Emily Ratajkowski has spoken out against the all too common act of body shaming women online that dare express their sexuality.
In an essay for Lena Dunham’s feminist newsletter, Lenny, the Gone Girl actor has called for a means of women being capable of expressing their sexuality without being shamed.
The essay is titled ‘Baby Woman’ in honour of her childhood nickname, acquired after developing size D breasts aged 12.
In the letter Ratajkowski says:
I see my naked body in the mirrors of all the places I’ve lived, privately dressing, going through my morning routine. I get ready for my day as one of my many roles in life — student, model, actress, friend, girlfriend, daughter, businesswoman. I look at my reflection and meet my own eyes. I hear the voices reminding me not to send the wrong message.
And what is that message exactly? The implication is that to be sexual is to be trashy because being sexy means playing into men’s desires. To me, “sexy” is a kind of beauty, a kind of self-expression, one that is to be celebrated, one that is wonderfully female. Why does the implication have to be that sex is a thing men get to take from women and women give up? Most adolescent women are introduced to “sexy” women through porn or Photoshopped images of celebrities. Is that the only example of a sexual woman we will provide to the young women of our culture? Where can girls look to see women who find empowerment in deciding when and how to be or feel sexual? Even if being sexualized by society’s gaze is demeaning, there must be a space where women can still be sexual when they choose to be.
I think of women in their workplaces worrying about how their sexuality might accidentally offend, excite, or create envy. I think of mothers trying to explain to their daughters that while it wasn’t their fault, they should cover up next time.
I refuse to live in this world of shame and silent apologies. Life cannot be dictated by the perceptions of others, and I wish the world had made it clear to me that people’s reactions to my sexuality were not my problems, they were theirs.
Ratajkowski closed saying:
Most adolescent women are introduced to ‘sexy’ women through porn or Photoshopped images of celebrities. Is that the only example of a sexual woman we will provide to the young women of our culture? Where can girls look to see women who find empowerment in deciding when and how to be or feel sexual? Even if being sexualised by society’s gaze is demeaning, there must be a space where women can still be sexual when they choose to be.Advertisement
As reported by The Independent the actor was also slammed online when she used Instagram to endorse Bernie Sanders in race to become the Democrat candidate in the U.S. Presidential campaign.
Her critics allegedly attacked her ability to have an ability on politics due to her modelling background.
She is also reported as saying that starring in the video for Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines has become the ‘bane of her existence’.
It is a sorry state of affairs, but in taking a stance against the unnecessary abuse Ratajkowski is opening the door so that one day in the future others hopefully won’t have to.