Emily O’Hara Ratajkowski (/ˌrætəˈkaʊski/, Polish: [ratajˈkɔfskʲi]; born June 7, 1991) is an American model and actress. Born to American parents in London and raised mainly in California, she rose to prominence in 2013 after appearing topless in the music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, which became the number-one song of the year in several countries.
Ratajkowski appeared on the cover of the March 2012 issue of the erotic magazine treats!, which led to her being asked to appear in two music videos – “Blurred Lines” and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody”. She appeared in the 2014 and 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. Ratajkowski made her professional runway modeling debut for Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week in 2015 and has since walked on the Paris Fashion Week runway for Miu Miu and Milan Fashion Week for Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace. She appeared in a Buick Super Bowl commercial during Super Bowl 50. She has become the spokesperson for brands such as DKNY, The Frye Company, Kerastase, Paco Rabanne and DL1961. She has collaborated with other designers on both a hand bag collection and a jewelry collection. In addition, she has designed her own line of swimwear, the Inamorata brand.
Ratajkowski began acting as a child in the San Diego area before she gained a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series iCarly. Her feature film debut was as the mistress of Ben Affleck’s character in the 2014 film Gone Girl. Ratajkowski’s other roles have included the films Entourage, I Feel Pretty and We Are Your Friends (her first leading role) as well as the miniseries The Spoils Before Dying and the anthology series Easy.
Ratajkowski is an advocate for women’s health issues as a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood. As a self-identified feminist, she has received both support and criticism for her views on sexual expression.
With encouragement from an acting coach, Ratajkowski met and signed with a talent agent who contacted Ford Models. That same day, she signed with Ford at age 14 and went on to do teen print catalog modeling for Kohl’s and Nordstrom. At 15, Ratajkowski began auditioning for Disney and iCarly roles, but as she pursued acting she was often cast as a “bitchy girl”, cheerleader, or other limited role.
She attended San Dieguito Academy, a high school in San Diego, while modeling and acting in Los Angeles. After two nondescript movie roles, she appeared as Gibby’s girlfriend, Tasha, in two episodes of the third season of Nickelodeon’s iCarly (2009–2010). Her manager discouraged her from pursuing many acting engagements until she could be more selective.
Ratajkowski attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for one year in 2009, then decided to model full-time. She found the fine art education at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture arbitrary and in conflict with her artistic concepts. She did not enjoy socializing with fellow students.
After campaigns and editorials with photographer Tony Duran, Ratajkowski began shooting more fashion editorials and posed for several early issues of the artistic erotica magazine treats!, including the cover of its third issue, in March 2012. She credits that cover for bringing her the two unsolicited, high-profile, music video roles. Ratajkowski later filmed commercials for Nikon and Carl’s Jr., including multiple versions of a 2012 Carl’s Jr. commercial with Sara Jean Underwood. She also did nude and clothed art modeling for magazines, including a May 2012 shoot with Jonathan Leder, as well as work for Frederick’s of Hollywood; a 2012 holiday video and a 2011 Valentine’s video in which Ratajkowski appeared for the company are among the most popular videos on the company’s YouTube channel. Ratajkowski worked with photographer Tony Kelly for the March 2013 GQ Turkey cover.