Photos: Kerry Hallihan
Emma wears leading designer Stella McCartney in the cover image, taken at a shoot produced by an entirely female team: Photographer Kerry Hallihan, ELLE fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis, make-up artist Dotti, hair stylist Vi Sapyyapy and nail artist Emma Welsh.
ELLE Editor in Chief, Lorraine Candy, talked to Emma about her upbringing, what being a feminist really means in today’s world, and how she felt presenting her inaugural speech at the UN Summit in September, which Lorraine attended as Emma's guest.
It was a frightening experience for the 24 year old. "I was very nervous," she admits. "It wasn’t an easy thing for me to do. It felt like: 'Am I going to have lunch with these people, or am I going to be eaten? Am I the lunch?'"
ELLE Subs cover: Kerry Hallihan
Her decision to become an activist on behalf of women was, in many ways, prompted by her fame as an actress. "Fame is not something I have always felt comfortable with; I have really grappled with it emotionally. And, in a funny way, doing this is my way of making sense of the fame, of using it. I have found a way to channel it towards something else, which makes it so much more manageable for me. And this is something I really believe in," she says.
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She also feels passionately that feminism can and should mean different things to all people, but that all people should embrace it. "Feminism is not here to dictate to you. It’s not prescriptive, it’s not dogmatic. All we are here to do is give you a choice. If you want to run for President, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too." It's an attitude she learned as a young girl. "I’m lucky I was raised to believe that my opinion at the dinner table was valuable. My mum and I spoke as loudly as my brothers."