“Beauty and the Beast” star Emma Watson shot back Monday at critics who contend feminists cannot dress in sexy fashion, following a Vanity Fair cover story in which one of 10 portrait photos reveals part of the underside of one breast.

“This is a fundamental and complete misunderstanding of what feminism is,” the 26-year-old actress and activist told The Associated Press. “Feminism is about equality and it’s about choice. It’s about a woman being able to say. ‘I’m gonna wear a dress’ or ‘I don’t want to wear a dress.’ Or, ‘I want this kind of future’ or ‘I don’t want that kind of future.’ And it’s about the ability to choose. It really boils down to choice.”

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The former “Harry Potter” series star, who was named a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 and helped launch the organization’s HeForShe gender-equality campaign, told AP there are “so many misconceptions and misunderstandings about what [feminism] is. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. . . . It’s just not.”

Watson appeared to be referring to conservative British radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer, who had tweeted, “Emma Watson: ‘Feminism, feminism... gender wage gap... why oh why am I not taken seriously... feminism... oh, and here are my [breasts]!” Hartley-Brewer in turn received criticism, with one woman tweeting, “The only true way to champion feminism is to abandon your physical body and become a interdimensional gaseous being.”

The Vanity Fair photos were taken by famed fashion photographer Tim Walker and styled by the magazine’s fashion and style director, Jessica Diehl.