Emma Watson is ‘very happy’ being single: ‘I call it being self-partnered’

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge unveils the plaques as he officially opens the new graduate building, the H B Allen Centre, at Keble College, Oxford University in Oxford, central England on October 3, 2019.

Emma Watson stars as Meg March in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women. I feel very deeply that Emma was miscast. She stands out like a sore thumb in the trailer, and… I don’t know, I’ve heard some rumors. Meg is an important character, she’s the in-story “cautionary tale” for Jo about the life Jo does not want for herself, the life of a young wife and mother. It’s clear that Emma understands her character and all of that, but… yeah, I still have concerns. Emma covers the December issue of British Vogue to hype the film. You can read British Vogue’s cover story excerpt here. Some highlights:

On Meg March: “With Meg’s character, her way of being a feminist is making the choice – because that’s really, for me anyway, what feminism is about. Her choice is that she wants to be a full-time mother and wife. To Jo [Saoirse Ronan], being married is really some sort of prison sentence. But Meg says, ‘You know, I love him [John Brooke, who is played by James Norton] and I’m really happy and this is what I want. And just because my dreams are different from yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.”

She’ll turn 30 next year: She turns 30 in April, and describes 2019 as having been “tough”, because she “had all these ideas” about what her life was supposed to look like at this age. “I was like, ‘Why does everyone make such a big fuss about turning 30? This is not a big deal…’ Cut to 29, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I feel so stressed and anxious. And I realise it’s because there is suddenly this bloody influx of subliminal messaging around. If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you’re not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you’re still figuring things out… There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety.”

The happy single lady: “I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel. I was like, ‘This is totally spiel.’ It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”

Working with so many cool women: “What was really nice about working with Laura Dern and Meryl Streep was that the three of us knew each other way before we did Little Women. We met in activist spaces, so we had this allyship and solidarity as activists that had been part of a certain movement before we ever worked together.”

[From British Vogue]

On one side, I’m like “well, the stress of turning 30 is eased significantly when you’re RICH,” but on the other side, it’s really like… even rich white women have struggles and aging anxiety and feel societal pressures too. I guess turning 30 is rough for every woman. As for what she thinks of Meg… I mean, it’s all fun and games until James Norton comes along. I’m glad they cast the John Brooke character with a hot guy, because that IS important. Even back in Louisa May Alcott’s day, women were like “yay, feminism and independence, oh wait here’s a really hot guy, I’m totally going to marry him and have his babies.”

I’m also totally going to steal “self-partnered.” That’s a fun way to describe it!!

2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party - Arrivals

Cover courtesy of British Vogue, photo courtesy of WENN.

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38 Responses to “Emma Watson is ‘very happy’ being single: ‘I call it being self-partnered’”

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  1. Algernon says:

    I don’t think she sticks out in the trailer except that she’s a bigger star than the other sisters so it’s weird she’s playing Meg and not Jo or Amy.

    • Gingerbread says:

      I don’t think she sticks out either, but I also don’t find her as bad as an actress as some people think. Saorise plays Jo and she’s quite big and has great acting chops so I don’t think it’s weird Emma’s not playing that character, and Amy is the youngest so I don’t think Emma would fit in there either. I’m excited to see it. Although I like Timothee, I’ll be sad he’s not Christian Bale.

      • Algernon says:

        I love Saorise, but the average person does not know who she is, while everyone recognizes Emma because of Harry Potter. That’s all I mean, it’s just odd she’s playing a side sister because she is so hugely famous, but maybe that also speaks to her passion just to be involved with this project.

  2. Mumbles says:

    I gotta disagree with “self-partnered.” Sounds a little defensive to me. Years ago on SNL they did a fake talk show called “Single and Loving It” and the joke was the women who proclaimed how much they loved being single actually didn’t, they were just putting on an act. That’s what cutsey things like “self-partnered” sounds like. If you’re comfortable about being single, just say you’re single. Also, frankly, it sounds like a punch line for a hacky joke about masturbation.

    • jenner says:

      Yea, it sounds goopy to me, in the same vein as conscious uncoupling.

    • Zee says:

      Because we all know women couldn’t possibly be happy without a man in their lives…

    • perplexed says:

      In her case, I don’t think she’s being defensive.

      She could easily have anybody she wants, so when someone like her chooses to be single, I tend to believe they want to be.

    • Savannah says:

      Totally agree!
      It sounds ridiculous and like something you say because you care what people think.

      When you stop giving a sh*t what people thinks and say, you have no problem just saying you are single.
      Usually it’s the people asking whether you are partnered up or not who feels it’s uncomfortable when you say single.
      My reaction to people saying they’re single is always: Good for you! Lol.

  3. Paz says:

    Is it me or this site has got something against Little women? I mean, it’s the only place I’ve see so much negativity 🤷‍♀️, for the most part everyone seems to be quite excited about the movie.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:


    • Carina says:


      Maybe it’s the BS moral cherrypicking on here about ‘women supporting women’ ? Just a guess.

      It blows my mind women (on here especially lol) still support both Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach and go see her/his work. What she & Noah Baumbach did was so cruel & f*cked up. Greta wasn’t some 20yr old w/no life experience. She was 30, a grown ass woman. Sorry, but I’m going to pass on Little White Women.

      Just in case anybody didn’t know already, Greta’s breakout role was in Greenberg. The film was directed by Noah Baumbach (her now-partner & babydaddy) & written by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Noah Baumbach’s wife. Yes, JJL literally *wrote* Greta’s breakout role. So Baumbach & Greta have an affair all throughout filming (JJL is pregnant throughout filming). Once filming wraps, Baumbach & Greta run off together. JJL literally gives birth right after this, ALONE. Can you imagine? I mean, it’s unreal how ripe the hypocrisy is w/many female posters on here & their hard-ons for their favorite Quirky Blond White Lady & their beloved novel about 19th century white girls. That’s another thing Baumbach & Gerwig share – PoC aren’t even worthy of scenery to them.


      • Darla says:

        wow, i had no idea this happened. out of the three, I swear I only know JJL, who I love. screw those other two. This is a really horrible, horrible story. I won’t be able to see the film now. looking at her would make me ill.

  4. jenner says:

    Also just called being single.

    • swedish chef says:

      THANK YOU! Do we have to overthink everything and coin witty new terms for normal, everyday things?

      • smcollins says:

        Apparently so. And the ironic part is that the generation of “don’t label me” has come up with more labels and categories than any prior generation. It’s exhausting trying to keep it all straight.

      • jenner says:

        @smcollins- lol

  5. Case says:

    In this interview, Emma is so thoughtful, intelligent, and composed. I think she’s awesome. I love that she’s someone more relatable for those of us who are homebody, bookworm types, lol.

    As a single person, I love “self-partnered.” Because I think whether you’re single or in a relationship, it is super important to spend time with yourself, in your thoughts, and on your own. I’m very comfortable just living with myself and I’m proud of that, because many people can’t say the same.

  6. Erinn says:

    Like other people have mentioned, she has a bit of a goop vibe in some ways. I think she’s probably a lovely person, and she seems to genuinely care about people. But there’s just this part of me that has never fully embraced her? I was a Harry Potter LOVER as a kid – I grew up on those books. She wasn’t a perfect Hermione, but she was pretty good for a role that has such high expectations.

    But I don’t know. There’s just something that bugs me about her, and it’s probably at least a bit unfair, but she kind of seems like she’d be… not that fun? I don’t know.

    I turn 30 in May. I’m not super upset about it, but I do understand her when she says this year has been tough in terms of what we’d expected our lives to look like at this point. I figured I’d have a couple of kids and a completely different job than I do. But I have a pretty good job that I enjoy. I’m married to my best friend (who just hit 30 this month). We own our own home. I’m doing FINE. Especially when looking at some of our friends from highschool and seeing a lot of people struggling to adult a hell of a lot more than I have ever struggled to adult. Chronic illness gets me down a lot more than turning 30 does, I guess. When you’re in a lot of pain and already feel like you’re missing out on your youth because of it, the number attached to a birthday isn’t so much of a big deal. And I think I’m finally starting to really hit my stride on feeling more like ‘me’. Being able to say no, set some boundaries and reset expectations is something I struggled for a long time with, but I find I’m more comfortable with that the older I get. So I also sort of look forward to my 30s.

    • Hmmm says:

      But Erinn, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? You’ve hit most of the milestones, of course you aren’t too bothered. As someone who is single, hasn’t figured out my career yet, doesn’t have a house, etc, turning 30 was so, so scary. I just hit 30 in March and cried for a week straight. I’ve never felt so anxious before in life. Since then things have gone up and but that was very rough.

      • Erinn says:

        I guess so. I mean, I’ve hit a bunch of milestones, but dumb luck got me there haha. My career is nowhere where I expected it to be, though. And while I enjoy what I do, there’s a huge amount of uncertainty with it. I had planned to have a masters degree by now, but dropped out of university after two years because of how miserable I was. This was the safety net job.

        I think a lot of it just boils down to health stuff for me. I’ve spent a lot of time mourning who I used to be and what I used to do that I no longer can. I see my friends going out and doing something simple and fun like concerts, and for me that involves SO much planning, preparation, pain, and then being run down for a week to recuperate. I have friends going on vacation – something that I can’t fathom being able to do. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be physically able to stop medications in order to get pregnant. And then the guilt of saying no to plans, and knowing that my husband wants to be a dad and not knowing if I can be a fully engaged parent because of the limitations I have are super bummers.

        There’s been a lot of crying, for sure. And I know I’m super lucky in a lot of ways. I just have a different thing that’s getting to me more than turning 30 does.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I agree there is something about her the grates, there is a Natalie Portman pretentiousness about her. I can’t fathom why she still gets roles she’s a terrible actress who acts with her eyebrows and thats about as far as she can go.

      She means well but she def lives in a little bubble of privilege.

  7. Rapunzel says:

    Single 40 yo here- I call myself a solo adventurer when I travel on my own. I like that term much better than self partnered, which almost sounds like a lame euphemism for masturbation.

    • Allergy says:

      Yeah that’s what it is, what bothered me with this description! It really sounds like you come home and toss your bag and immediately start caressing your body with your own hands, whispering sweet things to yourself.

  8. Lucy says:

    I’ve seen so many people dragging her and comparing her to Goop for the whole “self-partnered” thing…I don’t know, you guys. I actually took it as a very tongue-in-cheek thing, like I don’t think she expected anyone to take it seriously. I do think it’s totally a term Goop would use, with the slight difference that she doesn’t really have a sense of humor.

  9. Lindy says:

    My 30s were a mess, honestly. I got married way too young (23) and waited to have a child until I was done with grad school and had a good job in my field (which was no easy feat because the academic job market for the humanities is a disaster). So I had the husband, baby, house, job by 31 and was miserable and anxious. Some of that was being married to someone who was a gaslighting and later physically abusive alcoholic. Escaping with my sanity and my ability to care for my son was the hardest thing I ever did.

    And so honestly, for me, my 30s were a decade of trying to escape and undo the damage that I did by conforming to society’s expectations in my 20s.

    I wish I had had the revelation that she’s had about finding happiness and fulfillment in being self-partnered. I don’t even mind the slightly cheesey wording.

  10. Ali says:

    “And just because my dreams are different from yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.”

    This quote, I love.

  11. Anon says:

    I loved turning 30. I wouldn’t go back to my 20s for anything, regardless of how socially-appropriate-skinny I was. I am 32 and LOVING it.

  12. Catting says:

    Like her a lot, and SO excited for Little Women! Hope it’s not a total disaster. X

  13. Mumbles says:

    Also, for years we’ve heard “feminism is about choice” and while I bought it for years, I don’t buy it anymore. Feminism is about the complete equality of the genders, that women should be accepted as fully-formed, autonomous beings, and not defined as “those other creatures that aren’t men.” People have been using “feminism is about choice” to defend some pretty un-feminist things. Or things that have nothing to do with feminism. Like Emily Rata-whatever claiming “I walk around naked because I’m a feminist and it’s my choice.” No, you walk around naked because you want to. Same with Meg deciding to have a family. It’s a choice, I guess. But nothing to do with feminism. It was a traditional, patriarchal role for women.

    • Lindy says:

      Just chiming in to say that I completely agree with this!

      Here’s how I make the distinction:
      Because I’m a feminist, I’ll fight for your right, as a woman, to make decisions about your body, your religion, and your life choices that I may fundamentally find problematic or disagree with. That is part of what bring a feminist is about. It’s why a man can be a feminist if he’s willing to fight for those freedoms for women.

      Merely being a woman and making a choice–any choice!–about what to do with your body, your religion, your relationships, your life etc. is not necessarily a feminist thing. And may not qualify you to claim that you’re a feminist.

      So for instance, I’m glad we live in a society that allows someone like Michelle Duggar to have babies if that’s what she wants to do. But having 47 babies–making that choice for herself–does NOT make her a feminist. And in fact, while I don’t want laws that prevent her from bodily autonomy, as a feminist, I will also fight against her vile religious views entering the political or legal arena, fight *for* sex education for her kids and accessible birth control, etc.

    • Gingerbread says:

      I think in general feminism is about choice though. Women deserve to have the same choices as men. Jo and Meg can choose different paths in their life, instead of being forced down just one. THAT is part of equality.

  14. JanetFerber says:

    Emma needs to copyright the term “self-partnered” before Goop steals it!

  15. BANANIE says:

    I dunno for some reason when I read this I felt like somehow that makes people who are in relationships less self-oriented or less prone to focusing on themselves and what they need. I don’t think she meant it that way though. I just think it’s important that not everyone dissolved into a “we” when they become part of a couple

  16. M says:

    She’s a bad actress. People need to stop casting her.

  17. Jaded says:

    Oh for the love of….she’s turning 30 NOT 90! I’m 67 f*cking years old and turning 30 was a high point for me, I loved it. My thirties brought me a new level of maturity and strength I never had in my twenties and with each decade things got better and better.

    Furthermore, when you’re rich and successful you don’t get to whine about something as petty as turning 30.

    *Stomps off in search of wine.*