Welcome to Emily Ratajkowski Daily, your 24/7 online and leading source dedicated to Emily Ratajkowski since 2017. Known for her modeling work but also Gone Girl, Entourage and We Are Your Friends movies, she will be star in Bright Futures shortly. Here you will find all you need to know about our idol including the largest picture gallery on the net, the latest news, videos and much more. Don't forget you can also find ERD on Twitter. Make sure to follow us for all the new updates. I hope you enjoy your stay and come back soon!
Latest Images
November 8 – Leaving a Morning Show in New York

Photoshoot by Austin Hargrave for The Sunday Times Magazine

The Sunday Times Magazine (November 7)

November 4 – Out for a Stroll in New York

Emily Ratajkowski Grabs the Narrative

With her new book of essays, the model and actor reflects on the experience of gaining fame and creating an image in the age of digital celebrity. It has, unsurprisingly, been a process. “People have said to me, the book is really brave”, she says. “I’m like, is that the word you would use? Because I could think of a lot of other words. Maybe a little stupid”.

Emily Ratajkowski’s body has sold burgers. It’s sold perfume that smells of the ylang-ylang tree with notes of sandalwood and ambrette seed. It’s sold a range of hair products and at least one “innovative lifestyle beauty brand”. It’s sold a few lines of intimates and untold numbers of swimsuits. It’s sold inexpensive clothes and mid-range clothes and luxury clothes. It’s sold pants when it wasn’t even trying to, when it was just walking down the street. The thing that her body will not be selling, though, is her book. She’ll sell My Body with her name.

The model decided how her essay collection would be packaged. She insisted in her proposal that it should be called My Body and the jacket should only bear text. Her publisher, Metropolitan, went for it, which, though those things are often out of an author’s hands, was probably smart thinking. This is a person who understands how things will look.

“All of these are stories about my body in different ways”, Ratajkowski said of the collection on a Zoom call about a month before its November 9 release. “How it’s perceived, how I’ve used it, how it’s been used, what access it’s granted me, how it’s also made me at times feel like I’m nothing more than a body. I knew that a lot of people would roll their eyes at the title and think like, Oh, Emily Ratajkowski, wrote a book called My Body. Like whatever. My name is sort of synonymous with an image of my body and the Instagrams and ‘Blurred Lines’ and whatever else. And I liked using the real associations that people have in a conceptual way so that it would inform the book once they started it. Thinking about their preconceived ideas about me and using that as a tool in the experience of reading it”.

It’s good business for models to be aware of how they appear, but few have interrogated the political implications of their body for them and for those who consume it in the form of a book. There’s the essay “Transactions”, an exacting ledger of what gets exchanged when a person is paid simply for attending an event. There’s the prescient “Britney/Toxic”, on the type of young female friendship that’s contingent on some boys woven in with what Britney Spears meant to her as she was getting into modeling. (Spears meant power, mainly. “In my mind there were presidents and there was Britney Spears”, she told me).

Ratajkowski started modeling at 14. She was an only child born to “bohemian” parents, living outside San Diego, when her mother signed the paperwork. She kept doing the job over the years, impelled forward in the industry not necessarily by passion for the work, but by the money that she made and the freedoms it afforded her. Her big break was the 2013 video for Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, the inescapable song of the summer that year, one that straddled the line between louche and sleaze. The video made her instantly recognizable, and her opportunities accelerated. She was cast in movies. She got paid to make appearances and peddle bigger and better products. Every time, she was picked to execute someone else’s vision.

So besides how things look, control, creative or otherwise, is something Ratajkowski has devoted her 10,000 hours thinking about. In the last year, she’s turned 30 and entered a new phase of her career and life. In March, she gave birth to a son, Sly, who she had with her husband, Safdie brothers favorite producer Sebastian Bear-McClard. She’s signed onto fewer movies, but launched a swimwear brand, Inamorata, in 2017, vertically integrating her modeling into her own brand, and it’s been humming along ever since, even expanding to clothing. And then there is My Body, which undergirds it all—especially “Buying Myself Back”, an essay about trading her image back and forth, which doesn’t seem like it will ever have a happy ending, or any ending at all, considering that the story we’re about to get into has only continued on in real life outside the book of essays. The story and its real-life afterword are an ouroboros of reflection and ownership, a kind of nonbiodegradable hazardous byproduct of living now as a model in an era when image, or more precisely the ownership of image, is everything. It is part of Ratajkowski’s life. We can but try to keep up.

Last year, Ratajkowski published “Buying Myself Back” in New York magazine, an essay that recounts three moments where she lost control of her photos. She has paid huge sums of money to regain a version of ownership of those images, hence the title of the piece. In one instance, Richard Prince included her in a show at Gagosian gallery in New York, for which he blew up Instagram posts on large canvases, alongside a comment he had left there. A Gagosian employee bought the one Prince did of Ratajkowski, so she got a different portrait of herself, paying for half the over $80,000 price tag. Her boyfriend at the time paid for the other half, and she also received a small study of the work. (Artnet later reported that Ratajkowski and her then boyfriend commissioned the portrait. Asked to clarify, a rep for Ratajkowski told Vanity Fair, “She bought a Prince piece for $80,000, the cost of which she split with her boyfriend”).

When she and her boyfriend broke up, she bought his half of the painting, plus an extra $10,000 for the study. She hadn’t wanted to pay for the smaller piece since it was a gift, but as she describes in the essay, some of her own photos were part of the enormous celebrity iCloud hack at the time, literalizing the loss of her image to a devastating degree, and providing an unfortunate reminder that her ex had his own photos of her. She lost the will to fight. It was easier to pay. In the same essay, she wrote about a paparazzi suing her for posting to Instagram an image he took of her walking with a bouquet of flowers over her face. This is a copyright no-no. Ratajkowski has been entangled in a lawsuit ever since. This will be important to know later.

In April, after she gave birth to her son, Ratajkowski made an NFT of herself smiling in front of the Prince portrait of her original Instagram post.

“I was just honestly high off of postpartum hormones and spinning out of control. Everybody was talking about NFTs and I had my first glass of wine post-pregnancy and was like, ‘This makes me think about…'” she said with a goofy lisp, bringing her pointer finger to her temple. It made her think about the essay she wrote, about the conceptual art that she never volunteered for, about ownership, about women, about OnlyFans, about revenge porn and the iCloud hacking and how hard it is to protect an image, especially—especially—if your image is a valuable asset on which you’ve built your livelihood. Her face. Her body.

And so she made the NFT and sold it at Christie’s in May for $140,000 before fees. It was something like a win. But then: “I actually just got off the phone with my lawyer before this call and I’ve spent a very serious amount of what the NFT went [for] fighting the paparazzi who sued me for the image I write about in ‘Buying Myself Back’. So it’s a never-ending cycle”.

It occurs to me as we’re talking, but not for the first time, that it can feel absolutely nuts for someone like Ratajkowski to want to put something as revealing as a book of essays into the world, to give up more of how she thinks and risk being taken, bit by bit, out of context. She beats me to it, saying: “The media has looked for stories from whatever, like me walking the dog, and so here I am sort of offering a platter of the most personal and vulnerable narratives. People have said to me, the book is really brave and I’m like, is that the word you would use? Because I could think of a lot of other words. Maybe a little stupid”.

It’s already happened, though, with the essay she titled, ‘Blurred Lines’. The Sunday Times aggregated quotes from the piece in October, and sites spun it out across the internet, something she very much did not want or enjoy. A quick recap: Ratajkowski starred in the music video alongside two other young models and musicians Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. The popularity was almost immediate as was the controversy. Weird, huh, that in one version the nearly naked women are dancing around fully clothed men, said some. Weird, huh, how the lyrics were things like, “You know you want it”, and “I hate these blurred lines”.

Looking back now, the song and video felt like they were created in a lab to enrage second-wave feminists and garden-variety conservatives alike, baiting what we would now call “the discourse”. At the time, Ratajkowski, who was the standout in the video for both her clowning and her body, defended the project in interviews. She didn’t see it as misogynistic; it was doing something with misogyny.

Ratajkowski recalls those interviews in the introduction of the book, and wrote that she feels “a tenderness toward my younger self. My defensiveness and defiance are palpable to me now. What I wrote and preached then reflected what I believed at the time, but it missed a much more complicated picture”.

The essay is a descent into that complication. Which is why it especially frustrated Ratajkowski when details from the piece appeared online. If you only read these, you’d think that the book’s big reveal is that a tipsy Thicke had allegedly groped Ratajkowski’s breast on set, which the video’s director, Diane Martel, corroborated to The Sunday Times. The conversation online flattened predictably into variation of the headline, EMILY RATAJKOWSKI ALLEGES ROBIN THICKE FONDLED HER BREASTS ON THE SET OF ‘BLURRED LINES’ MUSIC VIDEO. (Thicke has not yet responded to requests for comment on the story).

It’s not at all unusual when a published story gets dismantled and sold for parts on today’s internet, so it probably wasn’t a surprise when this part of the essay fueled a news cycle for a few days. The fact that it happened early, without her consent, and that readers couldn’t actually read what was on the page even if they wanted to? That she wasn’t prepared for.

“It feels worse”, she said, worse than having photos of her distributed against her will. “I think partly because I’m not as used to it, which is, you know, whatever. But also because I chose this medium to capture nuance, to say multiple things at one time”.

She didn’t even want to write about ‘Blurred Lines’ in the first place, but it eventually felt unavoidable. It would be a missed opportunity to talk about exactly what she wanted to talk about with My Body. Like how your idea of power and who has it can change, and then a memory gets reframed. Like how sometimes you get to do something you really want to do—like write a book of essays—in part because of a day of work that you signed up for many, many years ago, where someone did something he wasn’t supposed to do because he could, and that can be hard to reconcile.

In writing it, she took measures to protect herself from the problem of the big headline extraction. She padded the work with a ton of background, context, descriptions of who she was at that time (just dropped out of college to pursue modeling because it was finally paying the bills), what jobs she was getting then (ecommerce jobs, mainly), what jobs she wasn’t getting (Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated), how she negotiated her rate for the project (by playing hardball, it sounds like). At one point, she declined to publish the piece as an excerpt, as she had done with “Buying Myself Back”, preferring her readers to encounter it entirely in its context. That way, maybe, they wouldn’t misunderstand her.

“It’s been a little strange to have even people who are well-meaning come up to me and say, I’m so glad you spoke out about Robin Thicke'”, she said. “And it’s like, well, no, I didn’t speak out. And that’s not at all the message behind this. It wasn’t about ‘I need to tell my story of sexual assault’ because that’s just not even how I see it”.

“The part that not a lot of people are focusing on is that I really was enjoying myself”, Ratajkowski said. “Actually I was having a really great day on that set. Also this other thing happened and that says something about the world we live in. Both things exist at the same time”.

So, yes, writing about one’s most vulnerable moments within a ravenous internet might be, as she joked, “stupid”. And then as soon as she voices the point she presents the counterpoint. In writing, there’s control, the kind that’s never available to her as a model or an actor or an influencer. In choosing words, building structure, deciding if what she means is really what she means, she gets to feel in control. “I can’t help but return to it”, she said.

As her friend and early reader Lena Dunham puts it to me in an email, “People know what Emily looks like. They have a sense of her based on limited snippets of social media access, and they think they understand her because of her street style. But she’s actually in many ways been obscured by her own image, something she discusses in the book with a lot of skill. And so this is actually Emily becoming a known quantity, but also making it clearer that she’s an unknown quantity”.

“We literally haven’t had one of her before”, Dunham added. “I mean, I’m pretty sure she’s the first global supermodel to write a Marxist leaning book of feminist theory… but if someone can name another one for me I’ll be psyched”.

Despite the complications therein, the ‘Blurred Lines’ video was undeniably her launchpad, and it did to Ratajkowski what launchpads have done to many beauties in the music and film industry—that is, flattened and amplified. She landed those Sports Illustrated shoots and also a role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, then later in the EDM-bildungsroman We Are Your Friends. In movies, she was the hot girl for whom husbands strayed from wives, whom boyfriends lost to new boyfriends.

You can easily see a person for whom this is true wanting to explain their whole selves and analyze their own rare position in the culture, to be the call that’s coming from inside the house (which she’s done fairly successfully in interview bursts and news-generating posts on social media). But you can just as easily see a person like this wanting to run. To move to the woods, or do what Ye does these days and wear a mask and try to live post-identity.

Ratajkowski seems to be aiming for a middle way. Before My Body is officially released in the world, she has to promote it, and she must watch again as someone else takes the process of her writing a book and puts her in a context of their choosing. It’s something she admits makes her uncomfortable as much as it excites her. The discomfort she staves off by focusing on having written something that she’s proud of. The excitement she fosters with a lot of focus.

“What I’ve been leaning towards recently, and this is evolving because I’m sort of in the midst of it right now, is that it’s very exciting and flattering to be able to have people want to talk about the book one way or another”, she said. “I’m somebody who, you know, when I’ve done press cycles in the past, I’ve been talking about perfume or hair care, and it’s so nice to be talking about real ideas that I’m super interested in”.

“I think ultimately in the end, like accepting that you can’t control everything”, she said. “That’s where I am with this”.

Dunham helped here too, especially by getting her to a place to worry less about being taken out of context, which may be inevitable. “I wanted her to get comfortable with the idea of being willfully misinterpreted but at the same time for her to know that though those voices can come fast and thick, they’re a smaller contingent than the people her book will matter deeply too”.

And she has the tools of refusal and insistence now on this side of success. I asked to meet her in person because the job of telling a small story of a person can be much easier to do when you’re in the room with them. Her team very kindly told me that it wouldn’t be possible; her schedule was too tight. This is a fine excuse, and a believable one. Busy person is busy.

So Zoom it was. The frame that met me comprised unadorned white brick walls, a small white chest of drawers with black handles, and Emily too. She was dressed in a sweater the color of ambivalent clouds. Remove her face and the Zoom would do an excellent impression of the gray scale. There was so little of her that she allowed to be considered. I had to laugh.

I asked her after all of this, if there’s a future in which she no longer models. “I now have a son and I live in New York City and I want to have a certain type of lifestyle and it’s pretty hard to turn away the opportunities that come with modeling”, she said. “Where I am in my career is that I do as many things as I can that I have control over. That doesn’t mean everything, but it does feel like a different type of modeling than a lot of the modeling I write about in the book where I really did feel like a quote, unquote mannequin”.

“My position has changed and also what I’m willing to do has changed. I’ve started to just draw lines in the sand and it feels really good”.

Source : vanityfair.com

November 3 – PEN America ‘In Conversation’ Event

November 3 – Heading to an Event in New York

Emily Ratajkowski and Lisa Taddeo Talk Sex, Rage, and Britney

Ratajkowski’s raw book of essays, My Body, will change the way you see the supermodel. And, just maybe, yourself.

“I want to get to the bottom of things”, says Emily Ratajkowski. “It’s been the blessing and curse of my life”. That scrupulous excavation is evident in My Body, her scalpel-sharp essay collection examining everything from sexual assault to childbirth to objectification. If Ratajkowski had a kindred literary spirit, it would be Lisa Taddeo, whose nonfiction account of women’s sex lives, Three Women, and raw novel Animal cover many of the same themes. Here, the two sit down for a no-holds-barred dialogue.

Lisa Taddeo: You write about your mom rating women’s beauty. My mom used to do stuff like that, too. There were beautiful women and then there were hot women and all those micro-rating systems within [that]. If you hear that at a young age, it fucks you up.
Emily Ratajkowski: I had to work backward in even figuring that out. [With] ex-boyfriends in high school, I would think more about their ex-girlfriends than I would them sometimes. I would look up their Facebooks and never look at my ex-boyfriends’. I wanted to see who was getting ahead or who was last. And I started thinking about how I had gotten there. I think that my mom learned that being beautiful could secure her safety in her relationships and day-to-day interactions. Understanding where she fell in this ranking system was vital to her survival in some ways. There was this internalized male gaze that she was helping me learn without even maybe realizing it. A lot of growing up and therapy [have] made me realize, Holy shit, I don’t need to do this. There’s no winning or losing. But it’s something that I think all young women have to unlearn, or maybe just women in general.
LT: And the idea of women who are beautiful to women versus women who are hot to men—the ranking of that shifts based on what world you’re entering into. Is it a movie that guys are going to watch? Or is it a fashion show where women are looking at the clothes? There’s this moving ideal of beauty that you can’t really even hold on to, and that drives you insane.
ER: You can never win, really. It’s exhausting to compare yourself. It certainly doesn’t lead to any kind of happiness. But there isn’t a woman I know who hasn’t fallen victim to it. I know people who are obsessed with comparing themselves to celebrities, or who still think about that one girl in high school all the time. Even elementary school. We learn this stuff so young.
LT: Men don’t do that. They get jealous in other ways, but I cannot imagine any of my exes or my husband looking up [an ex]… Last night I was talking to my husband about this guy that I went on a weird blind date with when I was living in the city. And I was like, “He was really hot”. The second you say that, guys are like, “What do you mean, ‘He was really hot’?” I found myself telling the story and being really excited that he was feeling like, “Was that guy better-looking than me?” I’m 41 years old; I have a child. As my daughter was videoing herself doing something with the dog, I know she’s videoing my voice in the background, and I’m like, “Holy shit, it does not end. When will it end?”
ER: You write a lot about this—that feeling of “I want to get even”. It’s funny, one of my first interviews [promoting the book] was with a man, and he said something about how you have to have an ice pick in your heart to be a writer. I was like, I guess that’s part of it. I just think that telling the truth of these stories doesn’t take away from the way you feel in your life today. You still want to get a jab in or you still want to win in different ways.
LT: It’s not revenge, so much, but taking the power back was so brilliant. Something that men do a lot, because society permits them to, is talk about an experience they had with you after you’ve become something else in a way that is a complete distortion of the reality. I saw that in your [writing] and I was just maddened by it.
ER: That was what inspired me to write about these things—there’s one perspective that I’m really familiar with, which is the male perspective. Which is, whether you want to say willingly or subconsciously, dismissive of the female reality? I don’t know, that’s a really complicated question and what I’m interested in. But certainly, there’s just no consideration for how these experiences go down for women in those dynamics with men who maybe are not always older, but have a power imbalance. And they’re so unaware of it. I think there is this feeling of, ‘Well, women are so beautiful, they have this power, they have the right to say yes or no to sex’. It’s so much more complicated than that. I was interested in capturing the nuance that comes with wanting male validation, which you’ve written about so well, especially in Three Women. Where, I don’t know if complicit is the right word, but certainly you want something from them that is potentially extremely harmful. In many of the instances in the book, I’m either modeling or trying to work my way into winning some guy’s attention. I look back and realize the complexity of those situations. I think it’s not about individual men, it’s all men. Because it’s the system; it’s the way our culture works. Women buy into it because that’s how we learn. Even the way we look at other women—that’s because we want power and love and security.
LT: One of the things I always find the hardest to swallow, and the saddest, is that we understand that about each other and about the way we’ve been socialized and sexualized. I’ve always been pragmatic in my working life. I saw something on [Netflix’s] Glow, where she’s like don’t ruin it for all of us. Just let the guy think you’re going to sleep with him. I’ve let so many guys think I was going to sleep with them. Would I do things differently now? Yeah, maybe. I don’t know. But what I know is what I did then I did for my survival, in a sense. I have a daughter now. What will I teach her?
ER: I don’t want to tell any young girl that she shouldn’t model or try to capitalize on her image or body. But as I say in the book, I’ve wondered if people would even be reading my book had I not done that. So there is an undeniable power—forget the financial success and fame and all that—but there is just power. People pay attention to you when you get to a certain level. So I was really careful to never say that. But what you see in media, and my own Instagram, is one side, which is beautiful vacations, millions of likes, fancy clothes. And that’s not the complete story. It was so important to write this book and say, Here’s the reality of the whole situation. Here’s the nuance, here are the complicated parts. I start with a John Berger quote: “You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, you put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting Vanity. Women do it a lot, maybe even more than men. Where they’re like, “Look at her, she’s trying to build on this”. And it’s like, “Well, yeah, of course she is”. The shame that we carry around that is partly why we don’t talk about it more. Because there is so much black-and-white thinking of, “Believe women”, and it’s very easy to slip into this feeling of “All men are predators” and “The world is a scary place for women and how do we protect each other?” And I don’t think it’s that simple. It would be nice to think that way, but it’s not. So I hope that there’s the nuance and also that we [get past] our shame so we can talk about these things.
LT: [With your book], it’s going to be mainstreamed in a way that this conversation isn’t. It’s so heavily nuanced. And we usually, as a country, shy away from nuance. It should be required reading, especially for 16-year-old girls. I think that it’s so important because it’s coming from you. You’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who knows about it more. Like you said, you wouldn’t necessarily tell a young girl not to model. You would say, “If you model, here is what I’ve learned”. Not, “Don’t do this, because I’ve gotten a lot of things from this”. And I think that holding those two things at once is just so vital.
ER: It’s hard now, starting to do press and seeing how things get turned into black and white: “It’s a condemnation” or “She’s complaining about her life”. But I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t share these stories. I write about Britney and what it was like to grow up in the early aughts. I was watching these women as they were getting physically more and more destroyed. Watching these covers of [magazines saying] they look like crap. I still thought that they were on top of the world and that they were winning. Now we’ve come to understand that these women were tortured and continue to be, but [then] it was: “Oh God, they’re messy”. Which comes from this incredibly misogynistic standpoint. But I think that it’s so important to reveal the complexities, because it’s not just famous women, it’s all women. Obviously white women have a very particular position in the world, but it’s all on a scale of what we experience and the ways that we try to work the system and fail at working it. Now we live in a world where everything is about empowerment. That word gets thrown around so easily. But I think we’ve almost lost perspective.

ELLE: Do you think women have more power [on sets] than they did even 5 or 10 years ago, or that there’s just an illusion of power?
LT: We’re staffing Three Women for Showtime, and it is so far [about] 95 percent women—all female directors, all female EPs. But within that, there are still a lot of questions that crop up. I think we have more power now than we did five years ago. But it’s still a male gaze at the end of the day. And it’s still women who are operating under the male gaze. It’s going to take a long time for us to get out of that.
ER: I can’t really speak to the last 5 or 10 years because my position has changed. I’m no longer an anonymous model. It’s not something that when you’re 22, you can necessarily be aware of in the same way that you can when you get older. I do think some things have changed. But I don’t know that it’s for the right reasons. We live in a culture where people are acting out of fear of consequences, rather than learned respect. You don’t teach a child to not hit their brother because they’re going to get a time-out, but because it’s not a nice thing to do. Everyone is worried about the time-out rather than actually understanding empathy. That’s why I think writing is so important, because it’s not the Twittersphere and the really quick cancellation. I think storytelling brings out people’s empathy in a different way. So I’m hoping that a lot of men read this book. I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but I would love for that to happen. It shouldn’t just be that once a man becomes a father to a daughter, he starts to understand these things.
LT: That’s brilliantly put, the fear of the time-out. We are just like toddlers at the end of the day.
ER: I have a son now, and I’m starting to think about what our instincts are. Forget even boy/girl, but just, What are human beings’ instincts? How do you encourage a person to feel confident, to like who they are, while also teaching them about what’s nice and what’s not nice? It’s like with voting: “You have to vote. It’s your job”. Well, maybe we need to make sure that the candidates are better and the political system feels like it’s earned our trust. Again, it’s this lack of nuance. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned about Afghanistan in the last two weeks just from being on social media. But they’re quick, one-sentence things or really shocking images. There’s not a deep understanding. There’s a peripheral level of how we consume media now that’s dangerous.
LT: When it comes to the people you’ve named [in your book], it feels relentlessly brave. It feels like you wrote this book in a vacuum, which is the way that I think books should be written, without fear. Was it a scary decision? Because I admire the hell out of every part of that.
ER: Yes, I’m still absolutely terrified. The essay with Jonathan [Leder] was published, and that’s an essay about a lot of things. And, of course, the headlines were like, “Emily Ratajkowski accuses blah, blah, blah”. It was really hard to see that: “Wait, this is a 7,000-word essay that I poured my guts into and now it’s just a clickbait headline”. [Editor’s note: Ratajkowski accused photographer Jonathan Leder of sexual assault in a New York magazine essay; Leder’s representative told USA Today that he “completely denies her outrageous libelous allegations of being ‘assaulted'”.] I also met Jonathan’s children and was thinking about them having to face my reality of how I experienced their father. I feel the same way about other men in the book. In my dream world, what would happen is not that people are canceled, because what does that even mean? Ultimately, people go on living their lives. The people who are close to them love them. They have a right to exist and to live a wonderful life. That being said, I think that there is this canceling thing that happens. My dream would be that we’d live in a world where rather than blaming this individual and saying, “We’re casting you out of society; that will make things better”, we take a larger look at what allowed this kind of behavior. If I were a different person, if I were not well-known in other ways, I would not have mentioned specific names, but for these stories to feel real and for people to understand the full situation, I had to give names. It was the difference of, somebody could Google them or not. There are other moments in the book where I don’t name people, where I feel like it’s not important who it was. But I think in [some] instances, it’s pretty important for the reader to understand. I have a hard time with the power that the world gives you when you tell your story. Instead of learning the lesson, there’s this black-and-white thinking again, where it’s like, Well, that person is just done. I really don’t want that for anyone because I also, again, believe it’s not all men and it’s also all men. I think everybody’s father, brother, whatever, has at one moment or another—it’s, again, on a scale—but they have unknowingly, or maybe just because it was convenient, taken advantage of their position in the world. That doesn’t mean that everybody is bad and needs to be cancelled. It just means that we need to be more aware.
LT: Any thinking person will be able to read it as an exploration rather than a condemnation. Humans make mistakes, and that’s how you framed it. Obviously, people will do clickbait-y stuff. But I think you did a perfect job of not doing that, or not creating an environment for that, but doing the exact, necessary opposite.
ER: I worked really hard to take out any punishing in the writing. It’s not always the people who you would think are the quote-unquote bad guys. It’s people who are close to you and you’re like, “This sentence doesn’t need to exist here. Why am I punishing this person?” I don’t want to say that there isn’t an instinct—like your experience with your husband and trying to make him jealous. I think it is important as women to realize that we’re pissed off. There is a feeling of, I want to burn this motherfucker to the ground. I think [it’s about] finding the balance. Because I don’t want to punish, I want to tell the truth. That’s it.

ELLE: You write about seeing a therapist to learn to physically express anger. Did writing help you channel that anger?
ER: No. I’d be lying to you [if I said that]. But that was one of the hard things about writing the last essay. There is a tendency with books to tie everything up in a bow and go off into the sunset. And that’s just not how I feel. But what was important to me was finding these moments of release, or moments where I’m connecting to my body through anger, which can be really powerful if it’s not used to punish someone. I’m breaking something against a wall, not breaking somebody. The reason I set out to write was to deal with my shit, absolutely. With the essay that was published in New York magazine, I was so nervous. The week before, I couldn’t sleep. I was sobbing. I was an absolute mess: “Why did I do this? Remind me why I wrote this and why I’m deciding to publish it?” And then when it went out into the world, it was cathartic. Because all of a sudden, it was people recognizing my reality. It’s so validating. I didn’t have that for a big part of my twenties, whether in these small interactions that I write about or on a global scale. To be able to say, “This is my story”, it’s very healing.
LT: All the books I like are written by women who don’t give a fuck. I always think it’s interesting whenever people talk about female main characters being likable or not. I don’t need to be friends with someone in a novel. I want to understand more about myself from a novel. I think if you just say everything honestly, it sounds like anger. But we also add that little coda of rage to a woman just expressing herself. It’s rage if she’s not going along with the status quo. We have been tamed into doing the status quo at any cost, or we are out of line. I found a voice early on that felt like a voice that didn’t give a fuck. Obviously, I’ve gotten some shit for that, and it’s fine. But I didn’t want to write a book that I didn’t want to read.
ER: I loved your essay in the Guardian about female rage. Because I do think there’s this fear that we have of turning into this ugly, angry witch. And I’m totally scared of that. Not enough people have read the book yet—but I could imagine people saying, “She’s so angry”.
LT: It doesn’t come off as angry. There are moments of anger, but it all felt clearheaded. I think it’s so phenomenally calibrated.
ER: [The fact] that I’m even so afraid of it is interesting to me. What’s wrong with being angry? I think some anger is justifiable—more than justifiable. I don’t think that women should be afraid of that.

ELLE: There’s a running theme in both of your work about women struggling to understand their desires, and the difference between seeing yourself as an object of desire and actually desiring. What have you learned about that question through exploring it in your work?
LT: I will say that I have a really hard time with it. If I don’t feel attractive, I’m going to have a hard time being excited to have sex. I admire so much women who do not. It’s something I strive to feel. Right now, I’m probably at the worst I’ve ever been in terms of how I feel about myself. It’s been really difficult for me because I was raised on ’80s movies, and it was all about the way a woman looked, and I have internalized that.
ER: I’m somebody who’s expertly internalized the male gaze, and then turned it on myself enough to make a living off it. In the last essay, I had the piece about breaking stuff—and then birth. I couldn’t figure out a moment where I’ve been in my body and not self-aware on some level. It took me weeks. It was the hardest chunk of the book to write. And it’s just a bike ride with my husband and my best friend. Because it hit me: I was using my body. I wasn’t floating above myself, thinking about how I looked. I was just in the moment with people I love and who love me. That’s the goal: to have more of those moments, sexually or otherwise. I don’t think it’s going to come easily to any woman in our culture. But I think that it can happen, through figuring out who you are, and then sharing it with people you love. Then intimacy, physical or otherwise, becomes less self-aware.

ELLE: The book ends with a completely different function of the body: childbirth. How has motherhood shaped your outlook? Did it change your relationship to your body?
ER: I was unsure if I wanted to end the book with motherhood, because I hate the idea that you become a mother and everything changes. It’s something I talk about in the book: You go from child to sex object to mother. But it was one of the most powerful physical experiences. Being in a room and trusting my body—even though there are people around me who say that they know it better than me or that they have a right to it in some way—was hugely impactful. It wasn’t until I was rereading the whole book that I realized that at the beginning, there’s an essay about not being able to say no. And then in the hospital, I say no, my body responds to me saying no, and I give birth to my son. Writing these essays allowed me to get to a place to be in that room and be connected enough to my body to be able to say, “No, we are not going to use the vacuum”. Then my body’s like, “She just said no. We’re going to deliver this baby”.
LT: I feel the same way. The idea of, you’re a little girl, then you’re sexualized, then you’re a mom, then you’re dead. Whereas men get to have their full cycle, and it’s biologically unfair. Motherhood changed me in all the ways that it does, and then in a lot of ways it didn’t. My daughter is six, and I sometimes see the way that men look at her. She’s blonde, she’s got giant blue eyes, and I’m so hyper-aware of it, because of having experienced my own stuff in the past. I’m always staring at my daughter, looking to see where the danger might be coming from. That is such a frightening thing, that I’ve now put the male gaze on my own daughter. It haunts me.
ER: 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 sexualized way before puberty and being aware of it. 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”.

Source : elle.com

November 1 – WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards

November 1 – Arriving at an Event in New York

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