​emily ratajkowski's politics of looking sexy

The actress and 'Blurred Lines' model has penned a poignant article defending women’s rights to express their sexuality for Lena Dunham's Lenny newsletter.

by Tish Weinstock and i-D Staff
17 February 2016, 12:10am

In a new article for Lena Dunham's feminist newsletter, Lenny, actress and model Emily Ratajkowski discusses of the politics of looking "sexy." Rising to fame as the basically nude star of Robin Thicke's controversial music video for "Blurred Lines," she quickly became victim to the obligatory slut shaming that accompanies all instances of women getting their kit off. Elsewhere, others rushed to Emily's defense, writing it off as yet another example of women being victims to male patriarchy, blaming the entire thing on Thicke. 

But what Emily argues in her article is that women shouldn't shy away from their sexuality: "The implication is that to be sexual is to be trashy because being sexy means playing into men's desires," she writes. "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?" 

Having been policed by those around her for her entire life (teachers, strangers, family friends) and "protected" from the dangers of expressing her sexuality, Ratajkowski has finally had enough. "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." We couldn't agree more.

Blurred Lines
Emily Ratajkowski