Striplv Magazine - The Sexiest Magazine on the Planet, Issue 0418

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Page 54 of 79

It’s hard to pin down Emily Ratajkowski. An independent-minded young woman with the body of a goddess, she has generated massive controversy over her penchant for posing nude, or nearly so, in magazines and social media. While in the process of establishing herself as a serious actress in the 2014 David Fincher thriller Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Entourage, and We Are Your Friends, with Zac Efron, the London-born, California-raised Ratajkowski has maintained a parallel presence as a revisionist feminist model anxious to celebrate her cleavage at every opportunity. And why not? A strong case could be made that she possesses the best breasts in show business, and flaunting those assets has already won her over 15 million Instagram followers, two major campaigns as brand ambassador for DKNY and Kérestase hair care products. Cultivating a reputation as one of the sexiest women alive, whose appearance in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video (500 million views and counting) turned her into an instant YouTube sensation, Ratajkowski has adopted a Kardashian-like approach to mass selfie-exposure and parlayed that into a burgeoning film career. This summer sees the Polish-American provocative co-star in two films - I Feel Pretty opposite Michelle Williams and Amy Schumer, and Welcome Home, a thriller set in Tuscany in which she shares top billing with “Breaking Bad” star, Aaron Paul. Is this the Year of the Rat(ajkowski)? “That’s basically my strategy,” said Ratajkowski. “I’m so grateful I have modeling and so many other things that I’m doing – because if I didn’t have other ways of making money, I’d be like, OK, I guess I’m doing the bathing-suit-girl role. You really have to prove yourself in this industry, and I’m very much up for the challenge. It takes a really long time to not only prove yourself but also prove that you’re more dynamic than just this one part of you that they see.” She’s also had to confront the contradiction that comes with having rocketed to fame on the basis of her physical charms yet wanting to be taken seriously as an actress. Ratajkowski has turned down numerous projects that are purely exploitative of her beauty, but at the same time directors and casting agents have rejected her because her looks would be too distracting. “There’s this thing that happens to me: ‘Oh, she’s too sexy.’ It’s like an anti-woman thing; people don’t want to work with me because my boobs are too big,” she says. “What’s wrong with boobs? They’re a beautiful, feminine thing that needs to be celebrated. Like, who cares? They are great big; they are great small. Why should that be an issue?” During the past year, she’s effectively proclaimed herself a naked feminist warrior by asserting that a woman’s embrace of her body - nude or otherwise - as an act of empowerment. It takes a certain amount of gumption or ballsiness on the part of Ratajkowski to chart such a course in the current age of manic political correctness. She opens herself up to accusations of reckless self-promotion and self-exploitation from women’s movement hard-liners, while also inviting ridicule from media pundits such as the curmudgeonly Piers Morgan who labeled her a “global bimbo” after she appeared in a LOVE Magazine video clad in her undies and lathered in pasta and olive oil. But many counter that kind of criticism as “sexist” and “stigmatizing,” arguing that there shouldn’t be any limits to a woman’s right to (sexual) self-expression.

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