I have always been drawn to Emily Ratajkowski. Whether it be her beauty, politics, outspoken personality, or always aesthetically pleasing home, there is something about her that has always left me intrigued. Based on this, you can probably imagine my excitement when I first discovered that she was writing a book. Ratajkowski’s first book, titled My Body, was released in October 2021 and instantly received both praise and criticism. If you know anything about model, actor, activist, and now author, Emily Ratajkowski, you would know that of all her accolades, she is still arguably most known for her body. Her enviable figure has been the subject of conversation since she first starred in Robin Thicke’s music for his hit song, Blurred Lines. In My Body, Ratajkowski analyzes her own life experiences and her complex relationship with her body, while investigating feminism and power structures.
When speaking about My Body Dani Shapiro said:
“these powerful essays mark a blazing literary debut. Emily Ratajkowski interrogates beauty, sex, power, objectification, fame, and betrayal, both by self and others, with lucidity and scorched-earth honesty. I read these pages breathless with recognition and the trill of reading a new voice telling it like it is.”
I effortlessly read this book in 3 days because the essays that detailed Emily’s life experiences as a girl and a woman were both captivating and relatable. It made me think more deeply about my own life and the mindsets that I have acted in response to my whole life. I discovered the extent to which I value my looks and the way I use my appearance as a tool to be perceived to my liking. Whether it be dressing myself up or down, making myself look better or worse, I constantly consider the way that I look. As women, we learn from a young age that the way that we look matters. I remember scrolling through Tumblr in high school and seeing a quote that read
“The better you look, the worse you can behave.”
I read this while I was still a new waitress at a local pizzeria. I did not yet know the system well and I found myself messing up orders or constantly hounding my coworkers for help. I decided at 16 I would dress better, groom myself more, and appear more attractive so that I could get away with not knowing how to do my job. This may sound insane, but I think to some capacity many woman have reasoned in similar ways. We make ourselves appear a certain way because we know that in doing so we will accomplish a desired goal.
I highly recommend picking up this book. It will leave you feeling seen and cause you to reflect back on your own life experience and the experience of those around you. It inspired me to write my own personal essays about my experiences with my body, with others, and being a young woman in the workforce. Whether you are a man or a woman, I am confident that this book will provoke thought and reflection about your own life experiences. Although women face this more intensely, both men and women do not have the luxury of showing up in this world as we are. Society has taught us that our abilities are not enough, we must also look the part. My hope is that a book like this can aid in adjusting the societal standards that we face on a daily basis. That we will be able to have more awareness of our subconscious thoughts and beliefs, and act from a more genuine and balanced state.
If you read this book, comment below what your thoughts on My Body are. I would love to have a discussion.
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