As British GQ journalist Jonathan Heaf writes, “Coming to fame for the way one looks has never carried more complexity.” In the realm of celebrity, it’s not enough anymore to just “be pretty”. John Mayer put it perfectly, recently actually, when he tweeted, “If you’re pretty, you’re pretty; but the only way to be beautiful is to be loving. Otherwise, it’s just ‘congratulations about your face.’”
It both baffles and annoys me then that Emily Ratajkowski – a model, CEO and activist – is still criticised (a lot) for posting “sexy” images. It’s as though a woman with sexual allure can’t be complex or politically-minded – or heaven forbid she’s both these things. It’s as though she should “put some clothes on” before she takes her rightful seat at the table. If coronavirus has given perspective on anything, it’s that this argument is definitely tired and done.
Yes, Ratajkowski is quarantined inside her Tribeca apartment in New York City with her film producer husband Sebastian Bear-McClard. For the record, she’s finding isolation “interesting”, as she tells Heaf. She understands some married couples could end up divorced after this is all over but that she’s in a good partnership and spends a lot of her days working on her label Inomorata, writing a new book of essays and feeling all the anxious feels that you and I do.
“I think that’s the hardest part: this looming kind of threat that’s everywhere,” she says. “It’s more like there’s no way to know how long this is going to go on for or the severity of it. I think that’s producing the anxiety in most people.”
(As a writer, I was interested in the fact Ratajkowski likes to write at night. “The best writing I do is as I’m falling asleep,” she says. “I take notes on my phone and I will write down anecdotes on a topic. I’ll just write them as they come; a flow of consciousness. And then usually I will look at them the next morning and, hopefully, some of it will make sense.”)
But interestingly, most of the interview is made up of the 28-year-old talking politics; Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and coronavirus’ impact on the presidency. Ratajkowski’s thoughts are interesting and considered and clear and honest. But like us, GQ had to title their interview with a different spin to hit the masses (“Emily Ratajkowski: “Parents Deserve Some Sort Of Medal At This Time”). Because, again, she’s not taken seriously enough to hold a captive audience on politics alone.
But she should be. While social distancing is playing havoc with content creation at the moment, this is one interview to get absorbed in. It’s not about parents and it’s not about a model coping in quarantine. And my mind couldn’t be happier. Read it here.