In the years since Emily Ratajkowski became a household name (though an often mispronounced one) thanks to her nude appearance in the 2013 music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” the model and social media personality has really redefined her career. She has a notable podcast, a swimwear line, and a bestselling book called My Body. It was in the latter that Ratajkowski opened up about her negative experiences filming “Blurred Lines.” Now, she addressing why after that experience she’s still open to putting her body out there on social media… as long as it’s on her “own terms.”
What Happened With The “Blurred Lines” Music Video?
In 2021, when My Body hit the shelves, the predominant narrative surrounding the book had to do with the model opening up about her experiences on the set of the Robin Thicke music video. This wasn’t the first time that “Blurred Lines” had been a major part of the cultural conversation. Not only had “Blurred Lines” been banned from YouTube compared to other popular music by Marvin Gaye and others, at one point Pharrell Williams even distanced himself from the song in an interview with GQ.
While “Blurred Lines” had initially hired a female director and had been pitched to the women who got naked for the shoot as a safe set, in Ratajkowski’s book she had written about Robin Thicke putting his arms around her and cupping her body in a way that was neither what the set had promised nor made her feel in control of what was happening to her during filming.
She noted she didn’t really “react” at the time when it happened and continued filming the music video, but years later she told the “Sway” podcast she doesn’t regret filming the video.
Despite a bad moment with the singer while filming and generally feeling like a "mannequin" during that gig, she said she did get paid and there were moments of levity with the other women on the set. Though she's said in the past she is "frustrated" with how the "Blurred Lines" story came out.
Why Emily Ratajkowski Still Puts Herself Out There On Social Media
For Ratajkowski, though she claimed she had been groped by Thicke while filming (which her director Diane Martel corroborated) and said the experience stuck with her, she’s also still willing to put herself out there on social media. She’s famous for fashion moments, including rocking the black bikini trend this summer and being an advocate of the sheer dress trend at an Oscars party, but one outlet asked her about why she chooses to put her body out there despite her past experiences. She said in Vogue:
Another interview, with the New York Times podcast “Sway,” has literally being published as “Emily Ratajkowski Isn’t Quite Ready To Quit Profiting Off The Male Gaze.” In it she talked about the “pressure on young women” to be the agents of change in a system built by men -- how she's felt they have to think about what they wear and what power they have in a given situation. She said the reason she’s happy to put herself out there in a way she chooses to on her own, gives her power, or as she put it:
She later said she has a “problem” with young girls being told it’s their fault if they wear a shirt that shows cleavage. She said moments like that make her “feel defiant” and that contributes to her overall take on social media as well.
In the past, she's compared herself to Megan Fox, and ultimately this branding – or a she put it in the podcast – her social media that is “appealing to the male gaze” has led her to unique opportunities. Emily Ratajkowski has been the face of her own swimwear line Inamorata since 2017, and she uses her Instagram to help show off the stuff she's creating. So, at the end of the day, there's a component of it being a business decision too.
Ratajkowski has been putting herself out there since she began modeling at 19, and social media has seemingly been a convenient way to expand her brand. But clearly, she has a lot of complicated feelings about her work and society's expectations in general.