A topless selfie from Emily Ratajkowski led to the misguided and hyperbolic declaration that “feminism, as it was intended, is dead”. The intention of the picture was to prove that women have the right to express and celebrate their sexuality without being chastised, a point that was apparently lost on some.
Ratajkowski has also seen her political opinions and feminism dismissed because of her overt expressions of sexuality. But the Gone Girl actress is now warning critics who claim her points are “less worthy” because of her body and figure that the problem lies with them and the way they chose to perceive her.
A vocal supporter of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, Ratajkowski has endorsed him at campaign rallies as the candidate who has managed to run a dignified campaign in a fractious political climate muddied by the insults hurled.
The reaction to Ratajkowski’s comments on politics highlight just how relevant her claims about feminism and sexuality are. A picture of herself wearing a ‘Bernie’ jumper and a caption about her talk at his New Hampshire rally drew a slew of sexist comments questioning her relevance and understanding of politics because of her modelling background.
On Friday, Ratajkowski reiterated Susan Sarandon’s support for Sanders on her Twitter page. In a second note, she took on those who have suggested she has “shown nothing clever” but her body and have suggested her nudity makes her opinions invalid.
“On anther note: regarding nude selfies and the politics of my physicality and sexuality: The politics of my body and figure are not my problem,” she wrote.
“I am not shamed or apologetic of what my body might represent to you.
“It’s the body I was given. I'm no less worthy of making political points about feminism or fighting for the reclaiming of female sexuality because of it.”
In an essay for Lena Dunham’s feminist Lenny Letter newsletter, the actress and model opened a dialogue on the scrutiny women who demonstrate their sexuality are placed under and asked for such expressions to be honoured, not repressed.
She called for a space outside of the male gaze within which she can own and enjoy her gender and sexuality instead of reinforcing the idea that being overtly sexual is “trashy” because it plays to male desires.
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