A deeply honest investigation of what it means to be a woman and a commodity from Emily Ratajkowski, the archetypal, multi-hyphenate celebrity of our time
Emily Ratajkowski is an acclaimed model and actress, an engaged political progressive, a formidable entrepreneur, a global social media phenomenon, and now, a writer. Rocketing to world fame at age twenty-one, Ratajkowski sparked both praise and furor with the provocative display of her body as an unapologetic statement of feminist empowerment. The subsequent evolution in her thinking about our culture’s commodification of women is the subject of this book.
My Body is a profoundly personal exploration of feminism, sexuality, and power, of men's treatment of women and women's rationalizations for accepting that treatment. These essays chronicle moments from Ratajkowski’s life while investigating the culture’s fetishization of girls and female beauty, its obsession with and contempt for women’s sexuality, the perverse dynamics of the fashion and film industries, and the grey area between consent and abuse.
Nuanced, unflinching, and incisive, My Body marks the debut of a fierce writer brimming with courage and intelligence.
“These powerful essays mark a blazing, unexpected literary debut. Emily Ratajkowski interrogates beauty, sex, power, objectification, fame, and betrayal, by both self and others, with lucidity and scorched-earth honesty. I read these pages, breathless with recognition and the thrill of reading a new voice telling it like it is.”
—Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
"Forget what you know about Emily Ratajkowski. In My Body, she investigates the double bind of sexuality and power with a skillful eye for nuance and a noteworthy fearlessness. These essays don’t cut corners—we are all implicated in this web of misogyny and objectification, even Ratajkowski herself. For all the ways in which Ratajkowski’s life is extraordinary, or the way in which these stories will shock readers, My Body thrives on moments when her experience as a woman—with its triumphs and missteps—is resoundingly universal."
—Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter
"Emily Ratajkowski’s first essay collection needs to be read by everyone. She explores body politics—and the politics of her body—through a uniquely feminist lens in stories that are both page turning and moving as hell."
—Amy Schumer, author of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
"Reading My Body is to accompany an extraordinary individual and activist, one who is deeply passionate and thoughtful, as she navigates the joys and pains of life in a digital era. Our experiences may be different, but Emily Ratajkowski’s presentation of diverse perspectives forges a path towards understanding."
—Tamika D. Mallory, co-founder, Untilfreedom
"In prose that is by turns honey smooth and vicious, uproarious and wounded, Emily Ratajkowski has captured the complicated terrain of having a body people want to sell while having her own agenda she refuses to give up. She knows the pain that lives in every woman and she isn’t afraid to link arms and say she’s been there, and that it hurts. This is the book for all women trying to place their bodies on the map of consumption versus control, and all who want to better understand their impulses. It left me much changed."
—Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl