Emily Ratajkowski Harper's BAZAAR
Michael Avedon

Living her truth! Emily Ratajkowski is all about feeling confident in her own skin, and a lot of that comes with doing things out of the social norm like wearing revealing clothes or letting your body hair grow out.

The 28-year-old recalled a time she felt uncomfortable about her femininity and how she dealt with the situation. “Two summers ago, while vacationing with my friend and her girlfriend, my friend made an offhand remark about me being ‘hyper femme,'” she said in a personal essay for Harper Bazaar’s latest issue. “It kind of threw me because in many ways, probably like anyone would, I felt that her comment was an oversimplification of my identity. In my day-to-day life, I was not aware of being femme or masc or anything but just me. Her observation surprised me and made me feel suddenly self-conscious.”

The brunette beauty then confessed that from a young age, she’s always been a girly girl at heart, and that’s part of the reason why she felt offended by her pal’s comment — because her femininity isn’t something she can help or control since she’s simply being herself. However, now she’s all about challenging beauty standards.

“Despite the countless experiences I’ve had in which I was made to feel extremely ashamed and, at times, even gross for playing with sexiness, it felt good to play with my feminine side then, and it still does now,” she said. “I like feeling sexy in the way that makes me, personally, feel sexy. Period.”

She then stated that sex appeal and having the right to choose go hand-in-hand. “If I decide to shave my armpits or grow them out, that’s up to me. For me, body hair is another opportunity for women to exercise their ability to choose — a choice based on how they want to feel and their associations with having or not having body hair.”

She continued, “On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy. And there is no right answer, no choice that makes me more or less of a feminist, or even a ‘bad feminist,’ to borrow from Roxane Gay. As long as the decision is my choice, then it’s the right choice.”

Preach, girl!