NewsEmily Ratajkowski on the power of women

Emily Ratajkowski on the power of women

At the age of 21, Emily Ratajkowski rose to prominence with an appearance in a scandalous music video. She saw the marketing of her sexuality as an act of self-empowerment. Now she sees it differently.

Munich – As a young girl, Emily Ratajkowski prayed for attractiveness. “I want to be the prettiest,” she repeated over and over. The American has been modeling since she was thirteen.

In her book “My Body”, which has now been published in German, the 30-year-old shares deeply personal stories and thoughts from her life in the form of several essays.

Ratajkowski rose to international fame at the age of 21 thanks to the music video for Blurred Lines (2013). In it, she dances half-naked alongside two other young women and musicians Robin Thicke, TI and Pharrell Williams. The music video sparked a heated debate about female emancipation and sexuality.

At the same time, Ratajkowski became a sex symbol for many around the world. “How naturally I believed that the most desirable women were also the most powerful,” she writes in her book. She believed all women would be sexualized to some degree. Choosing it for herself and using it to her own advantage she held as a proof of her strength.

Today the model sees things differently – and in her essays takes a critical look at sexuality and power relations. Ratajkowski also describes several incidents of abuse that happened to her within the modeling and entertainment industries. She would have gotten into the habit of repressing painful experiences that did not align with her beliefs.

Maybe she wasn’t able to deal with it before. Otherwise she would have had to admit to herself how small her power really was. “These men were in control, not the women the world adored,” writes Ratajkowski. “I only got my influence and status because men liked me.”

She was undeniably rewarded for marketing her sexuality. It also gave her a certain autonomy, but did not lead to true emancipation, writes Ratajkowski. “I have only now achieved this by writing these essays, in which I have given a voice to my thoughts and experiences.”

Emily Ratajkowski: My Body. Penguin Verlag, Munich, translated by Stephanie Singh, 240 pages, EUR 20.00, ISBN: 978-3-328-60250-7 dpa

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