Actress and model Emily Ratajkowski has shown off a fresh patch of armpit hair in a bid to promote her message of female empowerment and women “exercising their ability to choose.”
In an essay for the September edition of Harper’s Bazaar, the Gone Girl actress showcases a patch of armpit hair while wearing a black lace bra.
“If I decide to shave my armpits or grow them out, that’s up to me,” Ratajkowski contended. “For me, body hair is another opportunity for women to exercise their ability to choose—a choice based on how they want to feel and their associations with having or not having body hair. On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy.”
— Harper's Bazaar (@harpersbazaarus) August 8, 2019
“And there is no right answer, no choice that makes me more or less of a feminist, or even a ‘bad feminist,’ to borrow from [writer] Roxane Gay,” Emily Ratajkowski continued. “As long as the decision is my choice, then it’s the right choice. Ultimately, the identity and sexuality of an individual is up to them and no one else.”
Despite building a career out of her willingness to disrobe and share risqueé photos, Ratajkowski also argued that young women were being “ripped apart” for failing to meet conventional beauty standards.
Eternal Easter vibe pic.twitter.com/y2fWKrjbj7
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) April 21, 2019
“Young women are ripped apart from every angle as they grow up. In the era of selfies and social media, they are prone to immediate feedback and criticism,” she explained. “More than ever, they are doubting and questioning everything about their identities.”
While admitting that she’s “positive that many of the ways I continue to be ‘sexy’ are heavily influenced by misogyny,” the model says “it feels good to me, and it’s my damn choice, right? Isn’t that what feminism is about—choice?”
And Emily Ratajkowski often choses to display her version of female empowerment in the form of high-end and sexualized photoshoots.
Ratajkowski also used the essay to complain about the “shaming” she received after she went braless to protest the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She was later arrested by police alongside comedienne Amy Schumer.
“When I was arrested in D.C. protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a man who has shown a gross amount of disrespect toward women in his life, the headlines were not about what I was protesting but instead about what kind of shirt I was wearing,” she said.
Today I was arrested protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a man who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Men who hurt women can no longer be placed in positions of power. pic.twitter.com/nnwq1O4qk3
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) October 4, 2018
“Even women from the left, who fully supported the purpose of my protest, made comments about my missing bra underneath my white tank and jeans,” she continued. “In their minds, the fact that my body was at all visible had somehow discredited me and my political action.”
The 28-year-old model-turned-progressive activist regularly attracts media attention for her revealing outfits, causing vicious debate among feminists over whether she truly helps or hinders women’s empowerment. Last year, she argued it was “insane” to suggest women cannot simultaneously be feminists and wear revealing clothing.
“I don’t really care if me wearing a crop top is somehow playing into some patriarchy, because it makes me feel good about myself, and I shouldn’t be limited on that,” she said in an interview with Vogue. “Making rules as to what a feminist should look like or wear is insane to me.”