literary journalism sex & gender

Emily Ratajkowski’s ‘My Body’

I confess to raising an eyebrow when I heard that the model and swimwear designer Emily Ratajkowski had a feminist essay collection in the works. Not, to be clear, because I had any doubt that brains could be housed in beauty; rather, my reservations related to the repeated claims the author made in her early twenties of objectification as a feminist act.

Ratajkowski quashes such concerns in the first pages of My Body. “What I wrote and preached then reflected what I believed at the time, but it missed a much more complicated picture,” she writes. While being a sex symbol brought fame, she has come to realise that “commodifying her image and body” has not led to “true empowerment”.

She is now ambivalent about “Blurred Lines”, the viral music video that propelled her to star status in 2013, which she had defended at the time against critics who deemed it misogynistic. The clip features Ratajkowski and the models Elle Evans and Jessi M’Bengue dancing nearly naked around the besuited male pop stars Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and TI. “They were the talent, we were more like props,” she writes…

Read the full review online in the Financial Times

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