The Emily Ratajkowski you will never see

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May be. The language of objectification has followed Ratajkowski like a hungry dog ​​throughout her career, waiting for her to let her guard down. Her reputation for thoughtful and well read, coupled with her support for socialist policies, has only heightened her expectation that famous women will be able to justify, politically, the act of being famous. Caught in the wrong video at the wrong time, Ratajkowski has become the effigy of the exhaustion of a pop-feminist cadre; if the author of “My Body” cannot decide whether his success has been stimulating or not, it is because it is a trick question.

It is by transforming your body into an object that you can sell it; it is by selling it that one can gain food, shelter, status, influence and, yes, “power”. This is as true for the poorest sex worker as it is for the most famous actress; this is also true, by the way, of Amazon workers, short-term cooks, and (my neck hurts writing this) magazine editors. I don’t make fun of our differences; I say that the experience of becoming an object of salary is so general that it is trivial. The fact that the small part of this experience related to female sexuality is to be blamed by feminists reflects, certainly in Ratajkowski’s case, a gratuitous inflation of the reach and reach of male power.

As a result, the best parts of “My Body” are when Ratajkowski realizes that the best way to stop thinking about the male gaze is to think of something else instead. “I am very obsessed with women,” she tells me. When Ratajkowski arrived on the set of “Blurred Lines”, she was delighted to find that director Diane Martel had filled the team with women; for many hours, Thicke and the song’s other co-writers weren’t even present. Ratajkowski remembers squirming in her platform sneakers “ridiculously, vaguely, like I would to entertain my girlfriends.” The video “Blurred Lines”, viewed today, is clearly a self-parody. Rather, with his mismatched props, barnyard animals, and flat beige cyclorama, he portrays a bunch of attractive people who amusingly fail to make a music video. “There is something risky and sexy about relationships with other women when you are aware of the gaze, but the gaze is not there physically,” observes Ratajkowski.

But the blurry lines between one woman and the other, unacceptable to misogynists and many feminists, will most likely disappear alongside Ratajkowski’s claims that a drunken Robin Thicke cupped her bare breasts during filming. “I felt naked for the first time that day,” she writes, ashamed that it would take years for her to call it sexual harassment. The allegations have already leaked to the tabloids, which made Ratajkowski a helpless victim. “Remind me why I decided to do this?” She texted me after the New York Post called her childhood “sad” and “sexualized.” (Representatives for Thicke did not respond to requests for comment.)

The book contains many accounts of violations, sexual and otherwise. In one essay, it wasn’t until the death of Ratajkowski’s first boyfriend, who she said raped her when she was 14, that she was able to whisper to herself, “Owen, no. . (Owen is a pseudonym.) In “Buying Myself Back,” Ratajkowski is incredulous when prosecuted for posting a paparazzi photo on Instagram; horrified when hackers leak her nudes on 4chan; enraged when Jonathan Leder, who she claims digitally penetrated her without her consent, issues Polaroids of her with an allegedly falsified release form. (Leder said Ratajkowski’s allegations are “too vulgar and childish to answer,” stating a fact-checker for New York magazine, “This is the girl who was naked in Treats magazine and bouncing naked in the Robin Thicke’s video at that point. You really want someone to believe she was a victim? “)

But the author of “My Body” does not invest as a victim. While the men who hurt Ratajkowski in “My Body” are predators, she does not describe them as predators. On the contrary, they are small and insecure people who are desperate to prove themselves, as pathetic as they are powerful. As Ratajkowski is quick to note, his experiences are neither disintegrating, even traumatic, nor particularly unique; his point is simply that they are his only his.

Instead of focusing on her damage – she plans to sue Leder, but says he’s not worth it – Ratajkowski prefers to create. “My body” is just one example. Last May, she artfully auctioned off an NFT, or non-fungible token, of a photo of herself standing next to the Richard Prince print, coldly reclaiming Prince’s appropriation of her image. (The NFT sold for $ 175,000 through Christie’s.) There was a cheerful spirit here and more determination in her self-presentation than the model had picked up earlier in her career. These days, Ratajkowski is not looking for revenge, or even recognition, but something calmer.


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