- Emily Ratajkowski is a model, actress, activist & author
- the dangerous paragraph in BuzzFeed about Emily Ratajkowski’s body
- you CAN ❤️ love your body and eat your cake too
- a lot of women think this way… but it’s the OPPOSITE of what I teach
- the 3rd Option that helped me lose 30 pounds 22+ years ago
Emily Ratajkowski wrote a book called “My Body”
Then BuzzFeed wrote an article about Emily Ratajkowski’s book.
Now I’m blogging about BuzzFeed’s article about Emily Ratajkowski’s book.
…who will write about me to make this set of nesting dolls complete?
But what I really want to know is…
Why are people
like the one I read in BuzzFeed
about Emily Ratajkowski’s body?
Who Is Emily Ratajkowski?
Emily Ratajkowski, pronounced Rad-a-kow-ski (click to hear: ) is a:
author of a book of essays called “My Body.”
She was born in 1991 and broke into popular culture when she appeared on the cover of the erotic magazine treats.
Wow! When I do my fact-checking I. Go. Deep.
I first saw Emily Ratajkowski in the music video “Blurred Lines”
You know, the video with Robin Thicke?
(Emily Ratajkowski has the reddish-brown hair.)
Pharrell Williams, a stuffed (toy) dog and rapper T.I. are some of the others who appear in the video.
→ T.I. is the guy who calls the mother of some of his kids “a situation.”
The short exchange (below) won’t clear up what he means…
But when I hear quality conversation, I spring into action.
So here’s a transcript I felt compelled to create (while
watching Youtube doing research for this post).
Here’s T.I.’s explanation of his “situation” as told on Chelsea Lately:
Chelsea: Do you have a girlfriend?
T.I.: Do I have a girlfriend? Well, [those] who know me know my situation.
Chelsea: <Shocked, genuine and truly-enjoying-herself laughter> …What’s the situation?
T.I.: I have a, a, a… considerable situation. Very significant.
Chelsea: Very significant…
T.I.: And important…
Chelsea: A consistent
Chelsea: Relationship… Girlfriend…
T.I.: … … …Situation.
So ya, let’s get back to Emily Ratajkowski and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad paragraph that was written in BuzzFeed about her body.
Blurred Lines, starring Emily Ratajkowski
…was played on repeat in 2013.
The first time I heard this song was audio-only.
I was in my grandfather’s beige Buick Custom Cruiser—the car Alex and I drove for years after we moved back to Canada from England.
It was a hot, summery afternoon in June, and I was on my way to return beer bottles to a Beer Store in North Toronto.
I’d recovered from my eating disorder about 13 years earlier and had just presented Who Is NOBODY?, the classroom program I developed that helps students build their identity on their interests so they can experience that beautiful sense of PURPOSE and BELONGING that you get from using what you ❤️ love to do, to help others…
…Instead of pouring your energy
into trying to be “perfect”
which can lead to fixating on food and weight
and getting all the WRONG information
that puts you at war with your body.
Like my “situation.”
Like the “situation” I had with my body from the ages of 14 to 24.
(As one of my clients who had a similar, significant and consistent situation <she’s now 365+ days free of bulimia!> said to me this morning: “I got to the point that I started to believe that I’d only achieve what I wanted to achieve if I was a certain weight.”)
So, on that hot, summery afternoon in June I pulled into the Beer Store with…
Blurred Lines, starring Emily Ratajkowski, *semi* blaring
And I stayed in the car until the song came to an end.
Then the DJ played it again because, well, he loved it too.
Blurred Lines is super mellow.
And when you’re stressed out and worried about details… It sort of pulls you out of the weeds and gets you feeling like you’re back up on your blue blow-up cushion and under the sun with your eyes closed.
I guess what I’m trying to say is Blurred Lines is akin to a lullaby.
…until you see the video. (Or actually listen to the lyrics.)
I wonder if Emily Ratajkowski collects money-back beer bottles?
We used to fish out bottles from the garbage room in our complex the year I resigned from my full-time teaching job to create Who Is NOBODY?
↑ That’s me (with Rocky way in the back) in our garbage room mock-throwing out a scale. (We donated it to the Salvation Army after finding this scale on a dog walk.) The above pic is from a different post.
One year I returned enough beer bottles to buy a lap top.
Another year I ran over a bottle as I drove out of our garage and burst a tire. And the whole ordeal cost more than the bottles we’d saved… Especially as I had to immediately grab a cab to get to a meeting across town in rush hour. A meeting at the Toronto District School Board, where I’d been waiting to present Who Is NOBODY? for 6 months.
We no longer collect beer bottles.
Emily Ratajkowski’s music video debut
Blurred Lines is instantly catchy so when I got home I Googled it on my money-back-beer-bottle laptop.
That was the first time I saw Emily Ratajkowski.
And I loved her immediately because she is everything I’m not:
Completely confident in her own skin.
Blurred Lines became one of the best-selling singles of all time.
There’s TONS written about this video.
Here’s a taste…
Blurred Lines is a video that’s:
…a masterpiece of idiocy and the level of stupidity and arrogance required in order for a video this banal, offensive and unimaginative is almost impressive… except, it’s not impressive at all, is it? It’s ugly sexist uninspired bullshit dressed up as naughtiness, and it’s creepy…
– Bertie Brandes, Vice Magazine
Emily Ratajkowski is many things
And one of the lists and polls she frequently ranks is “sex symbol.”
I thought Emily Ratajkowski was great in the movie Gone Girl.
You probably saw it too.
She played Ben Affleck’s mistress.
Emily Ratajkowski has also:
- raised funds
- done public service announcements
- and promoted reproductive and sexual health in a short film
for Planned Parenthood.
Emily’s also written for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter in 2016
Her essay was to share how she finds self-empowerment in “defining and owning the expression of her sexuality and body.”
Emily Ratajkowski’s letter was quickly republished and praised by:
The Huffington Post
& the Daily Mirror
While many celebrate Emily Ratajkowski, others criticize her
Like you’ll get the odd Charlotte Gill who penned a piece for The Independent to acknowledge that she was in the minority when she found Emily Ratajkowski’s Lenny Letter “rambling” and “dull”.
But for me, this was the most interesting analysis of Emily Ratajkowski’s thoughts on female sexual empowerment:
Emily’s essay identifies a societal catch-22, which showcases how female sexuality that may “offend, excite, or create envy” leads to criticism and body shaming.
– Erin Coulehan, Salon
You ain’t nobody til somebody says somethin’ sassy about ya!
…Isn’t that the saying?
And further, you just can’t win, right?
Or I should say…
You just can’t win over EVERYBODY if you’re truly being yourself.
When you put your genuine self out there
…you’re going to compel and repel.
Which is kind of magical.
Because then you find your kindred spirits and can spend all your time being YOU.
→ Too many people chop off all their best parts trying to fit into a mold somebody else made.
We don’t need no cookie cutters!
And by simply being YOU, you encourage others to be authentic too… no matter how different you both are.
I’ve always applauded Emily Ratajkowski
I’m self conscious in a tank top.
My upbringing was very conservative.
I feel most comfortable button-ed up.
And I’m good with that.
(This outfit was waaaaay outside my wheel house. But sometimes it’s fun to hang out in somebody else’s wheel house.)
And at the same time I love Emily Ratajkowski for being comfortable unclothed.
(Thou… she’s topped many “Best Dressed” lists.)
Not to sound like a Gr. 8 Science Teacher, but diversity makes the world go round.
Emily Ratajkowski makes me feel liberated!
I don’t know much about her, really, especially before I wrote this post.
But since 2013 I’ve had the impression she has a sort of F-you-I’m-being-me-ness about her.
Whether she does or not, I’ll never know.
And I don’t need to know.
Her public persona reminds me to feel free to stick my chin out and be bold when there’s something that matters to me.
…Like I never thought I’d talk about my complicated relationship with food.
But I’m inspired by people like Emily Ratajkowski who talk about what matters to them.
women have the right to express their sexuality and share their bodies however they choose
So that’s a tiny bit about Emily Ratajkowski
How she uses her celebrity to support the empowerment of women and women’s sexuality.
And why it’s probably no surprise she called her book “My Body.”
The scene is set.
So we can properly discuss:
The dangerous paragraph about Emily’s Ratajkowski’s body
I haven’t read Emily Ratajkowski’s book.
(It’s not out at the time of me typing. Plus I have a massive pile of other books sitting under my desk that have been waiting for me to read.)
But I’ve read BuzzFeed’s article about Emily Ratajkjowski’s book
And here’s the dangerous paragraph:
…I think about my weight constantly, even if I work hard to avoid negative thoughts about it. I eat what I like, but I still rotate through obsession and guilt. The many of us with body anxiety or disordered eating know that diets don’t work, but we keep trying, hoping to be the exception to the rule. We calorie-count, even subconsciously, and eat controlled meals that give us no pleasure but fuel us to work out harder, tone up, and slim down. People are entitled to look however they want, Ratajkowski included, even if her body sometimes makes me feel bad about my own.
To begin, nobody and nobody’s body can make you feel badly about your own.
We get to decide that for ourselves.
But the real trouble with this paragraph is that BuzzFeed is suggesting every avenue to be a weight you’re happy about has been explored.
And it hasn’t.
(More on that in a moment.)
Why this paragraph about Emily Ratajkowski is dangerous
BuzzFeed has 50 million unique readers monthly.
That’s a huge crowd of people who look to BuzzFeed for information.
To cover what you care about, break big stories that hold major institutions accountable for their actions, and expose injustices that change people’s lives.
-Buzzfeed on Buzzfeed
But Buzzfeed’s paragraph about Emily Ratajkowski’s body perpetuates the idea that being a healthy weight is HARD. Maybe impossible.
And that you have to do unhealthy things to be a healthy weight.
We’re conditioned to believe weight loss is about sacrifice, willpower and discipline.
And BuzzFeed’s story adds authority to that mistruth.
BuzzFeed’s article about Emily Ratajkowski feeds into chronic dieting
As an authority they should know better.
Many people are chronic dieters.
Things never get bad enough for them to really do anything about it.
Then there’s people like me
I was caught in the starve-binge-purge cycle for 10 years.
And I punished myself every time I broke my diet by not letting myself:
- touch our family dog
- go to class when I was in university
- play sports or do anything social
I used all the things I cared about as ransom, to try to make me stick to my diet.
And I always tried to up-the-anti so the stakes would be too high for me to break my diet.
But let me report-back
…this approach NEVER worked.
It’s self-sabotage people!! xo
Eventually my whole life was riding on whether or not I thought I ate one bite too many…
One bite too many and I wouldn’t let myself do anything productive that day.
Soon I was “off” my diet more than I was on… and out-of-the-loop of everything I loved.
Like I hadn’t been to class in ages.
My complicated relationship with food created a secret, second life
Then one day I woke up and truly believed I ruined my future.
And I had no idea how to make it better.
That’s when I said:
I wanted to get that feeling back when you stay up late studying and your Psych exam is a breeze.
And I was missing out on all the fun of showering, pulling on jeans that feel good, trying a new eye shadow color on a face that didn’t hurt from making myself sick. Then meeting up with friends. And friend’s friends.
I was so scared about where my life was headed I stopped dieting
I stopped restricting!
And that’s when I lost 30 pounds for good.
That was 22+ years ago.
The pic above is from the back of my book.
The writing was originally 500+ words in font size 8…
But my editor was like: Kelly, let’s try to boil down that message a bit.
So I thought about my BIG message.
I started asking myself:
If I only had 10 seconds with you
in a quiet corner at a cafe…
what’s the ONE thing I’d say?
There it is.
In the photo, above. ↑↑↑
Articles like BuzzFeed’s on Emily Ratajkowski’s body
…capture all the confusion.
Less people would be chronic dieters and fewer people would crash and burn, like I did, if the word on the street was THE TRUTH.
As I say on this page of my book’s intro:
I mean, even people who are considered a healthy weight make weight loss complicated!!
So this BuzzFeed Article about Emily Ratajkowski’s body suggests we either:
1. Unhappily accept our bodies:
“…work hard to avoid negative thoughts about it.
I eat what I like, but I still rotate through obsession and guilt.”
“…calorie-count, even subconsciously,
and eat controlled meals that give us no pleasure
but fuel us to work out harder, tone up, and slim down.”
But what about Option #3?!
The option BuzzFeed and MILLIONS of women and men haven’t yet explored…
What I teach my 1:1 clients and am LOVING sharing in my group program:
3. Get into a personalized routine that you and your body ❤️ LOVE.
(I call it the GOLD Standard Routine)
- have more energy
- stop being preoccupied by food
- & unlock your HAPPY weight—without dieting
I thought I was addicted to food… until I got into the GOLD Standard Routine.
I lost 30 pounds when I got into a routine I LOVE
Stop rotating between obsession and guilt.
Stop going to extremes.
No more dieting!
Dieting works AGAINST your body.
Instead… get into a ROUTINE you and your body ❤️ love.
Work WITH your body!
Your body isn’t different to your friends and family members who don’t diet but are a healthy weight.
As one of my clients said to me recently:
You’ve taught me that we don’t have to do anything WEIRD to lose weight.
Or another client who’s back to her pre-pregnancy weight and has completely STOPPED counting calories:
Dieting won’t get you the body you want. Dieting is a scam.
After dieting since I was 13 years old, working with Kelly was the biggest wake-up call of my life. It’s unbelievable how dramatically, but simply, my life has changed in just a short time. Considering that my son just turned one a month ago, it’s pretty incredible that I have more energy and feel like the best version of myself that I’ve ever been in my whole life. And I’m not addicted to sugar like I thought I was.
And another one of the amazing gals I’ve had the chance to work with:
For 21 years dieting stopped me from living. I felt so lonely in this diet hell. I was just screaming inside: “How do I break this diet cycle?” Asking for help changed my life. I feel really empowered that I was able to tell Kelly all about what I used to see as my shameful disordered eating. I haven’t gained any weight by eating more and much better food (this has been an amazing breakthrough). The biggest change is that I’m so incredibly productive. Now I feel free because I’ve unpacked this huge cloud that was about to ruin another 20 years of my life.
Why am I sharing these stories?
Because I want you to know: I’m not the exception.
All of our bodies WANT to be a healthy weight!
Because all your body’s jobs are easier when you’re a healthy weight.
Stop dieting and work WITH your body!
So, even if 99 people tell you to diet
…I hope that you just need one person who:
dieted for 10 years
crashed and burned
just wanted to feel normal
built a healthy (simple!) routine (full of regular food)
that gave her time to LIVE between meals
unlocked her HAPPY weight—without dieting.
I hope you’ll believe her (me!) instead of the 99 people who push dieting and are STILL struggling… like the author in BuzzFeed.
Gaga saying ‘There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don’t believe in you but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life…” but every time Bradley Cooper dies a little more inside… pic.twitter.com/4F3V3APbXJ
— Alfie Green (@ItsAlfieGreen) October 24, 2018
I love Lady Gaga!
She fully commits herself to anything she does.
I’d even hazard a guess that she’s Type A.
And if there’s a message she believes in, that she wants you to internalize, she’ll keep saying it ’til you believe her.
Until you change your “situation.”
Biggest take-away from analyzing the article about Emily Ratajkowski’s body?
The most important message in this post?
The injustices I aimed to expose in this article that changed my life?
The black and white (not blurred) bottom line?
Make Today Count
Things aren’t always what they seem.
Dieting doesn’t help you lose weight!
It helps you obsess over food, feel guilty, build unhealthy habits and in my experience, dieting helps you GAIN weight.
There’s no magic bullet.
It’s all about building a routine you ❤️ love.
Want to #MakeTodayCount?
How about leaving a comment below and committing to: STOP dieting!!!
Put that life-changing decision out there into the world.
Fully commit to it.
And if you’re not ready to stop dieting, how about leaving a comment below to say why?
Stop living in a silo.
Conversations take you where you need to go. xo
Get into a healthy eating and exercise routine. A healthy weight will follow
How about breaking the diet cycle and trying my ONE DAY Meal Plan? Get it INSTANTLY, below! ↓↓↓
(T.I. is in the purple suit.)
Ok. So, you tell me.
Is this video starring Emily Ratajkowski
…a masterpiece of idiocy?
Or banal, offensive and unimaginative?
There’s been so many lawsuits that have ensued since Blurred Lines hit the scene that I can’t really answer objectively.
But what I can commit to, is that next time I see something that’s ugly, sexist uninspired bullshit dressed up as naughtiness and creepy, I’ll call a spade a spade. (Just gotta commit that string of words to memory.)
As for Emily Ratajkowski, I admire anyone who’s authentic
As long as they’re not hurting anyone else.
And I want to thank her for challenging me to be myself in my own way, by putting herself out there in her own way.
Articles mentioned in this post about Emily Ratajkowski’s body:
BuzzFeed: Emily Ratajkowski’s book tests the limits of self awareness
Chelsey Lately: Interviews T.I. about his “situation” (5:25)
“I’ve been planning your life for quite some time.”
Emily Ratajkowski’s book: My Body available here
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it