"If I decide to shave my armpits or grow them out, that's up to me," Ratajkowski wrote. "For me, body hair is another opportunity for women to exercise their ability to choose -- a choice based on how they want to feel and their associations with having or not having body hair. On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy."
"And there is no right answer, no choice that makes me more or less of a feminist, or even a 'bad feminist,' to borrow from Roxane Gay," she continued. "As long as the decision is my choice, then it's the right choice. Ultimately, the identity and sexuality of an individual is up to them and no one else."
The "Gone Girl" star, who recalled being feminine and girly from a young age, spoke about an experience that made her feel insecure about being "hyper femme."
"Two summers ago, while vacationing with my friend and her girlfriend, my friend made an offhand remark about me being 'hyper femme,'" Ratajkowski recalled. "It kind of threw me because in many ways, probably like anyone would, I felt that her comment was an oversimplification of my identity. In my day-to-day life, I was not aware of being femme or masc or anything but just me. Her observation surprised me and made me feel suddenly self-conscious."
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
This made her question what could be negative about being "femme."
"I realized then that my feeling was in part because of those countless experiences -- experiences in which men and women had told me that if I dressed a certain way I wouldn't be taken seriously and could even be put in danger," Ratajkowski expressed. "Still, despite all the uncomfortable remarks and warnings, being 'sexy' and occasionally hyper feminine grew into something that felt like strength to me. And also, it just felt like me, which was ultimately the most satisfying feeling."
"It feels good to me, and it's my damn choice, right? Isn't that what feminism is about -- choice?" she wrote regarding the sexualized aspect of her public persona. "Despite the countless experiences I've had in which I was made to feel extremely ashamed and, at times, even gross for playing with sexiness, it felt good to play with my feminine side then, and it still does now. I like feeling sexy in the way that makes me, personally, feel sexy. Period"
The "I Feel Pretty" actress pointed out how today's culture isn't just scared of women, but the "innate power that female sexuality possesses."
"A woman becomes too powerful and thus threatening when she takes strength from embracing her sex," Ratajkowski wrote. "Therefore we insist on shaming; we insist that a woman loses something when she flaunts or embraces her sexuality."
"Personally, I have found the opposite to be true," she added. "I feel powerful when I'm feeling myself, and sometimes feeling myself means wearing a miniskirt. Sometimes it means wearing a giant hoodie and sweats. Sometimes I feel particularly strong and free when I don't wear a bra under a tank top. That's just me, in that moment."