My Body - book cover
  • Publisher : Metropolitan Books
  • Published : 09 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 256
  • ISBN-10 : 1250817862
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250817860
  • Language : English

My Body


"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 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 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.

Editorial Reviews

"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."

"Raises throught-provoking questions . . . By unpacking the paradoxes of capitalising on the male gaze in the Instagram era, Ratajkowski offers a fresh perspective on an age-old problem."
Financial Times

"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

"My Body chart[s] a sinuous path through coming-of-age stories and meditations on capitalism and power, female friendship, and finally motherhood. Ratajkowski writes with an incisive vulnerability that can give way to images of striking beauty."
The Nation

"A fascinating work: insightful, maddening, frank . . . So astute on the subject of how her body is interpreted . . . Ratajkowski is a graceful and thoughtful writer."...

Readers Top Reviews

Joshua PatrickElEmil
Emily Ratajkowski‘s new book is an excellently written, empathetic and tough-minded reminder of a truth that is often forgotten: no woman in this world has it easy. We tend to assume those in Emily’s position, gifted with the blessing of beauty, waltz through their days enjoying privilege and ease. But like Marilyn Monroe before her, this is simply not the case. Her life has often not been an easy one. The book movingly details multiple sexual assaults and her ever present struggle to assert her profound intellect, insights, and creativity in a world that is so manically focused on her body. That is such a human predicament, experienced by so many every day. We all deserve to have our bodies be our sources of strength and security, and to live in a world where they do not prevent others from seeing the light within us. Emily Ratajkowski deserves that and you do too. Great books like this are an essential part in bringing about a future where that reality comes to pass.
Lola HH
So looking forward to reading this great book......however it didn't arrive like so many other bought items from Amazon.
Anam Javed
Thank you so much for writing this Emily! I appreciate your honesty and insight! Your complicated feelings about earning a living off your image, while also trying to not be only viewed as a sex symbol was super powerful to read. It also helped me confront my own biases, like dismissing influencers or really gorgeous women or women posing in sexual pictures as shallow (often without realizing it) instead of viewing them as fully complicated humans (and yes writing this I realize how horrible it sounds, especially as I’m a woman myself). I will view such images and the women behind them differently now that I’ve read your book. Thank you for writing this and I wish you and your family much peace and joy. I devoured this in a day (while procrastinating on my job cause I kept wanting to go back and read more :) )
As a guy who’s never read a book of this kind, and who honestly didn’t know much about her prior to reading her snippet in NY mag, I found the book to be very sharp, vulnerable, and honest. It reads like a conversation that you’re having with a cool friend of yours. It’s unpretentious and highly relatable, yet very enlightening. She is a natural writer, and the atmospheres that she creates are palpable, and although we’re worlds apart as people, it’s not hard to see yourself in her shoes. You watch her make her mistakes, each time feeling empowered in the moment, only later realizing how she’s actually being used as an object for someone else’s sexual desire, and struggle along the way to discover what actual power or control she has in the system. By the time the book culminates imo in “men like you” watching her release her anger at all of these situations is almost cathartic, albeit uncomfortable for her. Even though in her dreams she has no punch, in real life she really connects. In the end you feel her coming into her body again and feeling the love around her and the power that comes with trusting and listening to her body and letting go and you begin to feel happy for her, as if she’s gotten one step closer to true empowerment, the cultivating of her own inner peace.
Read it in one day. My first time reading this kind of format. Definitely causes you to think about your own experiences in womanhood and how they have shaped your relationship with yourself. Well done Emily!!