Emily Ratajkowski very much wants us all to know—yet again!—that her body, she insists, does not come from exercise. On Sunday, Ratajkowski posted an Instagram video of her Halloween costume, which included assless chaps and a crop top. When Halsey commented “what’s the routine,” the model simply replied, “Just eating good! skipping no meals! Happy girl. 😊😂”
Ratajkowski’s response is, if not entirely believable, then hardly surprising. For years, she’s adamantly denied going to the gym or doing anything more than taking long nature walks. “I don’t have a trainer, and I don’t really go to the gym. I go on long walks and hikes with my girlfriends,” Ratajkowski told the New York Times in 2015. “That’s about it. I’m just not a crazy fitness person. I’m definitely an outlier in the industry.”
Last November, Ratajkowski appeared to give herself a pat on the back for very bravely posting a photo of her stunning, Thanos-like abs, which she captioned, “(almost didn’t post this bc I knew the controversy it would stir up but hey it’s my body and I’m not going to lean into the shaming! God bless!).” The implicit suggestion was that she expected to be “skinny-shamed” (lol) for making the post, when actual, proudly fat celebrities are shamed and harassed into oblivion for posting photos of their bodies.
To be clear, I very much respect that Ratajkowski doesn’t want to glamorize fitness-slash-grind culture, because lord knows we need that, and we certainly need more influential celebrities to emphasize the importance of “not skipping meals.” But I don’t know whether it helps to pretend her extreme abs just occur in nature, without a trainer or extensive fitness regimen, or whether it helps to simply pretend that all of the wellness resources exclusively available to ultra-rich celebrity models simply don’t exist. Because they do! And being forthright about that reality would probably go further toward dismantling the toxicity of how we talk about weight and bodies than not being forthright about it.
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That said, I’m not of the mind that celebrities or anyone, really, should have to constantly talk about or answer repeated questions about their bodies if they don’t want to. And some, like Jonah Hill and Rebel Wilson, have made it unequivocally clear they don’t want questions or even compliments about their figures. As I’ve previously written for Jezebel, even “complimenting” celebrities—or anyone—on their weight loss or thinness can have the same impact as body shaming. It seems best to take a page from Hill and Wilson and just… not make invasive, bodily commentary at all.
In more recent interviews, Ratajkowski said she wants her famously, conventionally perfect body to occupy less of the discourse as she moves on to projects like her podcast and continues to promote her bestselling memoir. But how she speaks about her body still matters, and it doesn’t exactly advance the ever-evolving conversation around bodies and appearances for her to insist her look is ~all natural~.