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...Read More
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.
Emily Ratajkowski is a model, actress, activist, entrepreneur, and writer. She has starred in David Fincher's Gone Girl, among other films. Ratajkowski has also appeared on the covers of multiple magazines and walked the runway for numerous high fashion brands. Her 2020 essay for New York magazine, "Buying Myself Back," garnered over one million views within twenty-four hours, was hailed as a landmark, and was the magazine's most-read piece of the year. My Body is her first book.
"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 smart and glittering collection of essays . . . It's thrilling to sit with Ratajkowski in the roiling surf of her life, in elegant stories written with uncomfortable honesty. It's revelatory, too, to explore digital life and body politics through the eyes of a person whose body shapes a discourse, and unexpectedly moving to see the bruises left behind . . . To hold her stories up to the light, shards of glass, and see which ones draw blood." - The Guardian
"[My Body] challenges an either-or fallacy of womanhood: that Ratajkowski can't have both a body and a brain, can't be both appealing and incisive, can't have both a brand and a book . . . Most of the essays oscillate between pride and disenchantment with Ratajkowski's own beauty, especially as a means of making money and attaining a restricted kind of social capital. My Body's smartest and most moving moments sit with these warring feelings, allowing several to coexist . . . A formidable project." - The Washington Post
"No stranger to discourse and scrutiny over women's bodies, Emily Ratajkowski brings nuanced insight to questions about empowerment versus commodification of women's bodies and sexuality. Blending cultural criticism and personal stories, My Body is smart and powerful." - TIME
"In My Body, Emily Ratajkowski reflects on her fraught relationship with the huge number of photographs of her body that have come to define her life and career . . . If Ratajkowski is complicit in being looked at, the crime is ours for looking." - Andrea Long Chu, The New York Times Magazine
"Thoughtful and accessible . . . The anecdotes in My Body dramatise what is always true, if often implicit: that women can neither fully escape nor fully inhabit bodies that men are bent on appropriating." - Becca Rothfeld, The Guardian
"A fascinating work: insightful, maddening, frank . . . So astute on the subject of how her body is interpreted . . . Ratajkowski is a graceful and thoughtful writer." - The Atlantic
"My Body is a memoir, but it's also a slow, complicated indictment of a profession and the people who propel it. Ratajkowski doesn't so much direct blame at any one person or organization as paint a personal picture of what it was like for her to be young, naive, ambitious, and smart--and to feel reduced, far too often, to a collection of body parts . . . [My Body] will deliver a more nuanced and introspective rendering of her interior than those who come to it with surface interests might expect." - Vogue
"Exacting . . . prescient . . . It's good business for models to be aware of how they appear, but few have interrogated the political implications of their body for them and for those who consume it in the form of a book . . . [My Body] is a descent into complication." - Vanity Fair
"Soul-searching, revealing, and personal . . . A fascinating memoir of objectification and misogyny [and] a searing work of cultural criticism about sexuality, power, fame, and consumption, My Body is the brilliant debut of a fearless multihyphenate from whom we're eager to hear more." - Esquire
"Emily Ratajkowski's first essay collection needs to be read by everyone. She explores body politics--and the politics of her body--through a uniquely feminist lens in stories that are both page turning and moving as hell." - Amy Schumer, author of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
"In prose that is by turns honey smooth and vicious, uproarious and wounded, Emily Ratajkowski has captured the complicated terrain of having a body people want to sell while having her own agenda she refuses to give up. She knows the pain that lives in every woman and she isn't afraid to link arms and say she's been there, and that it hurts. This is the book for all women trying to place their bodies on the map of consumption versus control, and all who want to better understand their impulses. It left me much changed." - Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl