My Body (Hardcover)
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 grey area between consent and abuse.
Nuanced, unflinching, and incisive, My Body marks the debut of a fierce writer brimming with courage and intelligence.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Nuanced, perceptive, and brave as hell . . . A worthwhile read that proves the author is here to stay."
"A provocative curve ball, with absorbing essays on beauty and consent."
—The Chicago Tribune
"I devoured My Body, a book describing an adolescence so contrary to my own . . . Ratajkowski's honesty is refreshing . . . A wonderful collection of essays, and not just because a model wrote a book."
—Sarah Hagi, Gawker
"An intimate and accomplished essay collection that tackles big questions about internalized misogyny, the male gaze, female empowerment, and the commodification of sexuality . . . Enriched by Ratajkowski’s insider perspective on the modeling industry and her willingness to wrestle with the power of the male gaze rather than outright rejecting it, this is an astute and rewarding mix of the personal and the political."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Nuanced . . . engaging . . . a reflective coming-of-age-in-the-industry tale . . . The charm of this book lies in [Ratajkowski's] relatable writing, which shows the complex emotions and confusion of a young woman experiencing her sexual development and maturation into a capable adult . . . a refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics."
“These powerful essays mark a blazing, unexpected literary debut. Emily Ratajkowski interrogates beauty, sex, power, objectification, fame, and betrayal, by both self and others, with lucidity and scorched-earth honesty. I read these pages, breathless with recognition and the thrill of reading a new voice telling it like it is.”
—Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
"Forget what you know about Emily Ratajkowski. In My Body, she investigates the double bind of sexuality and power with a skillful eye for nuance and a noteworthy fearlessness. These essays don’t cut corners—we are all implicated in this web of misogyny and objectification, even Ratajkowski herself. For all the ways in which Ratajkowski’s life is extraordinary, or the way in which these stories will shock readers, My Body thrives on moments when her experience as a woman—with its triumphs and missteps—is resoundingly universal."
—Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter
"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
"Reading My Body is to accompany an extraordinary individual and activist, one who is deeply passionate and thoughtful, as she navigates the joys and pains of life in a digital era. Our experiences may be different, but Emily Ratajkowski’s presentation of diverse perspectives forges a path towards understanding."
—Tamika D. Mallory, co-founder, Untilfreedom
"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