Emily Ratajkowski Wishes She Had Been Encouraged to 'Be More Than Just My Body' in Throwback Post

Emily Ratajkowski shared a message to 14-year-old girls in her throwback Instagram post

Emily Ratajkowski is sharing a throwback photo of her 14-year-old self in order to send a message to other teenage girls.

The model and influencer, now 28, posted an old picture of herself as a teenager wearing a bikini and posing for the camera.

“I used to like showing people this photo of me at 14 to prove that my body is natural,” she wrote on Instagram Saturday. “Now I’m a little sad it exists at all. I was just a kid in this picture and I wish the world had encouraged my 14-year-old self to be more than just my body.”

“All of that said, I do still feel like I’ve been empowered through my body and my sexuality via modeling and platforms like Instagram,” Ratajkowski continued. “Luckily I have discovered the parts of me that are so much more important than ‘sexiness,’ but if you’re a 14-year-old girl reading this, don’t worry about any of that for now.”

The actress concluded her caption by addressing 14-year-old girls: “Read lots of books and know that what you see on Instagram is just a very small fraction of complete and beautifully complex human beings.”

Ratajkowski’s famous friends commented supportive messages on her post, including Selena Gomez, who wrote, “Love this, love you!!”

“You are beautiful inside & out!??,” Paris Hilton wrote.

Emily Ratajkowski
Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Ratajkowski — who launched her own swimsuit and intimates brand, Inamorata, in 2017 — previously spoke to PEOPLE about feeling “ashamed” of her body when she was a teenager.

“I developed super young,” the model told PEOPLE Now in June. “I was criticized, so at 13 I felt really ashamed of my body.”

Now, Ratajkowski said she’s “come full circle” and is all about “body positivity” and inspiring young girls.

“I’ve come full circle, and now I’m like, ‘Do your thing,'” she said. “I really want young girls to see that and feel that way about themselves.”

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