Emily Ratajkowski has spoken candidly about why she was “so relieved” to learn that she was pregnant with a son rather than a daughter.
The supermodel, who gave birth to first child, Sylvestor Apollo, with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard in March, discussed her fears about raising a daughter while speaking with author Lisa Taddeo for Elle.
According to Ratajkowski, while she had initially wanted a daughter, she also had concerns about the child being “sexualised way before puberty”.
“I wanted a daughter initially, but when I found out I was having a son, I was so relieved. Because I think that it would bring up - I want more children, so it might be something I deal with later - being sexualised way before puberty and being aware of it,” Ratajkowski said.
The 30-year-old model then recalled a moment from her own childhood where she’d done a “sexy move” in front of her parents when she was in first grade, with Ratajkowski noting that she’d learned that’s “what women do”.
“I have a memory: I did a sexy move down the wall of my parents’ kitchen. I was probably in first grade and my parents were like: ‘Where did you learn that?’ I was like: ‘I fricking learned it. That’s what women do,’” Ratajkowski said.
This is not the first time that Ratajkowski has reflected on her own sexualised childhood, as the model discusses the topic in her upcoming book of essays My Body.
According to Ratajkowski, who writes at length about the importance she and her parents placed on beauty while she was growing up, she became aware that men were attracted to her when she was 12, with the new mother noting that her own mother would point out these instances.
“I’ll never forget the look on his face as you walked past him!” her mom would say, according to Ratajkowski. “He stopped dead in his tracks and his mouth fell open!”
In the book, which will be released on 9 November, Ratajkowski also recalls being sent home from a school dance when she was 13 years old because the chaperones had said her outfit was “too sexy”.
While speaking with Taddeo, Ratajkowski addressed her mother’s role in instilling an obsession with beauty, with the model explaining that her mother “learned that being beautiful could secure her safety in her relationships and day-to-day interactions,” and that “there was this internalised male gaze that she was helping me learn without even maybe realising it”.
According to Ratajkowski, it took growing up and therapy to help her see from a different viewpoint.
“It’s something that I think all young women have to unlearn, or maybe just women in general,” she said.
The model’s fears over raising a daughter come after she revealed in a 2020 essay for Vogue announcing her pregnancy that she didn’t plan to share her baby’s sex.
According to Ratajkowski, when people asked about the gender of her then-unborn child, she and her husband liked to respond that they “won’t know the gender until our child is 18 and that they’ll let us know then”.
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