Emily Ratajkowski says she can’t understand why people focused on what she was wearing at last month’s protest against supreme court judge Brett Kavanaugh
It’s a sorry tale recognised through history that women making a political stance are often reduced to their looks.
And this familiar event gained an extra level of irony recently when actor Emily Ratajkowski was targeted because she didn’t wear a bra, at a protest about women’s freedom over their own bodies.
Ratajkowski joined campaigners in Washington DC last month, to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the supreme court judge accused of sexual assault by Dr Christine Blasey Ford.
The Gone Girl star carried a sign that read “respect female existence or expect our resistance”, as she marched alongside activists including fellow actor Amy Schumer.
Both women were arrested during the protest, but Ratajkowski faced a storm of criticism on Twitter for not wearing a bra under her white t-shirt.
“I knew being there would be important and I knew some people would find it controversial, but I never expected anyone to talk about why I wasn’t wearing a bra under my tank top,” Ratajkowski now says of the incident, in a new interview with Stellar magazine.
“It was 32 degrees, I was marching through D.C. in jeans; my outfit seemed completely normal to me. And I was there making a political point. Why would people focus on what I was wearing?”
Immediately after theirs arrest, Schumer jumped to her friend’s defence too, with a scathing post on Instagram.
“Emily sacrificed herself fighting to protect women’s rights to choose what they do with their own bodies,” she wrote. “How about we show her the same courtesy and direct some of that toxic energy to the people who deserve it.”
Ratajkowski, who has long identified as a feminist, says she copes with online abuse by putting it into an entirely different space.
“I’ve learnt to separate social media comments and trolls from real life,” she says.
“And I don’t let the validating, flattering comments impress on me too much, which makes it easier to [ignore] the negative ones as well.”