Emily Ratajkowski reflects on childhood photo: 'I wish the world had encouraged my 14-year-old self to be more than just my body'

Elise Solé
Emily Ratajkowski shared advice to teen girls on Instagram. (Photo: Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

Emily Ratajkowski is reflecting on her 14-year-old self to model empowerment for teen girls.

Posting a throwback photograph of herself on Saturday, the actress-and-swimsuit designer mused about her childhood. “I used to like showing people this photo of me at 14 to prove that my body is natural,” the now 28-year-old explained. “Now I’m a little sad it exists at all. I was just a kid in this picture and I wish the world had encouraged my 14-year-old self to be more than just my body.”

Ratajkowski reflected, “All of that said, I do still feel like I’ve been empowered through my body and my sexuality via modeling and platforms like Instagram. Luckily I have discovered the parts of me that are so much more important than “sexiness,” but if you’re a 14-year-old girl reading this, don’t worry about any of that for now. Read lots of books and know that what you see on Instagram is just a very small fraction of complete and beautifully complex human beings.”

Under the photo, Paris Hilton and Selena Gomez wrote respectively, “You are beautiful inside & out” and “Love this, love you!!”

Positive body image and female empowerment are two of Ratajkowski’s goals — in August, she wrote an essay for Harper’s Bazaar, illustrated by a photo of herself showing off her unshaved armpit. She noted in the story, “On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy.”

Ratajkowski also wrote how growing up, she was discouraged from embracing her feminine and sexual nature and how that misogyny affects her today. In 2018, when the model was arrested in Washington, D.C. during a protest against the nomination of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh who was accused of sexual assault, Ratajkowski was shamed for not wearing bra.

“In their minds, the fact that my body was at all visible had somehow discredited me and my political action. But why?” penned Ratajkowski.

The model nailed her point on Instagram, conjuring replies such as “YOU are an actual role model for girls! Thank you for your words” and “Queen of inspiration.”

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