Model & activist Emily Ratajkowski defends FLOTUS, and vice versa

It girl and mega babe Emily Ratajkowski–better known as @emrata–caused quite a buzz on February 13 when she tweeted the following:

Sat next to a journalist from the NYT last night who told me ‘Melania is a hooker.’ Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for what it is: slut shaming. I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should.

The 25-year-old brunette bombshell, who is a known feminist, activist and Bernie Sanders supporter, defied the mainstream media when she defended First Lady Melania Trump on social media.

In response to Ratajkowski, Trump tweeted the following via her @FLOTUS account:

Applause to all women around the world who speak up, stand up and support other women! @emrata #PowerOfEveryWoman #PowerOfTheFirstLady.

Ratajkowski at an anti-Trump protest at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) [source: Instagram user @emrata]
Since then Jacob Bernstein came out via Twitter (@BernsteinJacob) as the alleged New York Times journalist who slandered Mrs. Trump in what he thought was a “personal conversation” with Ratajkowski.

“My mistake, referring to unfounded rumors, shouldn’t reflect on anyone else and I apologize profusely,” Bernstein writes.

United Kingdom-born, Orange County-raised Ratajkowski often uses her social media platforms to express her viewpoints on feminism and women’s rights, sexuality, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, education and public funding of the arts. Her opinions always align with that of the mainstream liberal media’s. In fact, she gained esteem last February when she told her coming-of-age tale known as Baby Woman in an essay on Lenny Letter.

Though Ratajkowski conforms to conventional beauty standards (let’s face it: she’s gorgeous, and admits to both wearing makeup and shaving her underarms), she was raised by very liberal parents in very liberal environments. Growing up, her parents took her to nude beaches in Europe and exposed her to nude forms in photography and art.

Becoming comfortable with the naked body early in life prepared Ratajkowski for nude modeling; in 2013 she became a household name after appearing topless and in only a flesh-toned thong in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video.

In a 2014 interview with Ocean Drive’s Ray Rogers, Ratajkowski states, “We have this culture of men, especially, watching pornography, but then [they are] offended by a classic nude portrait or photograph, and I’ve never felt that way.”

Ratajkowski posses as Lady Godiva for Harper’s Bazaar, July 2016 [source: Harper’s Bazaar]
Despite her level of comfort with nudity (including her own), Ratajkowski is no stranger to criticism and shame for being openly sexual. After sharing a photo from a Harper’s Bazaar interview last July, in which she posed nude, British journalist and television personality Piers Morgan tweeted at Ratajkowski, “Do you want me to buy you some clothes? You look freezing.”

Ratajkowski responded, “@piersmorgan thanks, but I don’t need clothes as much as you need press.”

Morgan then tweeted, “Given I have 4.2 million more followers than Ms @emrata, I think she might be the one in need of more press” and “Emily Ratajowski posing FULLY-CLOTHED would be a bigger news story.”

In addition to standing up for herself and for current First Lady Melania Trump, Ratajkowski was praised when she posted a topless, albeit censored, snapshot alongside Kim Kardashian last March. The caption reads, “However sexual our bodies may be, we need to h[a]ve the freedom as women to choose wh[e]n & how we express our sexuality.”

This controversial tweet came on the heels of a naked selfie Kardashian posted on Instagram, which received a ton of criticism from those who seek to shame Kardashian for her overt sexuality.

Ratajkowski at an anti-Trump protest the day after his inauguration [source: Instagram user @emrata]
As the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Teen Vogue contributor Brittney McNamara sheds light on the Ratajkowski-Trump situation in an article published February 13:

‘Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for what it is: slut shaming. I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should,’ Emily wrote on Twitter. ‘Gender specific attacks are disgusting sexist bullshit.’

There are many reasons to watch what Melania does and how she handles the office of the First Lady. But her sexuality has nothing to do with her execution of office. Melania has claimed the escort rumors are completely false and the Daily Mail has indicated there is no evidence to suggest they are true. More importantly, alleging someone was a sex worker and using that as an insult is not OK. Being a sex worker can be a personal, valid choice. So even if she were a sex worker, it shouldn’t matter because it has nothing to do with whether she would be a good First Lady. Like Emily said, this is a gender-based attack. It seeks to undermine Melania as an intelligent woman by bringing up her sexual history. It depends upon the old idea that women can’t be both sexual and successful, and that’s frankly just untrue (something Emily has schooled us on before).

Regardless of your politics, attacking Melania with sexist, slut shaming insults will do more harm than good.

Though her views differ greatly from that of the Trump Administration (and my own), Ratajkowski deserves praise from all sides of the political spectrum. Wise beyond her years, Ratajkowski exhibits true feminism–not the so-called “Internet feminism” that plagues social media today. Instead of engaging in the hypocritical, all-bark-and-no-bite feminism to which her peers often turn, she uses her social status to stand up for what is right–not what is popular. Her voice is a breath of fresh air that sets her apart from other Hollywood-type stars and mainstream media leftists.

Ratajkowski at a New Hampshire Bernie Sanders rally in early 2016 [source: Instagram user @emrata]
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