V131: Golden Age With Emily Ratajkowski

The author & model talks finding her voice through publishing her groundbreaking essay “Buying Myself Back” and navigating motherhood.

This cover story appears in V131, available for purchase now

V Magazine: Was there a moment that was a turning point in your career?

Emily Ratajkowski: In the last few years I grew up a lot. I stopped paying attention to what people were telling me to do and focused on what felt right to me. I started writing. Publishing one of my essays, entitled “Buying Myself Back” in New York Magazine in 2020 felt like a big turning point for me.

V: What was the spark that first made you want to do what you do?

ER: The spark was always there! Since before I can remember I’ve been looking for ways to express myself.

V: What’s a passion or interest you have that people might not know about?

ER: I really love interior decorating. Putting together a space brings me so much joy.

V: What do you remember about your first pair of denim? What made it special?

ER: The way they made my butt look. (Laughs)

V: What’s the secret to looking good in a pair of jeans?

ER: A good belt. I own a leather hole puncher so that I can always throw a belt on a pair of jeans and adjust them, even if they’re not fitting perfectly.

Top The Row, Pants LOIS JEANS + V DENIM,  Cuffs Elsa Peretti® Small Bone Cuff in 18K Gold for Tiffany & Co., Belt Kieselstein-Cord


V: What advice would you give to your teenage self?

ER: Trust your instincts and don’t put up with so much bullshit.

V: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability, what would it be? 

ER: I’d love to speak a foreign language fluently or have an incredible singing voice. Talk about a great way to express yourself!

V: What is a piece of art that has shaped the way you see the world?

ER: Recently, I reread Carmen Maria Machado’s In The Dream House, and the way she played with metaphor and structure has made me think a lot about how to reconceptualize traditional storytelling.

V: What words do you live by?

ER: Joan Didion’s “Do not whine…Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone” was the background of my phone while I was writing. It helped keep me focused.

V: As your cover launches on Fourth of July weekend, what would your message to the readers be? What advice can you offer on how to move forward this summer after the past year we’ve had?

ER: I hope people are able to feel like themselves again this summer by spending time with people they love and doing the things that make them happy.

Top The Row, Cuff Elsa Peretti® Small Bone Cuff in 18K Gold for Tiffany & Co., Sunglasses Inez and Vinoodh x Clean Waves by Parley for the Oceans; On hair Oribe Trés Set Structure Spray

V: What’s the most enduring lesson that you’ve learned from being in the public eye?

ER: Things will always be misinterpreted to some degree.

V: What attracts you to a creative collaborator?

ER: Humor, humility and vision.

V: What’s the memory you hold most dear?

EB: The day my son was born.

V: What would you like the legacy of your career to be?

ER: I’d like [my lifelong legacy] to be [that I was a] true multi-hyphenate.

V: If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

ER: I’d want to know if it’s possible to make real, radical change in the world.

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski is out October 19.


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