“I wanted a daughter initially, but when I found out I was having a son, I was so relieved,” the model told ELLE in a November 3 interview for the publication’s December/January issue. “Because I think that it would bring up — I want more children, so it might be something I deal with later — being sexualized way before puberty and being aware of it.”
That cognizance began in elementary school, she explained. “I have a memory: I did a sexy move down the wall of my parents’ kitchen. I was probably in first grade and my parents were like, ‘Where did you learn that?’ I was like, ‘I fricking learned it. That’s what women do.’”
In March, Ratajkowski gave birth to her first child, a son named Sylvester Apollo with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard, a film producer. During her pregnancy, the Gone Girl star wrote in an essay for Vogue that while she understood the desire to learn the sex of her unborn child, that knowledge might influence her parenting. And while Ratajkowski had naturally assumed she’d have a daughter — what she imagined as a kid would be her “future best friend,” a remark from her husband gave her pause.
“‘I do worry a girl will have a lot to live up to as your daughter,’” she wrote of his comment. “‘That’s a lot of pressure.’”
The conversation evoked memories of Ratajkowski’s childhood comprehension that “beauty could equate to power” and a fear that she could unintentionally pass that knowledge to a daughter, especially because, as an adult, she struggles to protect herself from the effects of misogyny.
Ratajkowski discusses more about beauty, feminism, and motherhood — which she described to ELLE as “one of the most powerful physical experiences” — in her memoir My Body, to be published November 9.