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Emily Ratajkowski Defends Her Nude Selfies While Posing Naked on a Horse

Emily Ratajkowski
Emily Ratajkowski in ‘Harper’s Bazaar.’ Mona Kuhn/Harper's Bazaar

You can’t censor her! To discuss sexuality with Harper’s Bazaar, Emily Ratajkowski posed completely naked for the magazine’s August 2016 issue. The Gone Girl star, 25, who sat atop a white horse with her brunette locks strategically covering her breasts, explained that she was channeling Lady Godiva in a series of Thursday, July 7, Instagram posts … but her stance was completely original.

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“You know, when Lena Dunham takes her clothes off, she gets flak, but it’s also considered brave; when Justin Bieber takes his shirt off, he’s a grown-up,” she told the magazine. “But when a woman who is sexual takes off her top, it plays into something.”

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Godiva, an 11th-century English countess, rode naked throughout the streets of her city to protest taxation. But Ratajkowski, who rose to fame after appearing in Robin Thicke’s 2013 video for “Blurred Lines,” is known for using social media to express her mind. Just take a look at her March 30 selfie with Kim Kardashian, where the topless duo posed with middle fingers blazing. 

Emily Ratajkowski
Emily Ratajkowski Mona Kuhn/Harper's Bazaar

Ratajkowski talked about her reasoning behind the shot, which followed Kardashian’s original nude Instagram from earlier that month. “A selfie is a sort of interesting way to reclaim the gaze, right? You’re looking at yourself and taking a photo while looking at everyone. But also who cares? Kim’s allowed to do what she wants,” Ratajkowski told her interviewer, feminist icon Naomi Wolf. “So I issued a series of tweets; she sent me flowers, thanking me, which was very sweet. We ended up running into each other and had this idea to take a similar selfie with our middle fingers up.”

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But Ratajkowski, who wrote an essay about body shaming for Dunham’s Lenny newsletter in February, has always been aware of her sexuality and the fact that some aren’t comfortable with it.

“I genuinely hit puberty before everyone,” she shared. “I understood that there are all these f–ked-up ideals of beauty put on young women; that there was something to be scared about in the entertainment world. But yet the people I knew in my everyday life, they [didn’t realize] their faux pas, their missteps, and since they knew me, it was that much harder because the comments felt personal.”

The We Are Your Friends star also reflected on her childhood, where she got in trouble with her school’s dress code for her outfits and was harassed about her developed body. But now, she’s not apologizing for her beauty. “Sex is normal. Desire is normal. Attention is normal, and that’s okay.”

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