Emily Ratajkowski: ‘When a woman is naked, that’s not immediately anti-feminist’

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Emily Ratajkowski covers the new issue of ES Magazine, which is the weekly magazine for the Evening Standard. I really don’t like the squinty cover – I think Emily is really pretty, and she usually photographs a lot better than that shot. Anyway, in her interview, Emily talks about all of the hot-button issues she’s been discussing a lot over the past few months, like feminism, nude selfies, her defense of Kim Kardashian and more. Some highlights:

Being a sexy actress: “It’s an interesting paradox. If you’re a sexy actress it’s hard to get serious roles. You get offered the same thing they’ve seen you in. People are like sheep and they’re like ‘Oh, that’s what she does well.’ What’s so dumb is that women are 50 percent of the population and they want to spend money to see movies where they’re portrayed as three-dimensional characters.”

Being ‘the pretty one’ in her teenage years: “I started to realise that I was being perceived differently. It was confusing. Basically it was more about the way that people had a problem with a girl looking like a woman because it confused them. It made them feel uncomfortable and I think there was a lot of guilt that they wanted to induce.”

On her nudity in art: “Like any art, there’s a million ways to interpret it. All I can say is that when a woman is naked, that’s not immediately anti-feminist. I have no apologies for it, and I’m not ashamed at all.”

Identifying as a feminist: “Every woman, whether or not they’re comfortable with the term feminist, probably wants to be equal to men and that is fundamentally what feminism is about. I think that there is a stigma attached to the word, but to me it means talking about the way we look at women and how we judge women differently than how we judge men; also it is about paid maternity leave, equal pay for women…”

On Piers Morgan’s criticism of Kim Kardashian’s nude selfies: “[He was] talking about the fact that Kim is 34 and a mother and that we’re over seeing her in a sexual light, which I had a lot of problems with. He also implied that her husband was writing her tweets, as if she isn’t capable of writing them herself, which to me is incredibly sexist… There are lots of [criticisms] I can understand one might have about the Kardashians and reality TV, but even someone who you might be critical of is allowed to post a naked selfie if she wants to….[Piers] criticises everyone. I think he’s also really attention seeking. It’s the Trump phenomenon. If you keep saying controversial things, then you keep trending on Facebook and that’s great for some people’s career.”

[From The Daily Mail & Glamour UK]

She says more about women needing spaces where they can be sexual, and I would add that I think the biggest problem with the criticism of Kim (and Emily, by extension) is that women need spaces to be sexual… without their sexuality and nudity being assigned a moral component. It’s not immoral to be naked. You’re not a bad person just because you post a nude selfie. Which is Emily’s point. And I also agree that Piers Morgan is a dumb, attention-seeking blowhard.

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Photos courtesy of ES Magazine.

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110 Responses to “Emily Ratajkowski: ‘When a woman is naked, that’s not immediately anti-feminist’”

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  1. Birdix says:

    wow, that is refreshing, not what I expected from her… which makes me feel like I was being a bit sexist in my own judgement of her.

  2. HH says:

    I like everything she said here. And she said it so well, which caught me off guard. I don’t remember her sounding so well-spoken and/or thoughtful in previous interviews that I’ve read.

    • Fee says:

      All she does is post nudes so yeah she has been labeled especially since she did not start as an actress with real roles. Music videos which she bounces naked don’t count. I’m tired of women needing an excuse to be naked, just say u like it but tell me posting or vagina is about feminism. Point of Kim, its not her age, its that its been done so many times that who cares, seen it, bored by it. I don’t see actresses posing naked selfies, work is work. If your coworker posted a naked pic, I can guarantee she or he will not be up for any promotion. Emily likes the attention,there is no other reason to keep getting naked. Enough. I’ve no problem with nudity but don’t use it as a platform for all women who fought for our rights to be respected

  3. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    You know what…she gives a better interview than about 60% of the ‘respected’ actresses who give dull interviews about how butternut squash saved their lives and they’re most at peace in the downward dog position of yoga.

    There’s meat to her words and truth, I developed early (and busty) and I definitely remember still being young and told not to wear that (t-shirts that were tight) and having grown men hit on me.

    • HH says:

      “how butternut squash saved their lives and they’re most at peace in the downward dog position of yoga.”>>>> HAAAA! Right?

      I also developed early, so I completely get it. You are forced to grow up slightly sooner, and realize how many guys are just perves.

    • Andrea says:

      I completely agree. I develop breast at young age, before most of classmates, and I felt extremely self conscious. When you have older men staring at you and making comments… its a weird feeling. Exactly what HH said, you realize how many men are perves.

    • swak says:

      My youngest had DD’s by 5th grade. So I get what everyone is saying. She had a reduction in college. Right after (stitches and all) she had it done she said she wanted to tell all the guys “Want to see my boobs now?” It’s hard.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I liked what she said about everything. I still maintain that many people were not shaming Kim for being sexual, but are just tired of her attention seeking and self-absorption, but there was some moral shaming as well.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree. I think that some people were shaming her, but the majority just seemed to be “eye roll, been there/seen that already”.

    • bettyrose says:

      I grew up in an urban area and was taking mass transit to school by myself at age 11. I did not develop early. In fact, by late in high school I could still pass as a junior high student. And, you know what? Creepy older men hit on me all the time. I’m sure that developing early comes with other issues, such as adults expecting a certain maturity level or, like in one case I heard, girls being slut shamed long before they even date, but when it comes to adult men inappropriately targeting girls with sexual attention, it’s pretty universal, I’m afraid.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I also looked very young as a teen, and I agree, adult men targeting young girls isn’t a problem that is limited to those who develop early. It REALLY bothered me as a kid and it happened all the time. There was one time I was essentially being chased around my grandparents’ retirement community pool by a 35-ish man, when I was 15. I knew I probably looked 13 or younger, so I could not understand why he wouldn’t leave me alone. My “danger!” instincts were going on high alert.

      • Naddie says:

        This is a cultural disease. Where I live, teenage girls are a fetish already, while teenage boys are respected by most women. I don’t remmember any of my adult friends ogling over a pretty underage boy, but when I go out, I hear and see high school girls being cat called all the time. It happened to me when I was their age, and I wasn’t curvy or looked older by any means.

      • MC2 says:

        I agree Bettyrose & it goes to show that we try to take the disgusting actions of men onto ourselves. The idea that it was because a girl developed young, or dressed a certain way, or acted a certain way, or hung out in a certain area. NOPE- some men are just frickin’ pervs and I hope things change or they get publicly shamed for their behavior.

  4. Josefina says:

    Well she googled what feminism is before talking and that’s good. But Im tired of this school of feminism that wants to take down patriarchy by flashing their boobs and wearing shorty shorts.

    • Naya says:

      Or in her case dancing topless to a decidedly rapey sang surrounded by fully clothed men while carrying around a placard that reads “Robin has a big d*ck”. Yay Feminism!

      • Tris says:

        Ugh, god, that was the WORST.

      • Lindy79 says:

        Yes, I agree with it not necessarily being anti feminist , of course it’s not automatically but neither is it automatically feminist. for me personally, it’s about context.

        But yes, that song was beyond problematic and she has never to my knowledge addressed that. I just can’t with any video where the women are basically naked and the men are fully clothed not to mention the date rapey “no means yes” lyrics…

      • Alex says:

        I was coming to say the same thing. She was in the most anti-feminist video of the summer as a sexual prop. Gross.
        The problem with Kim is she does the naked thing for attention not because she “owns” her body (because she doesn’t) or because she’s a feminist. So yea not buying that in this specific case

      • Tammy says:

        Just because a woman gets naked or dances around topless in a video doesn’t automatically make her anti-feminist or a feminist. It has to be context like Lindy79 states.

        She probably never put too much thought into appearing in the video. She was approached and paid money for it. Should she have thought about the message it was sending? Yes, but she didn’t. I think this article shows some growth, no?

      • bettyrose says:

        It’s Miley Cyrus 2.0 as far as this lesson is concerned. Yes, owning your own sexuality is very much a feminist issue, but is that what she’s doing? Or is she being the cool girl that plays along with what the boys want?

      • Lucrezia says:

        She has addressed the video. There’s like a zillion interviews with her about it. Her take is that it was a self-aware parody. Here’s a block quote from Esquire (I chose the ESQ interview because you can see exactly what the interviewer asked):

        ESQ: The “Blurred Lines” video has prompted debates about whether it’s sexist. Do you think it’s sexist?

        ER: I don’t. I really appreciate the people who watch out for that stuff, and I’m sensitive to those sort of things. On the surface level, the naked women dancing, I understand that can be perceived that way. But we’re directed to have a sort of confidence, a sarcastic attitude about the whole situation. That eye contact and that attitude really puts us in a power situation. The director, Diane Martel, is a woman, and so is the DP. We really worked on that and tried to convey that in the video. The way we are annoying them, being playful and having a good time with our body — it’s something very important for young women today to have that confidence. I think it’s actually celebrating women and their bodies.

        ESQ: I read that Martel said the women in the video were all in on the joke. Did it feel that way after you shot it?

        ER: Yeah, I really did. Her and I had a really great relationship. It was like “Okay, go have fun.” Pop music is great, but there’s a lot of BS about the attitude of guys being super-gangster — that’s why the whole thing is silly. It’s making fun of itself. That self-awareness is why people enjoy it. It’s refreshing.

        **************

        You don’t have to agree with her, but you do have to give her credit for acknowledging others viewpoints and giving a clear explanation of her own perspective. Personally, I think the video failed as a parody. I can see what they were attempting, and I think it’s okay to try for that kind of joke (especially since the production team were female) but when you have to explain the joke, it’s an automatic fail.

  5. meme says:

    Feminism has nothing to do with being naked. These women get naked because MONEY, crave attention and want to hear how great they look (and some of them have no other “talent”). It’s not empowering. There’s nothing “wrong” with it but let’s not say it has anything to do with “feminism.”

    • Josefina says:

      Nailed it.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      There is no one single definition of feminism, it means different things to different women. Especially people who don’t fit in the stereotypical approved feminist box.

    • MC2 says:

      I don’t think Kim K getting naked was supposed to be feminist or put out there with that thought attached but the reactions she got were that she was being anti-feminist (Chloe, etc) and that she was doing something wrong by exploiting her own body. It was everybody’s reaction that made her scream ‘feminism’. Kim K is not going to wave the feminism banner unless she’s cornered. But I think Emily has a good point here. Kim was put down, slut shamed and showed how venomous people can be (and anti-female) when a woman is simply naked. The idea that a woman deserves hate, vitriol & violence that might come her way because she posed naked- that is anti-feminist. Regardless of if it’s a Kardashian or not.

      • Josefina says:

        A woman shouldn’t receive vitriol and hate because she decided to show her naked body. I agree with that.

        But COME ON. Kim’s and Emily’s (to a lesser degree) whole careers have been sustained by sexist institutions. Obsession with image, sexual exploitation, tabloid dramas that paint women as unstable, etc. If these women want to call themselves feminist then there’s a lot of questions to ask them about their career choices.

        And while I know for a fact Kim received tidal waves of hate for those pictures… I don’t think they are untouchable, either. Kim’s obsession with her image is a dangerous trend that’s becoming a characteristic aspect of younger generations. She teaches girls you can become rich just off flashing T&A every once in a while. I don’t agree with that and I think I am in my whole right to respectfully judge the hell out of Kim.

        My feminism is absolute equality. When men do shit I don’t agree with, I judge them. Same goes for women.

      • Kitten says:

        “Kim’s and Emily’s (to a lesser degree) whole careers have been sustained by sexist institutions.”

        That’s really all that needs to be said.

      • Tammy says:

        @Josefina… Criticism is one thing, shaming someone is another thing. The level of hate that was directed at Kim K for posting a naked selfie was more troublesome to me than the message she is sending to young girls. She’s made money off of showing her body because that is what sells. Sex sells.

        My definition of feminism is absolute equality… meaning both genders are treated equally. It doesn’t involve body or slut shaming or directing hate at another for doing something i disagree with.

      • MC2 says:

        Josefina- I agree with what you said and I agree with Kim representing vapidness and the idea of getting rewarded for showing your t&a.

        I also agree with what Kitten said but, but, but……I can’t because I don’t agree with shaming strippers (for example). I don’t blame the strippers for things that happen to them and they don’t deserve people degrading them. Even if they are working in a degrading institution. I don’t think Kitten was saying this by any means- it just got me thinking……

        The statement “Kim’s and Emily’s (to a lesser degree) whole careers have been sustained by sexist institutions.” Yeah- this is true and I think both of these women know that. And I don’t think they deserve any lesser treatment then anyone else. I have no problem with judging them, gossiping while sipping tea & saying they are dumb here but I do think it’s dangerous when we start getting close to the “they deserves xyz because their careers have been sustained by sexism”.

        I don’t think Kim is a good representation for feminism but I also don’t think she ever wanted to be. She’d probably say she was also a manist or a humanist or something dumb like that. I think Chloe & others started the feminism convo by saying she was being anti-female with her post. Kim & Emily are vapid & shallow- at least from what I see. We shouldn’t teach our children to look up to them and lust after them but I do think they should be treated with respect just the same.

      • Josefina says:

        @Tammy
        I’ll never defend internet trolls. I completely agree with you on the hate she got. Countless times I’ve seen people in the internet insulting and bullying others in the name of feminism or other social issues, without even understanding them. Tumblr feminists can all rot in a fire. But I don’t think the trolls and their hate nullify the completely valid criticism that was also aimed at her.

        @MC2
        I don’t think Kim’s ass and Emily’s tits are national property because they show them as part of their job. If they are ever victims of a sexual crime, there will be no one to blame but the perpetrator. I’m just questioning their feminist ideals. The only feminist thing these 2 have done is superficially talk about it.

    • Nameless says:

      I agree that there’s nothing wrong buying a pair of boobs and making a go of it, also agree that it’s not feminist. If you’re young, thin, pretty enough, can afford some surgery, and white, there is an a career path available to exploit that is based on traditional male sexuality. It’s as easy as beating a baby at math. I guess if that sort of thing is ‘empowering’ to someone, I’d guess they haven’t really been challenged?

      It’s nice that she’s defending the sexuality of a “mother over 34″. But, the video that she got famous for was just another version of the same tired old Playboy/Maxim/Axe commercial view of sex. We just see that over and over, it really doesn’t help society view sex in a normal way, or help the average woman feel good about her sexuality.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Whether or not something is empowering isn’t something you get to decide for other people because not everybody is empowered by exactly the same things. There’s a lot of reasons why someone may pose nude (or not modest in some other way). I do believe that that Kim K selfie was purely for attention (although her response to the pear-clutching was feminist and spot on) but in general, just because a person also want attention (or money ) for something they’re doing doesn’t mean they can’t also find empowerment in doing that thing. That’s true not just in general- there are people who get money or attention for doing things that they find empowering- but it especially applies to body and lifestyle choices, since girls and women (including Emily R. here) grow up with people always wanting to control what we do with our bodies.

    • Fee says:

      Meme said it right

  6. paolanqar says:

    OMG. This annoying creature needs a tall glass of STFU.

    ‘Being ‘the pretty one’ in her teenage years: “I started to realise that I was being perceived differently. It was confusing. Basically it was more about the way that people had a problem with a girl looking like a woman because it confused them. It made them feel uncomfortable and I think there was a lot of guilt that they wanted to induce.”’

    From the way she talks you would think she was some sort of show-stopping-coma-inducing-out-of-this-galaxy-super-human- beauty.
    She’s not even that pretty. In fact i never thought she was good looking. If it wasn’t for her big boobs people would never even pay attention to her.

    her definition of feminism sounds like it just came out of wikipedia.

    • Lyla Lotus says:

      Oooh someone’s touchy today. You seem to be trying to negate her experiences and message purely because you personally don’t find her attractive. You might benefit in reflecting on why this is.

    • ohdear says:

      These experiences are very real for girls who develop young. I’m not going to shame her for trying to inform people with no perspective or experience similar to her about the unique experience of being sexually objectified because of biology and sexual constructs. By speaking about it, we might be a bit more supportive of the young girls we know to be going through it. I believe lack of empathy is what makes young girls who develop early such easy prey for men – they are isolated, objectified and vilified for it.

      • LadyoftheLoch says:

        ohdear: You nailed it. + 1000

      • ohdear says:

        Thanks @Lady and @MC2 : )

      • Sunny says:

        “I’m not going to shame her for trying to inform people with no perspective or experience similar to her about the unique experience of being sexually objectified because of biology and sexual constructs”

        Except that being sexually objectified in one way or another is something that happens to almost every woman at some point. It’s hardly a ~unique~ experience.

    • MC2 says:

      I agree with the other posters. I understand why she would come across as annoying but I was just talking about the experience of being a teenage girl & perverts with a friend yesterday.
      I did not developed early & I was not a show stopper but I was hit on, cat called, approached & propositioned more from adult men when I was between the ages of 14-18 then the entire 20 years of being an adult combined. That is gross & we should protect our girls.

      I like what ohdear had to say “I believe lack of empathy is what makes young girls who develop early such easy prey for men – they are isolated, objectified and vilified for it.” I had a friend like that. I remember her being called a slut and whore when she was 13 because she had boobs from the other kids in class (girls were just as bad as boys). Damn- even adults treated her weird. Here we were- two 13 yr old girls, one a bombshell with curves & one a skinny thing and we just should have been girls playing in the dirt not dealing with that crap. I remember that time was so confusing and my heart hurts when I think of my poor friend who was just a girl & people were putting adult ideas on her & shaming her for them……Note to self- never give a teen who is provocatively dressed (in my mind) any sort of look other then a motherly smile.

      • Snowflake says:

        Yeah, I developed early and was treated like your friend. Guys were after me at 16, and this cheerleader girl gAve me h@ll cause the guy she liked would check me out and try to flirt with me. And getting hit on by adult men was really creepy.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes, I did appreciate what she said about how women who develop early are immediately sexualized.

      • Andrea says:

        Yes. Yes. Yes… I was talking with husband not to long ago about how most young girls will experience some form of sexual harassment before completing high school. He didn’t believe me… but by reading these comments. Clearly I’m not wrong.

    • Starkiller says:

      “This annoying creature”? Great job proving her point.

    • jammypants says:

      My sister was a show stopper at a young age. Men twice her age would hit on her and women twice her age would treat her like shit. Emily is not wrong in how she claimed she was treated because of her perceived beauty. I don’t think it’s fair to disregard an experience that was unique to her. Seeing it happen to my sister, I can definitely see what ER meant by people trying to “induce guilt” in her just for being born with good genes. The exact thing happened to my sister…by everyone, including our own family.

      From what I’ve seen, women can be so awful!

  7. Betsy says:

    “…when a woman is naked, that’s not immediately anti-feminist.” I hate this blinkered attitude. No, obviously not, but given the disparity between women’s and men’s average nudity and relative amounts of power, it’s difficult not to see the type of nudity that Emily became famous for (three women dancing in their skivvies/nude with three fully dressed men singing the rapiest song that I can recall achieving mainstream popularity) as anti-feminist. No need to apologize, but own it and understand where the criticism originates from, for crying out loud.

    • Kitten says:

      Spot-on.

    • Santia says:

      This + 1000. Sure, you can do what you want, but don’t try to pretend it’s empowering or feminist.

    • Bridget says:

      It’s driving me crazy that now we’re being given the justification of “I’m getting naked because I’m a feminist”. Nope. Kim K gets naked because that’s all she has to offer, and Rideajetski here is moving in the same direction. It doesn’t matter what kind of caption you give the picture, when you put it out there for public consumption with the intent of men to look at you approvingly, it’s not a feminist action.

    • Starkiller says:

      But how is your definition any less “blinkered”? Did you not also just lay out your interpretation of feminism and say that she’s wrong for not subscribing to it?

      I think this is part of the reason why so many women shy away from the feminist label-we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. People all up and down this thread are saying “Feminists don’t do x. If you do/act x way, you’re not a feminist.” Why does it have to be a zero-sum thing? Can there not be room for everyone to interpret feminism in their own way?

      • Tammy says:

        Thank you…exactly,.

      • Josefina says:

        “Can there not be room for everyone to interpret feminism in their own way?”

        Let’s say I’m a white woman, and to honor Black History Month, I’ll wear a KKK robe all days of February. Because we shouldn’t forget what the KKK did to black people.

        If I said, “I’m not racist, I did this to empower black people”, would you just buy it and close the case? Because that’s my vision of racism, and everyone has a different one. You cant judge me or question me.

        If Emily calls herself a feminist, I’ll call her a hypocrite. Because Blurred Lines was very, very sexist. If she acknowledged that, and admitted she did it for the career boost, I’d respect her stance. But she actually went on to defend that video with pure nonsense and didn’t even bother to read what other women thought of it.

      • Betsy says:

        For saying that I find gratuitous female nudity non feminist? No, I don’t think that’s blinkered. I think that’s me saying, “I am sick of women being objectified.” It is a time-feminist to me. She can do what she likes, but she should be able to figure out why she doesn’t come across like Emma Pankhurst.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      You have a point about the Blurred lines song, but people don’t just criticize Emily for that one project or even just criticize Kim K and Emily period. Basically every main stream woman artist or celebrity over the past 16 years who’s dared to present herself publicly in a way that’s an F U to the respectability politics and ” ‘Good’ women and girls dress/screw/present like this, ‘Bad’ women/sl*ts/wh*res do that” rules that we all get exposed to at some point growing up has gotten the same type of shaming, whether their nudity was for a rapey song or not, and whether they were a talentless vapid reality star like Kim K or not. It very much is about people wanting control over women’s sexual modesty.

      • Betsy says:

        No, I fully agree that women’s sexuality is highly policed, but that’s not what I’m doing. Nudity is not the sum total of one’s sexual self.

        On some level I still find gratuitous nudity, like the Blurred Lines video, deeply unsettling. I remember the essence of some of the first times when I realized that females are, for some men, purely decorative, if not worse, and I cannot believe that in what was that, 2014 three women are jiggling around naked, having smoke blown in their faces and I can’t remember what all else, with three fully clothed men. Still, women aren’t anywhere near the table at decision time often enough (and yes, I dimly remember this video was woman-directed, wasn’t it?) to make it so that women are doing anything other tha shaking it attractively.

        I may have a lot of pent up rage about that song and video.

  8. aims says:

    You can be a feminist and be naked. The problem I have with Kim’s nudity is that it’s not about empowerment and body acceptance. It’s about exploitation. Kim’s body is her own and she’s free to do with as she wishes. But please don’t for one minute think that she’s doing her nudity for the inequality of women. It’s about Kim doing what Kim does best, getting attention in anyway possible.

    • Josephine says:

      I also think the problem with her nudity is that it’s not at all genuine. She has photoshopped a surgically altered body, and one that has been altered to look like a blow-up doll – mouth open, hips, butt and chest magnified, hair lasered off, other hair added, face tweaked. How can it ever be a good thing to keep women so focused on their bodies? How are we going to get anywhere when the message is that our time and money should be spent on our bodies, that we are never enough as is?

    • Paula says:

      I must say I have a problem with a woman who’s had a ton of plastic surgeries preaching body acceptance. I’m not against it and I think we should do whatever we want to feel good about ourselves, but I look at old pics of her and she’s basically another person.

  9. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    That final paragraph tho…

    There’s a whole calavacade of oatmeal-ass old men who sit behind a desk and rage at what other adult married women are doing with their lives.

    “How dare Beyonce dance in a leotard?! Why is her husband LETTING her do that?!?!”

    There’s criticism and then there’s coming from a place of sexism and fear. If you think Kim’s naked selfie was stupid and she’s using it as a redundant tool to get cheap publicity then hell yeah, criticize that. If you think she’s a MOTHER and she’s tearing apart the fabric of society and setting a bad example of what a woman should never be then nah, she’s one fool begging people to look at her. She doesn’t define or set the bar for other women, we’re not drooling sheep.

    • Erinn says:

      I’m 100% with you on this.

      It all depends on where the criticism is coming from. Criticize her for photoshopping, criticize her for using it to market. But don’t tell her to cover up because she should ‘know better’ or ‘respect herself more’ or ‘because she’s a mother’.

      I find a lot of what’s being said on this thread problematic. There’s a lot of “well no shit it’s not antifeminist” but at the same time – there IS a vast amount of people who believe it is for the reasons listed. While posters here might recognize that being naked isn’t inherently anti-feminist, they’re a small portion of the public. There are SO many people who don’t think that way – and that’s why it’s not so black and white.

      Look – Kim and Emily are selling sex, essentially. They’re using their bodies to get ahead. And they can- that’s…whatever. But to automatically discredit good points because of what they do isn’t fair either.

      Look at how many people on Celebitchy jump on women in fashion posts “put a bra on” or “she’s covering her dignity” or whatever. These are just recent examples. And it’s kind of like- do you not see that you’re contributing to the problem? Why does it matter if a woman is wearing a bra? WHY SHOULD THAT EFFECT YOU? It’s so deeply rooted in the belief that women should be ashamed of their bodies, that even if that’s not the intention, that’s how it comes off.

      I know that the intentions of the posters on this site are good – but I think there’s some celebrities that are just so hated that no matter what they do, certain kinds of comments come out that aren’t fair. It’s not like they shouldn’t be criticized – because hell some of them honestly need to be. But it’s the KIND of criticism that is the problem.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah I get all that and its not that your point isn’t a worthy one or that Emily’s point isn’t a worthy one. But I think if you’re going to anoint yourself the public face of an issue as loaded as feminism, you have to start with your own actions.

        Emily’s essay said she wanted to show women who represent sexuality in a different way than that of a porn star. She wants to deviate from the imagery that women are bombarded with on a daily basis. Well, we live in a society that celebrates and promotes the imagery of big-breasted sexy, naked women doing sexy things for the male gaze.
        Someone with more self-awareness might take the second to think “well, what am I doing in ACTIONS (not just words) to portray women’s sexuality in a different light, in a different way than what is shown in say, Maxim?”

        I mean look, Kitten’s not going to go on national television and do a PSA telling everyone to Just Say No to Drugs, KWIM?

        I think it’s great that she identifies as a feminist, but I don’t see her doing much in terms of furthering the cause in any real, meaningful way. I guess she’s facilitating a discussion, which is something but….eh.
        I would have more respect for Emily if she said that in hindsight, she regretted doing the Thicke video because she played into sexist and misogynistic notions and danced naked around fully-clothed men to a song that perpetuates rape culture. She would have won my respect if she did that.

        Ultimately, she seems like someone who picks and choses when she wants to be a feminist and when she wants to turn a blind eye to sexism in lieu of career advancement and I just can’t hang with that.

      • Tammy says:

        Again it’s not why Kim K or Emily are being criticized, it’s the how they are being criticized that is problematic to so many of us.

        You make a valid point, Kitten but I am not going to discount what Emily is saying here because she was in the video. I doubt she even knows what rape culture means.. and I am not trying to be snarky here. Very few people understand it or even want to think that deeply.

        We are complex people, we come to the table with unique experiences and different viewpoints. It’s how we express them that troubles me. Not you. I have never seen you slut shame or body shame any celebrity.

      • Kitten says:

        @Tammy-I think people are inadvertently glossing over the argument that I’m making because it’s a nuanced one.

        …and that came across as more pompous than I meant it to. Sorry ;)

        I’m not saying she doesn’t have a point because she was in a misogynistic video and I’m not saying that she’s not a feminist because she was in a misogynistic video.

        I’m just saying that if she wants to embrace and revel in this role as a feminist, she should start with her own actions. Because with that role comes some semblance of responsibility and accountability. She’s been asked countless times in interviews about Blurred Lines and every single time she has glossed over the chauvinistic content of the song or the video and given a very Hollywood answer about how “women love the video” (sure, Jan).
        I get that she doesn’t want to burn any bridges but talk about a missed opportunity to discuss rape culture and feminism in a MEANINGFUL way.

        Any other feminist would be made to answer for being the face of a very problematic video like Blurred Lines so why should she get a free pass?

        I think sometimes we accuse people of “slut-shaming” or “body-policing” as a way to simplify or shut down what is a complicated and interesting discussion. The truth is that Emily became famous for starring in one of the most sexist videos of the past decade. That’s a big part of her public persona and contradicts the message that she’s putting out there. Calling her out on that isn’t shaming, it’s holding her accountable for actions that directly contradict her message. That doesn’t mean that she has to turn in her feminism card, but it does make me think less of her and it makes me question how much she really cares about an issue that she says is so important to her.

        Here’s the link if you’re interested: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-ca-mn-emily-ratajkowski-interview-conversation-20150823-story.html

      • Tammy says:

        Kitten- I just read the article and I still don’t think she realizes that it’s the context here. Nudity, in of itself, is not the problem. She appeared in a video, topless, dancing with men fully clothed and the lyrics to the song were questionable. She holds a sign.. Robin has a big d*ck… she doesn’t quite understand that’s not really empowerment… even if she had some input. I still don’t get how she thought it was empowering or what her input was.. her dancing??? But I think that’s how she views her dancing topless in the video.. it empowered her. She hasn’t explained how.. maybe just being topless is empowering to her? Dancing topless around fully clothed men? Maybe to her she’s in control? I don’t know, I am just trying to give some explanations for her answers when I am kind of speechless. She should have just said.. I was paid to dance in a video..

        And you’re right… a few are glossing over your argument because it’s nuanced. And maybe I am giving Emily too much benefit of the doubt here, I often do that. Otherwise, I’d be one cynical jerk and depressed every day if I did not. I understand what you’re saying and I agree. My point was that there’s legitimate criticism of Emily and Kim K and then there’s shaming.

      • SloaneY says:

        Kitten, you made some great points. Bravo! Loved it.

      • Josefina says:

        @Tammy
        It’s really nice of you that you think of excuses for other people’s behavior. And that sounds bad but I mean it. You try to be empathic and understand before judging and I think that makes you a better person that me. It’s a great quality to have. Don’t be ashamed of it.

        I don’t think dancing in that video and saying she’s a feminist makes her a bad person. But when she does nothing to fight for equality, and calls herself an equality fighter, she’s being hypocritical. I don’t know if she’s lying or doesn’t really understand. But she’s not helping the cause much. The video, and the rest of her career, don’t stop being sexist just because she liked doing it. She could at least do some humanitarian work, but she doesn’t, so…

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      @The Eternal Side-Eye: “There’s criticism and then there’s coming from a place of sexism and fear.”
      Yes! There’s a world of difference between “This person is thirsty, we’ve seen them naked so many times before, I don’t care to check out their selfies, videos, or photoshoots, I don’t find this person attractive, that pic is photoshopped to hell, they need to go away” and the other fear-based, misogynistic stereotypical types of comments that will be pointed out as shaming, sexist, or even victim-blaming.
      @Erinn: Exactly. People are saying, “Why does she have to tell us that a woman posing nude isn’t automatically anti-feminist?” But there are literally people (on this site and elsewhere) who say all the time that a woman can’t present as or be easy/sexually available/promiscuous/show off her body/ profit off of her body/ profit off of sexuality and talk about being a feminist. Those are all phrases pulled just from commenters on this site over a period of time, (not going into what’s said elsewhere) so clearly it needs to be said.

      • mytake says:

        I just want to say THANK YOU, to you! The comments on this site about nudity drive me a little crazy, because so many people are clearly still stuck when it comes to that last feminist obstacle — judging and shaming other women based on their modesty (or lack of it).

  10. Bridget says:

    So what you’re saying is, you want both men and women to want you to be naked. Sure Jan.

  11. QQ says:

    Huh? what do you know… she isn’t wrong today

  12. CornyBlue says:

    It is also not feminist to be naked. I am sick and tired of these people who get naked to please the male gaze and then turn around and claim that it is a feminism issue in the first whiff of a criticism.

    • meme says:

      Exactly. Thank you.

    • Josefina says:

      And what pisses me off is many people buy it. And that’s why I think social media has hurt the movement a lot (it has helped too). Social issues requiere analysis, critical thinking. While it doesn’t exactly happen here, you’d be surprised at how easily people are bought elsewhere.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Right. But because when (western, non-head-covering-wearing) modest/classy women identify as feminists you don’t have people saying they aren’t real feminists because of that choice, there’s less need for women to say that the can do that and be a feminist. Women choosing to present themselves in a way that’s considered classy/non- ‘slutty/trashy/’ is already considered moral, good, and feminist by default. No questions asked, no motives considered.Unlike with nudity and immodesty, most people don’t automatically assume that a woman’s decision to present herself that way is about patriarchal oppression.

  13. Tiffany says:

    I am….glad that this interview went well. If she is smart this could transition into another career.

  14. roxane says:

    I’m surprised, that’s a great interview. I really like how she isn’t completly dismissive at the critizisme with Kim Kardashian.

  15. guest says:

    The reason multiple people thought it was Kanye was not because of “sexism”. Kanye is known to go on rants and snap at people. It was totally out of Kim’s character to do that. People also thought it could have been Khloe.
    I think she only cares because it appeals to her. The only reason we know her is because of partial nudity. I’m sick of repeating this to people,but Kim did not post that picture because of feminism.
    It is was Kiminism, she wanted to get some attention by posting a old shot of herself. It was not a big deal. If they feel empowered by getting naked great.
    Though ,don’t call people who don’t agree with it shamers. You put it out there so expect reactions,it just wasn’t the reaction Kim wanted.

  16. Loo says:

    Kim’s selfie wasn’t feminist but I still think the outrage was overblown. And the “she’s a mother” thing rings hallow when it’s rarely mentioned that naughty male stars are fathers.

  17. Ashley says:

    Oh, this one’s still trying? She’s given this same basic interview over and over for the past year. Her PR hustle could practically be a case study.

  18. Kitten says:

    On the last Emily R post I said that her overall message isn’t wrong (although I do find some of it problematic) but the woman who danced naked in the sexist, rapey Robin Thicke video just isn’t the best messenger for it. I get that might seem unfair, but that’s the reality.

    Interestingly enough, that morning I had just listened to a podcast in which a Pakistani woman described having a cliterectomy performed on her at the age of 12.

    By a person who was not a medically trained professional.

    In her living room.

    The resulting scar tissue ensures she will never have a normal sex life again.
    Her father insisted on her getting this operation BTW because “women shouldn’t enjoy sex or bad things will happen”.

    Anyway, my point is that this woman was literally told by men that she should not and will not enjoy sex simply because of her gender. Her story moved me to tears and to me, she was the perfect messenger for what is essentially the same message as Emily’s. Not because she went topless in a selfie but because she bravely endured something that would traumatize even the strongest of us and took it upon herself to become a prominent spokesperson and activist for FGM and all its surrounding horrors.

    I know this is an extreme example and it’s not to say that one has to go through hell to be an effective messenger, just that the seriousness of men literally dictating women’s sexuality (in this case in the most brutal way imaginable) requires someone who can move me.

    Emily’s words might be right but I remain unmoved.

    • Lynnie says:

      And I think that’s where the main criticism of Emily and Kim and all the other convenient feminists is coming from. It’s not so much that what they’re saying is dumb or untrue, but like other posters have said it’s very hard to take seriously when they’ve benefited from pleasing the male gaze/being conventionally pretty.

      At the same time I wish more substantial causes like FGM got more light. Imagine if we spent a fraction of the energy and limelight on it as we do naked selfies.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes yes and YES.
        Thank you for reading my long-ass comment BTW but I could not agree more with everything you said. FGM is so incredibly heart-breaking and unimaginable to me. Out of all the feminist issues we discuss, this should be at the forefront.

      • Lynnie says:

        No problem! I’ve actually been a secret Kitten fan lol. Your comments are always very insightful! 😊

      • Kitten says:

        Aw thank you, Lynnie!

    • Dingding says:

      @ kitten
      I agree with you and the example you gave made it perfectly clear what Ratajkowski is about and what she isn’t about.

      Emily merely undressed herself to have a career. Feminists fought so that women would no longer have to do that. You can even get more elaborate on that one. But Emily doesn’t have any kind of feminist message in her nudies. And I dare say she doesn’t have any other message than “I am willing to sell my body / sexuality for a career”. There wasn’t really anything positive about her nudies except the willingness to do literally anything if only please she could have that career. She doesn’t sell body positivity nor something erotics. It is all about selling herself.

      Couldn’t she find a more intelligent or more fun way to promote herself with pics?

      • Kitten says:

        If she applied the same level of introspection to her own career, I would have ZERO problem with what she said.

    • Andrea says:

      Its a bit unfair… I agree, its not my favorite video and it clearly objectify women. It was done to get attention and many views. But Emily is obviously comfortable in the nude and I don’t think she believes she was exploited. It was her choice and it paid off. I new nothing about her prior to that video. So it was a career move that propelled her forward, when she would have been just another model. I don’t think she should be shamed or called out for being anti-feminist. Because women should be allowed to decide what they want to do to their bodies and how they want to show it. Men have more freedom to do whatever they want. With little criticism. Women are always told how they should behave. What’s appropriate. Dress for your body type, your age. Its exhausting and not fair. Considering most of the criticism is from women, directed at women. That girl was mutilated and she is brave to speak about it and bring awareness to it. But you shouldn’t knock Emily down for essentiality the same message. A women’s body is her own.

      • CornyBlue says:

        I think what the OP is trying to say is that she chose to participate in a song that was obviously rapey as sh*t . That is definitely not very feminist.

      • Kitten says:

        Never said she was anti-feminist and I never said she can’t be a feminist because she enjoys being nude.
        I said the naked chick from Blurred Lines is not the best messenger for feminism and I stand by that. As I said, I remain unmoved.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Female Genital Mutilation is one of the worst, most violent effects of a specific societal problem and mentality: the desire to control what women and girls do with their bodies and basing value on sexual purity. I agree that someone who’s been the victim of a discriminatory, dangerous mentality in the form of an act of violence is more moving than a more privileged girl who’s only experienced a discriminatory, dangerous mentality in the form of words and other people’s experiences she may have heard about. But there are so many people in this country (and I’m not accusing you of doing this) who can empathize with a violent act like that that they hear on the news one moment but be like, “Well, I don’t agree with horrors like that, and I believe women and girls should be able to vote and get an education, so the feminists/celebrities/ PC crowd/SJWs need to stop whining and be grateful. Nothing I’m saying or doing (or that this person I’m supporting is saying or doing) can be sexist because it’s not like that problem over there. Who cares if we just support the mentality behind it, but not the violent act itself?” Feminist books like Hanne Blank’s are really good because they show not just the violent acts, but the beliefs too.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes ITA. Absolutely.
        If we look at the policing of women’s sexuality as a spectrum we can see that the scenarios I mentioned are really two pieces of the same pie and I think there’s PLENTY of room for both discussions.

        And I don’t have anything else to add to your comment because you both acknowledged where I was coming from (thanks BTW) and was careful to not downplay the importance of this issue as a whole, which I inadvertently did by comparing Emily’s comments to FGM (although that wasn’t my intention).

        I think it was just in the forefront of my mind since I had just heard the podcast that morning.

  19. swak says:

    “It’s an interesting paradox. If you’re a sexy actress it’s hard to get serious roles. You get offered the same thing they’ve seen you in. People are like sheep and they’re like ‘Oh, that’s what she does well.’ There have been several male actors that are stereotyped for roles also. If you want to get serious roles, turn down the same old same old and move on. Will you necessarily get a big serious role to begin with – probably not. You may have to start in indie films and move on from there.

  20. Dingding says:

    When you are merely undressing to cause some uproar and you do it because otherwise nobody will notice you and your career will decline then you are selling your sexuality to have a careere. That is actually similar to prostitute yourself to have a career. Because feminists fought long and hard to not have to prostitute themselves to any man so that they could have a career.

    • guest says:

      Someone on the Demi Lovato post said something that resonated with me, that some women like ti hide behide feminism as a way to stop criticism.
      I understand her point on being overdeveloped at a young age, I dealt with more men trying to get with me, when I was 12 with hips and a huge butt. Then now at 21.
      However, the fact we met her in a sexist rapey video dancing topless makes all her statements on feminism sort of fall flat.
      i appreciate the message but not the messenger.
      Kim K, just used the situation for press the helping people. Notice how she hasn’t said anything about being a feminist since.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      “….because feminists fought long and hard to not HAVE TO prostitute themselves to any man”…

      I know that it’s easy and trendy for people to throw around marginalized groups of people they don’t see as equals as a criticism of how people dress and present themselves (gays, transgenders, prostitutes) but can we please stop pretending some privileged, consenting adult who’s a model, rich reality star, actor, or singer/entertainer who is comfortable with not being modest anyway CHOOSING to take their clothes off/dress immodestly in a photoshoot, movie, tv show, music video, selfie, or public appearance because it’s edgy is the same as someone HAVING to HAVE SEX with people for money? Zac Efron getting naked in a movie, Justin Bieber getting semi-nude for a photoshoot or posting a butt selfie, Chloe Grace Moretz stripping down and doing a sex scene, Kim Kardashian doing a nude selfie, Adam Levine flashing all but his dong on an album cover, someone doing a pregnant nude, or Pink flashing her naked ass in a music vid for shock value is not comparable to human trafficking.

  21. Assf says:

    No shes not a bad person for posing nude but she is selfabsorbed and narcissistic.

  22. Rapunzel says:

    Emily R and these “let’s get naked as a form of empowerment” types need to STFO. Posing naked for a film, video, website is the opposite of empowerment. A woman who does this loses control over her naked image, and loses power over her body. You are not empowered or in charge if anyone and everyone can see your naked image without your knowledge or consent. That’s just being a sexual fantasy/object. Real empowerment is controlling who sees you naked, when they see you naked, and what they use your naked body for. Any other viewpoint is deluded.

    I’m not against ladies taking their clothes off if they want, but selling it as feminist? Not buying it.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      I can’t tell if you’re a trolling dude or a serious dude, but I’ll bite:
      1. You don’t get to decide what is or isn’t empowering for other people, that’s only something you get to decide for yourself. One person’s empowerment is literally another person’s repression. For example, while one women might very well find empowerment in being able to say: Nobody other than my husband gets to see or touch my body,” another woman may find that repressive (or even see it as women being asked to regulate men’s behavior with their modesty) and find empowerment in being able to say “I’m not going to let fear about ‘what will the menz think/do or fear of other people finding me ‘slutty’ stop me from doing whatever I’m down for doing with my body in the moment or permanently scare me into trying to be other people’s vision of a classy, palatable, respectable lady. And I support other people being able to do (or choose not to do) the same things that I’m doing.”
      2.) As a man, you DOUBLY don’t get to decide what any of us do or don’t find empowering because you benefit from a buttload of privilege that comes from the ‘rules’ about women shouldn’t be doing with their bodies always being based on what the men might think/feel/do.

  23. Sarah01 says:

    Women and girls should have full control over their voices and bodies.
    I agree with the point that being naked is not a feminist act or empowering but having a choice and equality is. She wants a career in Hollywood and using her body to advance that career is her choice, she’ll also have to deal with consequences like get boxed into the sexy nude babe mouth breather category.

  24. Naddie says:

    A woman can be a feminist and still be self-absorbed and mean (she’s not mean, it’s just an example). Madonna is feminist, Demi Lovato is feminist, but they’re also a pain in the ass.
    About her interview, I gotta say that she doesn’t sound dumb. She’s just stating her point (very well), but I happen to disagree with her. How easy is for an “oficially” beautiful woman to pose naked? It would be much easier if she just said “I wanna show off my body because I’m hot and talentless”. And why the hell she’s complaining about sexy roles, when all her efforts seem to be on looking… sexy?

    • Silvie says:

      Agreed. My problem with all these female celebs stripping down in the name of feminism is 1) you’re not a feminist if your entire career is based on men wanting to boink you and 2) their insistence on nudity reinforces the tendency in our male-dominated culture for women who don’t look like Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski to be considered “less worthy” than those who do. I don’t appreciate being judged in job interviews on how I might look in a topless photo. Why aren’t these women posting selfies in no-makeup, zit-cream, comfortable clothes and having pride in themselves as women by showing that they don’t give an F about societal standards of beauty? This chick is just desperate for attention – and from what we’ve seen of her so far in movies – pretty talentless, too.

      • Naddie says:

        This. They feel empowered by men’s lust gaze, ok, we get it. The problem is the hypocrisy.

  25. Denise says:

    She looks exactly like Gary Numan here!

  26. aenflex says:

    Posing naked is every person’s right. The objectification that comes with it is almost impossible to avoid. Unfortunately we’re all hard wired with ancient ideals and paradigms.
    Feminism can be a catch 22. The ability to do exactly what you choose with your body. The ideal that that women should be more, and are, than a sexual object…