Emily Ratajkowski Posts Abs-Baring Photos She Knows Will 'Stir Up' Controversy: 'It's My Damn Body'
Emily Ratajkowski is refusing to "lean in" to body shaming.
The 30-year-old supermodel shared several photos of her look at the CFDA Fashion Awards earlier this month on Instagram Wednesday, explaining in the caption that she "almost didn't post them" because she knew they would "stir up" controversy.
"But hey it's my body and I'm not going to lean into the shaming!" Ratajkowski declared. "God bless!"
Ratajkowski arrived at the event — which honored Zendaya with the Fashion Icon award — in a Miu Miu look that consisted of a cropped sweater layered over a cropped collared shirt and paired with a long, low-rise navy skirt. The star kept her hair and makeup natural and accessorized with a black leather clutch.
The model also shared the in-feed post on her Instagram Story with the same caption written over the photos. Ratajkowski's statement about body shaming comes after she published a book of essays titled My Body earlier this month in which she explores her relationship with self-image.
In My Body, she reveals how her mother Kathleen Balgley taught her to prioritize beauty at a young age — and how much her parents, Balgley, a former English professor, and her dad, John Ratajkowski, an artist, relied on her while navigating their turbulent marriage.
"Beauty was a way for me to be special," writes Ratajkowski. "When I was special, I felt my parents' love for me the most."
My Body is a nuanced look at Ratajkowski's evolving understanding of her own power as a woman and as a model. At turns, she's felt both empowered and reduced to a sexual object when she capitalized on her body "within the confines of a cis-hetero, capitalist, patriarchal world," she writes. Ratajkowski recounts abuse by boys and men both inside and outside the modeling industry, including her claim that Robin Thicke touched her inappropriately on the set of his 2013 music video "Blurred Lines." (After the news broke last month, the singer didn't respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.)
"Whatever influence and status I've gained were only granted to me because I appealed to men," Ratajkowski writes in the book's introduction. "My position brought me in close proximity to wealth and power and brought me some autonomy, but it hasn't resulted in true empowerment. That's something I've gained only now, having written these essays and given voice to what I've thought and experienced."