Busty model and actress Emily Ratajkowski struggled to express her sexuality when she was a young girl, because family members urged her to cover up her developing body.
The Gone Girl star, who appeared topless in Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines” video, had D-cup breasts by the time she was 12-years-old, and while her body was developed beyond her years, she struggled when it came to dealing with her changing physique and the added attention that came with it.
"Teachers, friends, adults, boyfriends... [they] were more often the ones to make me feel uncomfortable or guilty about my developing sexuality," she writes in an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny newsletter.
The 24-year-old went on to reveal she sought comfort from family members about how uncomfortable she felt, but they made her feel ashamed because they told her to "hide out" and "keep a low profile" while she was going through puberty.
"Their comments felt much more personal and thus landed that much harder," Emily recalls. "I was still figuring out how to put a tampon in, never mind how to understand some of the more complicated aspects of womanhood."
Emily has now come to terms with her sexuality and has learned the difference between confident and "trashy."
"To me, 'sexy' is a kind of beauty, a kind of self-expression, one that is to be celebrated, one that is wonderfully female," the model-turned-actress adds. "Why does the implication have to be that sex is a thing men get to take from women and women give up? Most adolescent women are introduced to 'sexy' women through porn or Photoshopped images of celebrities. Is that the only example of a sexual woman we will provide to the young women of our culture?"
"I refuse to live in this world of shame and silent apologies," she continues. "Life cannot be dictated by the perceptions of others, and I wish the world had made it clear to me that people's reactions to my sexuality were not my problems, they were theirs.”