My Body - Emily Ratajkowski

My Body is a collection of essays written and read by Emily Ratajkowski.

“Men never notice the overcalculating that women do. They think things happen "for some weird reason" while women sing songs and do backbends and dance elaborate moves to make those things happen.”

The Muse

“The world celebrates and rewards women who are chosen by powerful men.”

In one of her essays, Emily Ratajkowski thinks back on how a man had solicited her to be his muse.

She remarks on how there are nameless women who inspired the various painters or sculptors they made famous. She mentions Audrey Munson, whose likeness is present 32 times in sculptures around Manhattan but is rarely remembered for the person she was.

She does raise several important points on how her image and her sexualized photos were the vehicle for men to monetize and get rich. Her photos were used in several volumes of “Picture/Coffee” books without her receiving a single dime.

I also hadn’t realized that models could impose restrictions on what their image could be used for or in what capacity. However, the legal fees to pursue infractions are usually hefty and are unaffordable to most models.

Getting paid for Insta Posts

“I’m still addicted to the sensation I get watching a post go crazy with comments and likes on Instagram. Casually snapping a picture and uploading it for 28 million people provides a pretty serious high. There’s a thrill in knowing that folks all over the world might be talking about what I posted. It’s quite a rush to create a tidal wave like that whenever I want.”

In the book, Emily Ratajkowski describes taking a very all-expenses-paid vacation to an island in the Indian Ocean. In return, she would use her social media platform to promote the new resort. She also leverages the opportunity to promote a bikini line she has partnered with.

Most influencers get paid to be on a vacation and post about it on Instagram. This is an open secret. However, how many people are truly aware of this secret and choose to look past it?

Most promotions on Instagram can appear subtle and not appear as paid ads. Contrast this to YouTube, where most of us zone out when an ad is playing. First-time product promotions from YouTube content creators can feel cringy, but they seem well deserved - or at least more deserved than Instagram.


Wasn't I on the same level of compromise

An article in the Atlantic makes an interesting point on the myopia of Emily Ratajkowski's writing. It only pursues the male viewpoint of models while neglecting to mention the model’s impact on young girls who view her image as the idealized image of a woman.

This thought occurred to me as I listened to her describe her body as she modeled and how unrealistic some beauty expectations were.