My Body navigates the politics of beauty, feminine socialisation, and rape culture without ever getting too explicitly or academically political. Mostly, Emily Ratajkowski is telling you her life story—it’s just that she, like all women, lives in a highly politicised body. The book is written with a gorgeous Californian ease (think Eve Babitz) and just enough detached feminist rage to make the more harrowing realities of Ratajkowski’s life readable. Even the fanfiction-y outfit descriptions serve a thematic purpose. The author’s voyeuristic sidebars reveal a truth about modern womanhood—our self-appraisal is raw and constant.
This book made me rethink some of the current popular narratives around celebrity women and their glamorous lives. As the cultural conversations about pretty privilege and aesthetic ideals drag on, it becomes clearer that actresses, models, and influencers topping the beauty pyramid are still burning on its pyre. Ratajkowski’s lack of answers or bodily autonomy seem to prove that being the yardstick other women are measured by gives you power, but not the one we all want most; freedom from a system that equates looks with worth, submission with value. It’s a stunning debut, an unapologetically brave memoir.
An ugly, unflinching look at one woman’s beauty.