Emily Ratajkowski is sometimes a magnet for attention on the internet. Sometimes for her gorgeous looks and modeling photos, sometimes for her outspoken feminism and sex positive activism. Often for both.
Just recently, Ratajkowski owned Piers Morgan for his willful refusal to understand that feminism doesn’t require a shirt.
Now, however, Ratajkowski’s at the center of a controversy that has nothing to do with her boobs. And it’s her fellow feminists who are taking her to task.
Emily Ratajkowski is a skilled actress, a gorgeous model, and a well-reasoned activist who uses her fame and beauty as a platform to make the world a better place.
And to think: it wasn’t all that many years ago when she was playing a recurring character on erstwhile ratings juggernaut iCarly.
(She is, perhaps, better known for her role in the critically acclaimed film, Gone Girl, or for appearing in that awful “Blurred Lines” music video)
While not everyone is going to agree with Emily Ratajkowski’s every point — disagreements on one point or another are just part of being a person, folks — it’s rare to see her get slammed like this.
But, when see the now-deleted Instagram post of hers, you’ll see why.
So, Emily Ratajkowski’s Instagram account posted this message:
“Hair is a fundamental part of beauty, femininity, and identity. So excited to announce that I am the new face of @kerastase_official! Welcome good hair days!”
It’s deleted now, but here’s the photographic evidence that you may crave:
In case you didn’t spot it, there’s a huge issue with that — and it’s not that Ratajkowski is now the face of a beauty company.
No, her fans are happy to see her modeling work.
The issue was that weird, tone-deaf statement about hair’s supposed role in beauty, femininity, and identity.
The bit about beauty is pretty true; the bit about identity is arguable. The idea that hair is a fundamental part of femininity is nonsense.
One person tweeted:
“She’s hot but @emrata is an ignorant fool. What a horrible caption that implies that women with heredity hair loss or have lost hair due to illness are not beautiful or feminine enough. @KerastaseUSA @KerastaseUK: You’re better than that.”
Fool is a little harsh, especially since this message seemed like it just came with her job.
And another tweeted:
“Hey @emrata – no, hair truly is not fundamental to beauty/femininity. Please cancel your mind numbing preachings on ‘empowerment’.”
Others chimed in, coming after Emily Ratajkowski’s feminist credentials.
“Sorry $ emrata honey but you’re not a feminist / activist. Your statement about hair being fundamental to someone’s identity was shallow as hell, Im pretty sure you’re just a hypocrite.”
And this next tweet could have been a criticism of just about any beauty company, honestly.
“Learned to love myself & appreciate the things that make me unique.. as long as I have a long flowing perfect bouncy blow dry. You’re not kidding anyone.”
Unless a company’s spokesmodel is Amber Rose, most of them tend to give off this message with their gorgeous models anyway.
Most don’t … write it.
So, first of all, the Instagram post was amended to take out the bit about hair’s intrinsic role.
Second of all, Kerastase issued an apology:
“Of course beauty is not defined by your hair, beauty is something more spiritual, beauty is an attitude coming from inside each of us. Our new muse, Emily, thinks that her hair is a way to express herself. As she said, ‘Everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own way’ and we agree.”
Does it feel like they just threw Emily Ratajkowski under the bus?
“We apologize for the misunderstanding of our previous caption because it seems like we were making a one-way statement, forgetting the rest of the multiple variations of beauty. We honestly tell you we’re very sorry and thanks for your testimony because through it we are learning everyday.”
This is especially odd, since we don’t even know if it was Emily who wrote that message in the first place. Or if she was the one who fixed it.
Femininity isn’t about hair, it’s about who you are. We don’t know if we’d give it as flowery of a description as Kerastase did, but whatever.
The fact that Emily Ratajkowski hasn’t commented on this at all suggests, to us, that she might be busy doing literally anything else and just figured that her management or whoever else has access to her social media was doing this and handling it.
But even if she wrote this, it was just a mistake. It doesn’t mean that she’s not a feminist or whatever.
There’s a strange sort of “purity culture” in politics right now, and it’s often enforced through social media — where what you say lives on forever. It’s toxic, and it hurts movements like feminism when people attack each other.
Did that statement deserve to be called out? Absolutely.
Is Emily Ratajkowski a “fool” or whatever? No.