The 28-year-old model and actress got candid in a new essay for Harper’s Bazaar, and managed to raise some eyebrows in the process thanks to a racy lingerie photo of her exposing her hairy underarms.
Ratajkowski opened up about the decision in the essay, talking about what makes her feel sexy and confident.
“I feel powerful when I’m feeling myself, and sometimes feeling myself means wearing a miniskirt. Sometimes it means wearing a giant hoodie and sweats,” she explains. “Sometimes I feel particularly strong and free when I don’t wear a bra under a tank top. That’s just me, in that moment.”
As for her hairy pits, it’s not a decision she always makes, but that doesn’t mean she won’t.
“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 writes. “On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy… As long as the decision is my choice, then it’s the right choice.”
The proud feminist noted that she had been shamed for wearing a white tank top with no bra at a protest against Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh last year.
“In their minds, the fact that my body was at all visible had somehow discredited me and my political action,” she notes. “But why? I often think about this. Why, as a culture, do we insist on separating smart and serious from sexy?”
She concludes her essay by writing, “Give women the opportunity to be whatever they want and as multifaceted as they can be. Preconceptions be damned.”