emily ratajkowski speaks out about nude images, calling them a “violation”
A new book of explicit nude photos of the model, actress, and activist has been published without her permission (and she’s not happy about it).
If Donald Trump and his divisive presidential campaign taught us anything in 2016, it's that the feminist fight is far from over. "Grab them by the pussy," he said. That the's kind of statement we've sadly come to expect from the president-elect, who apart from being a gross misogynist has also managed to insult differently abled people, people of color, immigrants, military families, and basically everyone else. What is surprising, however, is the recent actions of publisher, photographer, and occasional filmmaker Jonathan Leder, who's just made headlines for publishing a collection of explicit photos of Emily Ratajkowski in a book called Leder/Ratajkowski.
The photos were originally shot back in May 2012, with the intention that five of them would be used in an art magazine. Taking to Twitter yesterday, Emily alleged that the entire collection has been published without her permission. "I've been resisting speaking publicly on the recently released photos by Jonathan Leder to avoid giving him publicity. But I've had enough. This book and the images within [it] are a violation. Five out of the now hundreds of released photos were used for what they were intended: an artful magazine shoot back in 2012. These photos being used without my permission is an example of exactly the opposite of what I stand for: women choosing when and how they want to share their sexuality and bodies."
Decontextualized, these images leave Emily highly exposed and deeply vulnerable. Without being framed by their original art positioning, the photographs take on a new, exploitative meaning which says far more about the objectification of women than it does female sexuality and empowerment — the shoot's original intent.
No stranger to posing naked, Emily has been very vocal in the past about stressing ownership over her body and the importance of female subjectivity. Earlier this year she took a topless selfie in homage to Kim Kardashian, who was torn apart by right-wing media commentators for posting her own topless selfie. She's also written polemic essays for Lena Dunham's newsletter Lenny and Glamour magazine. Her public denouncement of Leder's action speaks volumes and should be a lesson to women everywhere who are discouraged from and belittled for speaking out.
Text Tish Weinstock
Image via Instagram