What 'Sexy' Means to Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski has an important message for anyone who thinks it's okay to ridicule women's sexuality. 

In a powerful new essay called "Baby Woman" published on Lena Dunham's storytelling website, Lenny Letter, the model and actress completely nails what it means to be sexy, adding that women should be allowed to be sexy on their own terms. 


"The implication is that to be sexual is to be trashy because being sexy means playing into men's desires," she writes. "To me, sexy is a kind of beauty, a kind of self-expression, one that is to be celebrated, one that is wonderfully female. Why does the implication have to be that sex is a thing men get to take from women and women give up?"

Ratajkowski is definitely no stranger to body-shaming and sexist criticism, with her topless performance in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video sparking all types of controversy and media attention. She once referred to her appearance in the video as "the bane of my existence."

The title of Ratajkowski's essay comes from a name that her father used to call her. She mentions in the introduction that her father would call her a "baby woman" because of how developed her body was at such a young age. Throughout the essay, she also describes many adolescent experiences in which family members warned her of her budding sexuality and suggested that she censor herself more.

This essay is definitely empowering and worth the read. You can find the full piece here.