In the essay she published yesterday on The Cut, Buying Myself Back, Emily Ratajkowski presents to us a series of events from her modeling career, cutting us one anecdote at a time like a ruthless card dealer who knows exactly what your weak points are. Every story centers on the question of her image and its ownership: the first is almost innocuous and certainly not easily sympathetic — I mean, hey, getting sued for posting a cute paparazzi pic on IG? It’s not even a first world problem, more like a “model/celebrity problem;” at any rate, it sure doesn’t feel like a big deal to the rest of us, right?
But this is how she throws you off and how this essay brilliantly drums up an immediate sense of harmless-seeming schadenfreude before she deals you the next card and the next, stacking these increasing gradations of humiliation and objectification and hideous questions of ownership on top of each other until you realize you’ve gone ice cold while scrolling along.
By the time Ratajkowski rips into the finale, you — the informed reader who probably already considers themselves extremely, cynically well-versed in #MeToo and revenge porn and the countless ways entire industries have been constructed atop the abuse of young women — will find yourself horrified anew. Read it now.