The 2019 Grammys
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Emily Ratajkowski, Miley Cyrus & More Feminist Stars Preaching Empowerment Through Sexuality
On Tuesday, when Allure released its August 2017 cover story featuring Emily Ratajkowski, the model/actress addressed the criticism female celebrities receive when they wear revealing clothing while also preaching sexual empowerment.
“To me, any expression that is empowered and is your own as a woman is feminist," she said. "… If a woman decides to dress sexy, it doesn't mean she’s not a feminist. [We] should be doing things for ourselves. If that is the woman’s choice, and it makes her feel good, then that’s great.”
She continued: “It really bothers me that people are so offended by breasts. That’s when I realized how f---ed our culture is. When we see breasts, we don’t think of beauty and femininity. We think of vulgar, oversexualized images.”
Like Ratajkowski, many other stars have made bold comments about nudity, sexuality, empowerment and feminism, so Billboard pulled together some of their strongest statements. Take a look at what they had to say below:
Despite Emma Watson’s gender-equality HeForShe campaign and ambassador title at the United Nations, her feminism was attacked following the release of her March 2017 Vanity Fair cover story. In the regal spread, one photo featured the Beauty and the Beast star partially exposing her breasts, which caused a social media debate questioning her feminism.
In an interview with BBC, Watson responded: “It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is. Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”
Maturing from Hermione to Belle in @beautyandthebeast is a true coming-of-age story for @EmmaWatson: "I couldn't care less if I won an Oscar or not if the movie didn’t say something that I felt was important for people to hear." Read the full cover story at the link in bio. Photograph by Tim Walker.
Michael Jackson’s daughter and model Paris Jackson bares skin for shoots often because it’s her job, and she’s not too shy to say why she thinks it's important. On Instagram in May, she wrote an extensive message to her followers explaining just what her stance on nudity is and why it’s feminist to dress however one chooses, whether that means keeping their blouse buttoned up or showing some skin.
“It’s actually a beautiful thing and you don't have to make it sexual the way many Hollywood stars (and the media) do," Jackson wrote. "Not only is your body a temple and should be worshipped as so, but also part of feminism is being able to express yourself in your own way, whether it's being conservative and wearing lots of clothes or showing yourself."
i'll say it again for those questioning what i stand for and how i express myself. nudity started as a movement for ‘going back to nature’, ‘expressing freedom’, ‘being healthier’ and was even called a philosophy. being naked is part of what makes us human. for me it helps me feel more connected to mama gaia. i'm usually naked when i garden. it's actually a beautiful thing and you don't have to make it sexual the way many hollywood stars (and the media) do. not only is your body a temple and should be worshipped as so, but also part of feminism is being able to express yourself in your own way, whether it's being conservative and wearing lots of clothes or showing yourself. there's different ways of absorbing mother earth's energy, my favorites are earthing which is absorbing the earths vibrations from contact between the soil and your bare feet, as well as letting your naked skin absorb the rays of the sun. the human body is a beautiful thing and no matter what "flaws" you have, whether it be scars, or extra weight, stretch marks, freckles, whatever, it is beautiful and you should express yourself however you feel comfortable. if this makes some of you upset i completely understand and i encourage you to maybe no longer follow me, but i cannot apologize for this in any way. it is who i am and i refuse to shy away and keep my beliefs a secret. every one as an opinion and every one has their beliefs. we don't always agree with one another and that's okay. but again, we are all human, and to appreciate the things that other people do that make us human helps us feel connected. how can that be a bad thing?
Kim Kardashian is the selfie queen and known for her revealing pics on Instagram and in major magazine spreads. With one of the largest social media followings, Kim K is well aware of the power she has and utilizes that power to share what she believes is empowering.
If her photos weren't enough, to make her views more clear, in 2016 Kardashian wrote an honest letter to her fans on her website about what makes her feel good about herself. “I am empowered by my body," she wrote. "I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world.”
During Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz and Dead Petz days, the pop star was known for her scandalous outfits and wild performances, but she only made these power moves because it was part of who she is and embodied her self-expression.
To accompany her nude 2015 Paper magazine shoot, the singer said, “I’m singing about empowerment while I’ve got my tits out, and it’s like, 'What the f---?' But that is empowering because the other night I was playing with Joan Jett in Dallas and I was in nipple pasties, like, 'F---, maybe I shouldn't go out. These people in Dallas are going to be really offended.' And then I thought, 'No, there are people that need to see it.' They need to see a woman standing next to another chick playing guitar, f---in’ singing a rock ’n’ roll song with their tits out.”
Amber Rose is one of the most unapologetic celebrity activists, and she devotes her platform to raising awareness to a number of sex-positive causes. She refuses to be silent and has long equated her feminist views with sexuality, making dynamic statements by just posting a picture because she knows how influential it is.
Imma post this one more time for the haters -------- pic.twitter.com/9U2nE8z4Yh— Amber Rose (@DaRealAmberRose) June 11, 2017
At the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards, Beyoncé appeared in front of an emboldened sign that read “feminist” as she gave a “***flawless” performance. As Queen Bey danced suggestively in front of the sign, she proved in the most iconic way possible that feminism and sexuality do not have to be mutually exclusive concepts, but that one could be in control of her agency, and empowerment and sexuality can be one in the same.