London-born, American-raised Emily Ratajkowski—or Emrata as she's come to be known—started acting nearly 14 years ahead of her entrance into the pop culture canon: before she became a household name for her appearances in Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines music video and David Fincher's Gone Girl, she was on Nickelodeon.
But, the red carpet wasn’t always the goal for the only child of artist John David Ratajkowski and writer Kathleen Balgley. Growing up in Encinitas, California, nearly all of Emily’s youth revolved around art—both decisively and unintentionally—as she discussed with her father in a recent conversation for her CULTURED cover story. In the words of John: “There was always a connection between art and living space.” Still, her father’s sculptures and painted works aren’t the only influences that have shaped her.
In CULTURED’s ongoing series, 5 Points of Culture, the model and essayist shares her personal influences and the other figures and films that have molded her into a creative entrepreneur and art collector. She lists The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison as one of her favorite texts. “You can’t read writing in a quick way,” Emily says of the author’s approach. “There is so much nuance, room for complexity, and gray areas that we're lacking right now with our attention spans.” At the same time, she admits that TikTok is one of her most unexpected sources of motivation and encouragement. Emily explains how the social media application’s ability to build community and yield vulnerability is different than anything else before. “I’ve never liked the Internet more, it makes me believe in humanity.”
Direction and cinematography by Joppe Jacob Rog
Production by All Good Studios