"I used to like showing people this photo of me at 14 to prove that my body is natural," the model wrote on Instagram. "Now I'm a little sad it exists at all."
Emily Ratajkowski is famous for her natural figure, and it's something she's had to defend over the years.
Rising to fame as the breakout model among the topless beauties in Robin Thicke's now-controversial "Blurred Lines" video in 2013, Ratajkowski has never been shy about her body or emphasizing her femininity and sexuality.
But in looking at a snapshot of her from a more innocent time, the 28-year-old model and actress found herself seeing it in a different light.
"I used to like showing people this photo of me at 14 to prove that my body is natural," she captioned the throwback pic. "Now I'm a little sad it exists at all."
Emphasizing that despite the fact she used this image to prove her womanly shape was all hers, she's now wanting to emphasize "I was just a kid in this picture," adding that she wished "the world had encouraged my 14-year-old self to be more than just my body."
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She's not rejecting her body or her femininity in any way, though. "I do still feel like I've been empowered through my body and my sexuality via modeling and platforms like Instagram," she continued. "Luckily I have discovered the parts of me that are so much more important than 'sexiness.'"
But perhaps the problem is that she was left to discover all that she was "so much more" after she learned about her "sexiness." It's a huge problem with young girls in our overly-sexualized society that they are often quantified by their sexuality first and they're "so much more" later, if at all. And usually much later.
As impossible a task as it may seem for young girls on the cusp of their womanhood, Ratajkowski urges them, "Don't worry about any of that for now."
"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," she wrote. In other words, ignore what society and advertising and the whole world seems to be telling you about where your worth lies. You are more than your body.
Perhaps if we valued the person first, then women could have a healthier relationship with their bodies throughout their lives. And maybe, just maybe, so could men.