Emily Ratajkowski talks new book and the “complicated” experience of capitalizing on her sexuality

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Emily Ratajkowski talks new book and the

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Emily Ratajkowski often saw her modeling career as fun and empowering, but the new author now wants young women to understand how the industry can also exploit and hurt them.

The model, actress and activist sat down with “CBS Mornings” on Monday for her first TV interview about her debut book, called “My Body,” which is set to be published Tuesday. 

The book is a collection of deeply personal essays from Ratajkowski’s life and modeling career, focused on events that influenced her beliefs and identity. She reflects on her experiences and the cost of fame and success, and she also details a groping allegation against singer Robin Thicke. 

Ratajkowski’s breakthrough came with the music video for Thicke’s 2013 hit song “Blurred Lines” and her response to critics who called the video misogynistic. At the time, she described her participation in it as empowering — an assessment that she aims to revise in her book. 

“I told everyone that that felt like an empowering experience, but I think that as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized it’s more complicated,” she told “CBS Mornings.”

“I would be wrong to say that it’s just simply empowering to capitalize on your sexuality and your beauty as a woman. I think that ultimately you’re trying to appeal to men,” she said.

The 30-year-old began modeling at the age of 14 and built a successful career appearing on everything from magazine covers to fashion campaigns. She’s now a global supermodel with a following of nearly 29 million people on Instagram.

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Ratajkowski acknowledges that she has “capitalized on my image and my success” and feels like using her body to make money does offer “some kind of control.” But she said telling her story in her book is the only time she felt she “experienced empowerment.” 

“I don’t fault young girls and… I would never shame them about the way that they dress or how they might try to work the system,” Ratajkowski said. 

“That being said, I don’t want them to just think that’s going to be a beautiful path with flowers… It’s more complicated,” she said. “There’s a lot of ways you can be hurt, especially if you are naive.”

Ratajkowski said an example of the complex nature of using one’s body for work is the alleged incident on the set of “Blurred Lines.” In her book, she accuses Thicke of groping her bare breasts while filming the video — and it happened while she was working with “all women,” she said. 

“It was a female director, cinematographer. I felt so comfortable compared to other jobs I was doing at 21. I was really having fun,” Ratajkowski said.

“Then in that moment, all of a sudden we realized who was in charge because there was no stopping,” she said. “If we had stopped the set, there’s another prettier girl who would be happy to be in my place. And I think everybody who was working there, even though we felt this connection, it was like, ‘Robin Thicke’s in charge.'”

Thicke has not publicly responded to Ratajkowski’s allegations. 

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The model said her decision to come forward with the allegations was not meant as a “gotcha moment.”

“I’m not interested in canceling anyone,” she said. “For me, it was telling the whole truth of the reality of that experience because for so long everything that I said was, ‘It was really fun.’

“I don’t think that women, no matter what they’re wearing or what they’re doing, should be treated that way,” she said. 

One of the ways to protect models from such incidents, Ratajkowski said, is to respect those women and offer them as much control as possible.

“I’m interested in talking about women in general, not just the industry and how we treat young girls, [but] how we teach them and all kinds of subtle ways that they kind of are obligated to be really sweet, never let what they need and protect themselves be known,” she said. 

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This article is sourced from CBS News

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