Emily Ratajkowski on bleaching her hair and rebellious female role models

Plus, the model-turned-actress has landed another movie role

Emily Ratajkowski has wooed us all summer with her impeccable personal style. Whether she’s slumming it in an off-duty ripped jeans and crop-top combo while walking her dog LA, or slicking up for an a-list event, Em nails it. But there is far more to this 24-year-old than an enviable wardrobe, and recently she’s pitched herself as a talented actress and a modern, female role model with a progressive stance on empowerment. 
Emily’s next gig is a role on the new Netflix show Easy, which explores a set of diverse Chicago-based characters as they fumble through the complexities of love, sex, and culture in the modern world. The model-turned actress is said to be unrecognisable in the show, courtesy of a new bleach blonde ‘do. Speaking on her dramatic hair change, Emily confessed to WWD that she has always had a rebellious streak when it comes to beauty: ‘I think with my [modelling] job I could never do that, but I was going to art school at UCLA before I started doing this full-time and I think of myself as someone who maybe would have been very anti-conformist beauty-wise, so it was fun to play that type.’ 
She went on to explain that the women she looks up to are equally as self-assured, the ‘old-school’ set such as Patti Smith, Bianca Jagger, Naomi Wolf and Gloria Steinem. They are, in her eyes, ‘Women who are tough and cool and have a lot to say including their style and personal aesthetic.’
Earlier this year, the 24-year-old broke the internet when she posted a nearly-nude bathroom selfie with Kim Kardashian to her 5.7 million followers, with a caption that read: ‘We are more than just our bodies, but that doesn’t mean we have to be shamed for them or our sexuality. #liberated @kimkardashian’. While her mode of expressing her freedom and femininity was met with a fair share of criticism, she stands by her words, having previously penned a heartfelt Lenny Letter (Lena Dunham and Jennifer Konner’s weekly online feminist newsletter) defending herself and other women who share scantily clad photos on social media and refuting that they pander to the male gaze:
‘To me, “sexy” is a kind of beauty, a kind of self-expression, one that is to be celebrated, one that is wonderfully female. Why does the implication have to be that sex is a thing men get to take from women and women give up?…Where can girls look to see women who find empowerment in deciding when and how to be or feel sexual? Even if being sexualised by society’s gaze is demeaning, there must be a space where women can still be sexual when they choose to be.’
Emily will be heading to London next month to begin filming In Darkness, a movie that is produced by and starring Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer. While we excitedly wait for that to wrap, set your calendars for the first instalment of Easy on September 22 to see Emily rock the role and her badass new look.

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