The stunning transformation of Emily Ratajkowski

Celebrity model Emily Ratajkowski has enjoyed a long and impressive career from appearing in magazines and walking runways to starring on the big screen. While she didn't become a recognizable name until she starred in Robin Thicke and Pharell's controversial "Blurred Lines" music video in 2013, Ratajkowski had been working hard at her modeling and entertainment career long before that. 

She may be mega famous these days, but, at heart, Ratajkowski is a humble and down-to-earth woman who is simply lucky enough to be able to pursue her passion for a living. Is it all just a show, though? What is Emily Ratajkowski really like behind the scenes in her day-to-day life? Is her life really as glamorous as it seems on the surface, and has she remained true to herself as she has been catapulted into superstardom? How has fame impacted her life? Here's the stunning transformation of Emily Ratajkowski.

Emily Ratajkowski's childhood was spent in several different countries

Emily Ratajkowski has had quite the international upbringing. The model and actress is Polish American, but she has also said that she has Irish roots and had spent summers in Ireland growing up. "I absolutely love Ireland," she told Independent. "It's one of the most beautiful places on earth and I have strong ties here. Both my grandmothers are from Ireland..."

She told Vogue Italia that she identifies as "a simple Londoner who grew up in California." Born in the U.K. to American parents, Ratajkowski spent her first few years in London, later moving to the U.S. where the remainder of her childhood was spent in San Diego.

Emily Ratajkowski may have roots all over the world, but she says that America is the country that she thinks of as her true home. She told Vogue Italia that she's "100% Stars and Stripes."

Emily Ratajkowski's parents influenced her creativity at a young age

Emily Ratajkowski came by her love for the arts honestly. She told Vogue Italia that she has been attracted to performing ever since childhood and that it was her parents who provided the inspiration for her artistic endeavours. "I come from a family of artists: my mother is a professor of English literature and is a very good writer, while my father is a painter," she said. "So, perhaps yes, it was in my blood..."

Then again, Ratajkowski pointed out that she has a variety of other interests. While she has always wanted to act, she said that there was also a point in her childhood when she wanted to be a firefighter. "I was and am a person who likes to change my mind," she said. 

Emily Ratajkowski also chalks up her love for beauty products to her DNA. "I think it comes from my Dad," she told Glamour, calling her face her "own personal canvas."  

Emily Ratajkowski embraced these hobbies in her downtime

Emily Ratajkowski has shown her talent for acting and modeling, but her interests reveal that she is a multi-faceted artist. Even the hobbies she engages in when she has some spare time show that she is truly a creative force. The actress enjoys drawing when she has some leisure time. "When I sketch figures and shapes, it seems as if time stands still, while reading relaxes me and keeps me grounded in reality," she told Vogue Italia

While the celebrity likes to read, her busy schedule influences the kind of literature she consumes. "Since I travel a lot, I prefer collections of short stories like All by Myself by Lorrie Moore (published by Giunti), which are stories about women who face the precariousness of the world by drawing on the strength they all possess and by preserving their confidence in themselves and others," said Emily Ratajkowski. "It is a very honest female perspective that I think everyone should read."

Emily Ratajkowski's feminism was cemented at a young age

Today, Emily Ratajkowski is almost as well known for her staunch feminism as she is for her career. In 2018, she and friend Amy Schumer were arrested while protesting then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct by three women, as reported by CNN. Her strong feminist viewpoints aren't something she's adopted since becoming internationally known, though. Ratajkowski developed feminist views in her adolescence. "I was really young," she told Office. "My mom was an academic and she was always talking about feminism."

The actress and model is adamant that her career and her showing off of her physique doesn't make her less of a feminist, and Ratajkowski is tired of feminism being policed. "The whole idea of feminism is liberation and doing whatever the f*** you want," she said.

Ratajkowski added that empowerment is key. "We're all ingrained with these crazy misogynistic patriarchal tendencies, but if a woman still feels empowered, despite the negative influences in her life, we should never reject her," she stated.

Emily Ratajkowski "didn't understand" the "Blurred Lines" controversy

In large part due to her strong feminist views, Emily Ratajkowski didn't understand what people were so upset about when she appeared nearly naked in the 2013 "Blurred Lines" video. That video would help catapult the young model to superstar celebrity status, but it would also become a point of confusion for her. She told Esquire after the video's release that she didn't agree with the people who said the video was sexist. "On the surface level, the naked women dancing, I understand that can be perceived that way," she said. "But we're directed to have a sort of confidence, a sarcastic attitude about the whole situation. ... I think it's actually celebrating women and their bodies."

Emily Ratajkowski told Independent that the furious outrage that erupted after the video's release puzzled her. "Nudity isn't something people should take offense to," she said.

Emily Ratajkowski struggled with self-confidence

Even though Emily Ratajkowski's career seems to have been blessed with good luck from the very beginning, her early success didn't necessarily translate to happiness. In spite of her good looks and successful career, Ratajkowski is human and, like so many of us, has often struggled with her self-esteem. "I have days when I literally cannot look in the mirror because I am sick of myself," she admitted to Glamour. "I don't like how I look or I want to change certain things about myself. We are stuck inside one body, we can't see ourselves and we have no perspective on it."

In an interview with Elle, Ratajkowski said that no one is immune to being insecure and that she doesn't always "feel good" about her body. "I think it's all relative, and I think that everyone can be critical of their body, it doesn't matter what you look like on Instagram," she said. I think that confidence isn't something that comes from what you see in the mirror, it's about how you feel, as cheesy as that sounds."

Transitioning to an acting career felt natural for Emily Ratajkowski

According to IMDb, Emily Ratajkowski's first major acting role was in 2014's Gone Girl. After that, she started getting steady acting work. While Ratajkowski's acting career hasn't been quite as firmly established as her modeling career, the transition from runway to screen wasn't as jarring as one might expect. The actress had a couple of small roles under her belt already, dating back to the 2004 short Andrew's Alteration. Far from simply fulfilling a childhood dream, Ratajkowski's acting career was something that she had planned on ultimately doing. Modeling provided her a gateway to her true passion. 

"I started acting before I was ever interested in modeling," she told Office. "Growing up, I was a total theater nerd — I just lived and breathed acting — and then like someone told my parents, 'She should try modeling. It's a good way to get her foot in the door.' Of course, my mom was like, 'F*** no,' but I eventually went to LA and got signed to an agency. Modeling just happened to take off first."

Though she'd started studying visual arts at UCLA, Ratajkowski dropped out to pursue her modeling and acting careers. 

Emily Ratajkowski learned to stop comparing herself to others

Even models and movie stars sometimes face feelings of inadequacy. When things are rough, Emily Ratajkowski has learned how to deal with it. Rather than dwell on things when she has the blues, she reminds herself of her self-worth (as we all should). The model told Elle that self-confidence is something that takes practice and that it doesn't always come easily.

"Give yourself a break," she said. "This is a message that's super important to me. I feel like women, and young women especially, are just so hard on themselves and constantly comparing themselves. I don't know if I see that as much with men, certainly not physically." She continued, "I think that you really want to be the sexiest, the smartest, the most hardworking — the everything. And that's great that those are the things that we all want. But it's also important to realize we're human beings, and you're not always going to be all the things that you want to be in every given moment."

Emily Ratajkowski learned to take better care of her health

You'd think that keeping fit and healthy would be a top priority for someone whose career focuses so heavily on their appearance, but Emily Ratajkowski hasn't always had the best habits when it comes to her health. Fortunately, that has changed. "I think when you're 20, you feel like, why do people make such a fuss about self-care?" she told Byrdie in 2019. "What does it matter? And then, you know, I became a grown-up and realized, okay, you can't just be exhausted all the time."

Ratajkowski added that developing better habits has been transformative. "It's not even aging so much as it's just maturity," she said. 

She has since developed a better skincare routine and has also started eating healthier. "I used to be the type of person who'd get Mexican food and then an entire pizza and be like, oh whatever," Ratajkowski said. "But I wouldn't feel good. It wasn't even satisfying, you know? You'd be halfway through it thinking like, I just have to finish this. So I think portion control, as crazy-obvious as that sounds, has been a life changer for me."

Emily Ratajkowski tied the knot after dating her husband for just a few weeks

In 2018, Emily Ratajkowski married Sebastian Bear-McClard after just a weeks-long courtship. The whirlwind romance swept the actress off her feet, but it has also kept her grounded. Ratajkowski has found herself flourishing in her happy marriage, and being married has also helped her take better care of herself. 

"I ... used to have serious FOMO," she told Byrdie. "If something was going on, I needed to be there. I wouldn't care how I felt. But I've just gotten to the point where basically I've given up on FOMO. I'm totally okay with being like, okay, tonight I'm gonna be by myself. I'm not going to that extra thing." She went on, "[My husband's] work is so much tied to doing stuff at night. And honestly for me, sometimes I like that. I'm like, you go do your thing. I'm gonna be here taking care of myself, and then tomorrow I will be a better wife because I'll feel rested, you know?" 

Emily Ratajkowski kept things real when asked about her Instagram photos

Emily Ratajkowski's Instagram features many stunning shots of the model's physique, and it seems almost like a modeling portfolio. This doesn't mean that she's preoccupied with her good looks, though. Ratajkowski's Instagram isn't necessarily a reflection of her real life, but is instead a carefully controlled version of what she wants people to see. "What I always say to people is [my Instagram] is a curated version of a character," Ratajkowski told Byrdie. "It's not my real life. Hopefully, young people understand that. I really try to bring that home a little bit because it's like, I'm basically making my own magazine so to speak. I'm curating this world."

Her Instagram, which boasts more than 24 million followers, might seem intimidating, but rest assured that Emily Ratajkowski isn't always all glammed up. "You're definitely not seeing me when I woke up this morning with a fever, sweaty, with my mascara underneath my eyes," she said. "No, I'm not posting that."

Emily Ratajkowski launched a clothing brand with hopes to make a statement beyond fashion

In addition to acting and modeling, Emily Ratajkowski also has her own fashion brand. By now you might have realized that the celeb isn't exactly passive, and she is determined to make a statement whenever and wherever she can. With her clothing line, Inamorata, Ratajkowski wants to support all body types. In 2018, a photoshoot for her line included both professional and amateur models with different body types. "To me, this is what my dream is, seeing all these girls in our bathing suits," Ratajkowski told Elle. "My dream is to see girls of all shapes and sizes in the underwear. And that's why the sizing ranges from extra small to extra large. The sizes are really generous."

Emily Ratajkowski is also using her brand to fight against ageism. In 2019, Inamorata's bodysuit line debuted with a photoshoot that used models from ages 2 to 70. "Women can spend their whole lives in a bodysuit," Ratajkowski told Refinery29. "We start wearing bodysuits as babies and [...can style them] well into our 70s. They really are for all women, of every age."

Emily Ratajkowski isn't afraid to get political

Emily Ratajkowski doesn't just have strong views when it comes to feminism. She takes a keen interest in politics, as well, and uses her platform to broadcast her views, although she's hesitant to put a label on what she does. "I struggle with the label of 'activist' because I'm struggling with what activism means in 2018 in general," she told Marie Claire. "I want a radical left, and I don't see it... I was hopeful that with Trump coming into power there would be this drive to radicalize. I've seen lot of people, no offense, wearing pink hats and posting it on Instagram and thinking that they've done something good for the world, and I just don't think that's true."

Ratajkowski is a firm believer in the importance of voting, and she wants to see people being more engaged in the political process. "In my mind, the way we actually create change is by dedicating our voices, and our time, and our passion, to one important thing at a time — instead of giving just a little bit to everything," she told Office.

Emily Ratajkowski is focusing more on succeeding and less on what people think of her

Even though being in the limelight means that Emily Ratajkowski is often scrutinized, since becoming famous, she has learned to do her best to avoid any negativity and to stay focused on her career. As she told Fashion, she'll probably never be able to escape people critiquing her. "I always like to say that women in general are always pigeonholed by the way they look, no matter how they look," she said. "It's not really about being good looking, it's a symptom of sexism that women tend to be judged more than men based on their attractiveness."

Instead of dwelling on what people think of her, Emily Ratajkowski would prefer to look forward. "I've learned that the less I care what people think of me — as trite and obvious as this sounds — the more I've succeeded in personal relationships and in my career," she said. "People don't really care about you. They mostly care about themselves and how you make them feel. The more you stop showing them that you're overly concerned with yourself, they like you more."