I've been taking up space on this little spinning blue marble we call home long enough to have seen a lot of cultural changes, particularly when it comes to women. In that time, we've gone from debates about whether women covering men's sports should be allowed in the locker room to it being completely acceptable. From it being notable that a woman was running a major corporation or a city or a state, to the most commonplace thing in the world. And that progress has taken on many forms. Pussy hats. #MeToo. Slut Walks. A host of others.
And I think no one has embodied (no pun intended, but it stays in) the latest iteration - the so called "4th Wave," sex positive brand of feminism - like Emily Ratajkowski has. From her ground-breaking debut in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video to her 28.5 million-strong Instagram following to her fashion lines to her acceptance of the GQ Australia Woman of the Year Award where she declared, “I think Woman of the Year is a pretty crazy title. But what I think about what’s important in 2018 for both men and women, it’s about defying stereotypes. It’s about being multi-faceted. It’s about wearing a string bikini on the beach, and at a protest." She has made being in various stages of dress entertaining, empowering, and defiant, all at the same time.
She even found a way to turn it into a celebration of the most revered holiday in Christianity:
From "He is Risen" to "She is Sizzlin'", amirite?
But I'm sorry to say, it sounds like she's no longer feeling good about all that semi-nudity. Or the positive cultural changes her incredible good looks have brought about. She's published a collection of essays on the matter called "My Body,"
… and spoke about the book with CNN:
Source - Ratajkowski may be a long way from obscurity, but she is still something of a muse. Her likeness has helped sell everything from burgers to Buick cars. With over 28 million Instagram followers and a modeling portfolio that skews more lingerie than high fashion (her agency dubbed her a "'commercial swim' girl" best suited to catalog work, she writes), Ratajkowski has been presented by the media as a modern day sex symbol -- which is why her reflections on objectification and exploitation are so fascinating. …
She also explores the intoxicating effect beauty can have on the powerful -- in "Transactions," Ratajkowski claims she was paid $25,000 to attend the 2014 Super Bowl with Jho Low, the Malaysian billionaire at the center of the 1MDB scandal.
The essays are filled with anecdotes illustrating the double-edged nature of desire, which Ratajkowski hopes makes them all the more accessible.
"I feel like we hear words like 'patriarchy' and 'capitalism,' and (these feel like) big words and these big concepts, but I wanted to explore the ways that those things show up in everyday situations," she explained.
"For me, this book was about talking about the moments where women can be very vulnerable, and the power dynamics that are often concealed. That's what I really would like to see: more of a conversation around those power dynamics."
Huh. Go figure. You might think that being so insanely beautiful and fit that you can turn your looks into a business empire and make 25 grand to watch the Seahawks beat the Broncos in a private suite with a sketchy billionaire sounds like riding a gravy train with biscuit wheels. But it's not all it's cracked up to be.
And to think, all this time I thought Ratajkowski was exploiting the patriarchy. I assumed she was flipping the power dynamics on its head while all us empowered men had our eyes popping out of their sockets Roger Rabbit-style by her IG posts. Why, just the other day at the Patriarchy Club, we were discussing this very thing over a board of Endangered Species Charcuterie while lighting Cuban cigars with $100 bills and telling sexist jokes about parallel parking. One member of the Old Boys Club said, "You know, I think our whole power dynamic has been turned upside down by these gorgeous models and the intoxicating effect of their beauty. In fact, I think the whole of capitalism is in jeopardy if we don't flip that pyramid back over." But nope. Looks like the Patriarchy wins again. It seems desire is a double-edged sword that cuts in both directions, so we're safe for now.
It's too bad, really. Being in the Patriarchy is swell and all - membership has its privileges. But I hope she doesn't give up on flipping that power dynamic. If there's a world where Emily Ratajkowski is calling all the shots, I'm moving to there.