Emily Ratajkowski wins in the Instagram era: She has 28.6 million followers and has spent more than half her life earning a living as a model. But even on her level of success, she still wonders: When you make a living off your craving, is the strength of your body your strength?
It’s one of the questions she explores in her first book of essays, My Body. Because so far, she is still working on getting the attention of her followers. “I want them to see and look at me and also click on the link to read the article that interests me,” she says. Instagram describes an enabling tool to nurture and control her narrative. But she also sees the platform as a “verification machine” that can quickly turn toxic, especially for teenage girls navigating a world shaped by the male gaze.
In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Ratajkowski why she chose to stay in modeling for now, despite her ambivalence about the profession and the double-edged sword of beauty. They also discussed how she wishes she was angrier and why she didn’t regret her appearance in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video.
This episode contains vulgar language.
(The full text of the episode will be available at midday on the Times website.)
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“Sway” produced by Nayma Raza, Blakeney Shake, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe, Elisa Gutierrez Wyatt Orme, edited by Nayma Raza, Blakeney Shake and Alison Prosek; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing Carol Sapporo and Sonya Herrero; Audience Strategy by Shannon Posta. Special thanks to Kristen Lin and Mahima Cheblany.