Emily Ratajkowski is no stranger to sexually polarizing situations. After all, she did rise to fame after posing on the cover of erotic magazine treats! and followed it up by appearing in Robin Thicke's controversial 'Blurred Lines' music video.
Her Instagram posts are often racy and she frequently poses nude, but despite her sexualized appearance, it does not mean that Emily should be the subject of derogatory comments, especially when they concern photos of her before she came of age.
Recently, Emily posted a throwback picture to her Instagram of her in sixth grade at around 12 years old. Despite being a pre-teen, commenters still sexualized her photos, making lewd remarks on her breasts and expressing a desire to have sex with the underage girl.
One person wrote, "The grade wasn't the only thing that was tight… Baby got boobs."
While another said, "If I caught these 11-year-olds [sic] in Harrow you don't even know…"
A third added, "Her 6th-grade teacher is doing life in prison somewhere right now."
Yet another commented, "You've must've dealt with a lot of pedophiles [sic]," which seemed to be hitting a little too close to home considering the inappropriate remarks currently being made over a photo of a 12-year-old girl.
Sadly, this isn't the first time Emily has faced such inappropriate comments on an innocent, underage photo. Emily previously received a lot of online backlash from haters claiming she had gotten breast implants, so to prove them wrong, she posted a photo of herself at the age of 14, which showed that she had a particularly large chest naturally.
Emily clearly developed early, and it appeared that her post was an attempt to prove her haters wrong, but it backfired massively. Instead, perverted social media users discussed how they might have non-consensual sex with the minor.
She was referred to as "jailbait", told that screenshots were taken of the underage pic for sexual pleasure, and men claimed they would "smash her" in their comments. It's a display of the rape culture that has plagued the current zeitgeist at its finest.
Women, especially celebrities, are objectified and judged only on their appearances, particularly when it comes to their perceived sexual attractiveness. In turn, young women are growing up believing that their self-worth is directly tied to their sexuality and how sexually attractive they appear to men, rather than any other quality like their personality or intelligence.
To see some of the creepy Instagram comments Ratajkowski receives on a daily basis, check out the video below:
The problem is also harmful to young men who grow up believing that it's okay to objectify women - that they are objects for sexual pleasure rather than human beings with feelings and emotions who deserve respect and love as much as they do.
It also bolsters toxic masculinity, suggesting that a man must be lewd, sexual, boastful, and womanizing to be seen as a strong and masculine male. It seems that with the rise of social media, a lack of respect and degradation of women has come with it. It's as if the internet is attempting to return gender roles and equality to a previous time when women were regarded as second-class citizens.
Yet, it can be argued that since Emily has more freedom to display her body sexually and publically that she must be asking to be objectified. This couldn't be further from the truth and shows a lack of understanding of female bodily autonomy.
Discussing raping a woman, the sexualization of a child, and a disregard for consent shows just how much further we need to come to achieve equality. There also needs to be more emphasis on teaching boys to be respectful, responsible human beings.
Girls are taught from a very young age numerous preventative measures on how to avoid sexual assault, yet there does not seem to be the same education aimed at boys not to cause these assaults. However, it is worth noting that women can still assault men.
There is a difference between a woman going out to attract a partner by wearing sexually suggestive clothing and a potential partner attracting a woman by using date rape drugs, having sex with someone who is intoxicated or not of legal age, by using force, or by simply not respecting the word "no".
However, where does Emily stand when she rose to stardom by being featured in Robin Thicke's controversial 'Blurred Lines' music video, which glamorized not respecting a woman's right to say "no"?
It turns out that Emily publically stated that she regretted appearing in the video and has since come out as a feminist. She has been unapologetic in her liberal views and has supported multiple women's activist organizations.
While she continues to express her sexuality as she chooses, it should not be taken as an indicator that she deserves to disrespected or to be treated less than a human being.
Sally Brown, a counselor at Therapy That Works, said when speaking to Unilad on the issue that people may feel disinhibited on the internet and that trolls could experience a lack of empathy because they are not commenting face-to-face in real life.
"So a troll's hated of an attractive female celebrity online may be an expression of their powerlessness in relation to women and resentment they don't get the attention they want from attractive women - or even any women," she said.
"The comments in relation to Emily Ratajkowski's school picture were particularly offensive as they relate to a child, but there is a sense of trolls having to go 'one step further’ these days to get a reaction as everything has already been said a million times."
That being said, I think I can speak for all women when I say we are awfully bored by the sexualized comments. Perhaps if a troll really wants to be shocking, say something respectful. It's much more likely to actually get you laid in real life.