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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"My Body offers a lucid examination of the mirrors in which its author has seen herself, and her indoctrination into the cult of beauty as defined by powerful men. In its more transcendent passages . . . the author steps beyond the reach of any 'Pygmalion' and becomes a more dangerous kind of beautiful. She becomes a kind of god in her own right: an artist."
—Melissa Febos, The New York Times Book Review
A "MOST ANTICIPATED" AND "BEST OF FALL 2021" BOOK FOR * VOGUE * TIME * ESQUIRE * PEOPLE * USA TODAY * CHICAGO TRIBUNE * LOS ANGELES TIMES * SHONDALAND * ALMA * THRILLEST * NYLON * FORTUNE
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 gray area between consent and abuse.
Nuanced, fierce, and incisive, My Body marks the debut of a writer brimming with courage and intelligence.
Model and actress Ratajkowski debuts with an intimate and accomplished essay collection that tackles big questions about internalized misogyny, the male gaze, female empowerment, and the commodification of sexuality. She describes her "defensiveness and defiance" when questioned whether dancing naked in the 2013 music video for Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" was "anti-feminist," and admits that her viewpoint on being a "so-called sex symbol" has changed in the ensuing years. Ratajkowski calls out men who have simultaneously taken advantage of and dismissed her, including Thicke, who grabbed her breasts without permission during the filming of the music video, and photographer Jonathan Leder, whom she accuses of sexually violating her during a photo shoot and then releasing a book of explicit images without her approval. Throughout, Ratajkowski reflects on her craving for men's validation "even when it came wrapped in disrespect," and examines the limits of succeeding "as a thing to be looked at." She also recounts an early sexual experience that she later realized qualified as stalking and rape, and documents her struggles to deal with her mother's serious health problems. Enriched by Ratajkowski's insider perspective on the modeling industry and her willingness to wrestle with the power of the male gaze rather than outright rejecting it, this is an astute and rewarding mix of the personal and the political.