Emily Ratajkowski has opened up about her role in Robin Thicke's controversial "Blurred Lines" music video, and how it has informed the rest of her career.
Ratajkowski was one of the girls strutting around Thicke as he sang his now-infamous song, which has been accused of making a joke out of sexual assault. Since then, the model and actress has shot influential covers, taken over social media and co-starred in movies, yet the spectre of Thicke's song still hangs over her. An interviewer for The Daily Telegraph asked Ratajkowski if this is frustrating.
"I've made peace with it, especially because there are ideas I strongly believe in — like women embracing their sexuality and having fun with it — that 'Blurred Lines' kinda fits into," she said.
The interviewer noted that Ratajkowski was only 22 when she signed on to the video, and had not yet broken into the mainstream quite as fully. She asked if Ratajkowski would have thought differently about the project knowing what she now knows.
"No, I would make the same decision," she said.
"Blurred Lines" has been widely criticized since it first hit the airwaves, but that did not stop it from gaining traction in popular music, nor cultural staying power in the last few years. The lyrics are written in the voice of a man trying to convince a woman to sleep with him, and getting frustrated with the boundaries of sexual consent.
"Can't let it get past me," Thicke sings, "You're far from plastic / Talk about getting blasted / I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it."
Still, despite the outrage, Ratajkowski emerged unscathed from the media firestorm, and built her career on the notoriety. "Happy" Singer Pharrell, who was featured in the song, was also forgiven by the public, as was rapper T.I. Only Thicke is really associated with it.
In 2015, Ratajkowski told InStyle UK that the video was "the bane of my existence."
"My mum taught me to never apologize for my sexuality," she said. "My dad never made me feel embarrassed. I also don't think I've ever had an awareness of my own body as being super-sexual. It was always just my body."
Even as she makes allowances for Blurred Lines, it's clear that Ratajkowski is a feminist. She joined her I Feel Pretty co-star Amy Schumer for a protest outside of the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh earlier this year, taking a pro-choice stance and speaking out against sexual assault.