When in November of last year it was announced that Temas de Hoy would publish Emily Ratajkowski’s book in Spanish, critic Alberto Olmos took over The confidential that it was impossible for the model, actress and businesswoman to have written it and accused her of wanting to “do business with the suffering of women”. Leaving aside the discussion of who writes or does not write the books of the celebritiesthe truth is what Ratajkowski has to say about the objectification of the female body is of utmost relevance precisely because of everything the article accused her of.
Emily Ratajkowski’s writing process
My body is a compilation of essays in which the model reflects and takes advantage of the knowledge acquired over years in the industry to speak in the first person about what it means for a woman to achieve success through her own image. The difficulty, despite getting rich from it, of holding power over your own body when you are just one part of the chain.
“The book is full of ideas and realities that I was not willing to face in previous periods of my life, or perhaps I was unable to do so. I made it a habit to dismiss experiences that were painful or inconsistent with what I wanted to believe: that I was the living testimony of an empowered woman thanks to the commodification of her image and her body”, explained the Californian.
It was in 2018 that Emily began writing the essays that would later become a book. Her mother had been diagnosed with a chronic disease called amyloidosis, and she was alone in Los Angeles while her husband, film producer Sebastian Bear-McClard, worked in New York. It was a time, as she has confessed, when she felt that “something was missing”, so he began to write “to try to find out what he believed”.
She ended up taking it so seriously that, in 2019, she sought career advice from writer Stephanie Danler (author of Sweet Sour) and started reading non-fiction like there was no tomorrow. In 2020, The Cut bought and published one of the essays, entitled Buying Myself Back (buying me back), in which he brings together moments in which he has seen how his images are bought, sold and shared without his consent and where he ensures having learned that his image and reflection do not belong to him.
Sweet Sour (FOREIGN NARRATIVE)
That became the most read article of the year in the magazine and the editorial contract was not long in coming. Its objective? Start a conversation about objectification and fetishization of female beautythe disregard for women’s sexuality, the perverse dynamics of the fashion and film industries, and the gray area between consent and abuse.
So, although Alberto Olmos stated in his day that “no woman has seen her life improved by the existence of Emily Ratajkowsi on the world”, after having read My body We can assure you that it is not true. These are the readings from the non-fiction DIY master with which he prepared himself to write and find his voice.
the devil’s hookLeslie Jamison
The essays grouped here is the first and unquestionable (according to his words) reference to Ratajkowski. They address diverse issues, but are united by the same common thread: the experience of pain lived by oneself and observed in others. Which leads to the nuclear theme of this ambitious work: empathy. The author begins with a text in which she recounts her experience as a false patient who simulates illnesses for medical students, and from there, she narrates her true relationship with pain.
A heart disease, an attack suffered in Nicaragua for which she ends up with a broken nose, an abortion, addictions, the cuts she causes herself, eating disorders… And this pain experienced in her own flesh leads her to deal with the pain of others in various ways: from rare diseases like the one suffered by her brother, to the prison experience and passing through the expression of female pain in literature and other arts.
The Devil’s Hook. About Empathy and the Pain of Others (Arguments)
Three womenLisa Taddeo
Throughout the ages, female desire has been a mystery hidden behind the male perspective. Until now. For eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo toured the United States to follow the story of three ordinary women and explore how sexual desire has shaped their lives. We will meet Lina, a woman who, trapped in a passionless marriage, begins an adventure that consumes her; Maggie, a seventeen-year-old girl who is romantically involved with a married man; and the successful Sloane, whose husband enjoys watching her sleep with other people.
Based on a journalistic work of deep observation and with a direct and sincere style, Three women is a portrait of female desire and sexuality and of everything that shakes us and torments us. It controls our thoughts and can destroy our lives and that, however, is taboo. The experiences of these three unforgettable women remind us that we are not alone.
Ratajkowski asked his English publisher to release My body as something comparable to marginalized, the memoir of Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Michaela Coel. The model did not want to be forced into the book bag of celebrities and she explained that she found it “very interesting” what she happened with the series I could destroy you: “It started those conversations which, really, is all I want”. Although, deep down he also knew that his case “would not happen the same”.
marginalized traces Coel’s journey from her childhood in a council estate in one of London’s wealthiest and most aggressive neighborhoods to her discovery of theater and a passion for storytelling that has taken her to the elite of the audiovisual industry. Honest, sharp and moving, the book is a manifesto for everyone who has ever felt different. A proclamation in favor of empathy, transparency and the need to take care of oneself and others.
Outcasts: A Personal Manifesto (Today’s Topics)
This collection of essays explores how we form our identity both in life and in art. It is an author’s manifesto about the entanglements of life, literature and politics. Through his pages, he grows and evolves from student to teacher, reader to writer, and delves into his identities as son, gay man, Korean-American, artist, activist, lover, and friend.
Chee examines some of the most formative experiences in his life and in his country’s history, including: the death of his father, the AIDS crisis, his reckoning with childhood trauma, the jobs that kept him going while he wrote his first book and the arrival to the presidency of Donald Trump. At times Imposing; Other than heartbreaking and occasionally tongue-in-cheek, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, in addition to asking questions of how we become ourselves, also addresses how we struggle when our deepest truths are under threat.
Alexander Chee, C: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays
The ReckoningsLacy M. Johnson
In one of the public readings that Lacy Johnson made of The Other Side, the book in which she recounted her experience with kidnapping and rape, a woman in the audience asked her what she would like to see happen to her rapist. This collection of essays is a meditative extension of that answer. With the help of philosophy, anthropology, film, and other fields, as well as Johnson’s personal experience, he argues that our ideas of justice should go beyond revenge and punishment and include acts of compassion, patience, forbearance, and grace.
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Photos | @emrata