not acknowledging, or discounting our talents and abilities is something many high ability people do – perhaps especially girls and women.
Sally M. Reis, Ph.D. found that “gifted girls do not want to be considered different from their friends and same-age peers. Indeed, a tendency exists for many females, regardless of age, to try to minimize their differences.”
From her article “Internal barriers, personal issues, and decisions faced by gifted and talented females.” See link and more quotes in article: Gifted, talented and still hiding out.
Hermione: not scared to be clever
In a magazine interview in 2007, Emma Watson commented about her character Hermione in the “Harry Potter” films as a role model for girls.
“There are too many stupid girls in the media. Hermione’s not scared to be clever. I think sometimes really smart girls dumb themselves down a bit, and that’s bad.”
She added, “I’m a bit of a feminist. I’m very competitive and challenging.”
Loves being geeky
Though she resented it at first, Watson has come to appreciate the emphasis on Hermione’s brains rather than her appearance.
“When I was 9 or 10, I would get really upset when they tried to make me look geeky, but now I absolutely love it. I find it’s so much pressure to be beautiful. Hermione doesn’t care what she looks like. She’s a complete tomboy.”
The article noted, “Though Watson is far from a geek, she is a serious student. … She lives with her mother in Oxford, where she attends an all-girls school.”
“People can’t understand why I don’t want to be a full-time actress,” she says, “but school life keeps me in touch with my friends. It keeps me in touch with reality. It makes me feel normal… Learning keeps me motivated.”
[From Emma Watson: ‘There Are Too Many Stupid Girls’, People July 6 2007; photo by Lorenzo Agius for Parade magazine.]
For more on feminist thought, writers and activists, see the Feministing blog, such as their post Feminist of the day: Emma Watson.
Also see book Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters, by Jessica Valenti.
Related articles of mine:
Like many creative people, Emma Watson is a complex person, including being introverted – even though she is an actor and performer.
“People say things to me like, ‘It’s really cool that you don’t go out and get drunk all the time and go to clubs,’ and I’m just like…I appreciate that, but I’m kind of an introverted kind of person just by nature, it’s not like a conscious choice that I’m making necessarily. It’s genuinely who I am.”
[Photo from facebook.com/emmawatson]
Many talented people feel like frauds or impostors
“It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved.” Emma Watson
One of the reasons many of us have challenges in realizing and expressing our exceptional abilities is that we don’t honestly acknowledge them.
In our interview, Kathleen Noble, Ph.D., a Professor of Women’s Studies at the Univ of Washington, Seattle, made comments that can also apply to us as boys and men:
“Change has to come in terms of both social evolution and individual. Most of the women I work with who are gifted deny that they are, or are totally embarrassed to admit it.
“It seems I am always teaching women about the characteristics of giftedness, and asking them to look at themselves: ‘Even if you don’t want to admit this out loud because you think it’s immodest or because you’re embarrassed, at least in your own heart of hearts admit what you’re dealing with.’ …
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