Emily Ratajkowski has never been shy about speaking her mind. And this week, the model and activist is shedding some much needed light on the stigmas that surround women’s health.
Sitting down with fellow model Natalia Vodianova for the new video series, "Let’s Talk About it. Period.” which is supported by the UNFPA and produced by the women’s health app, Flo, Ratajkowski got candid about the unnecessary embarrassment that comes with that time of the month, especially when you’re a teenager.
"There’s a sort of shaming that starts when we hit puberty,” she told Vodianova. “Instead of an amazing right of passage, it can feel like embarrassment, which is really awful.”
The model recalled one moment in particular from her middle school days that still haunts her today. “We took a field trip to Washington, D.C to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and there was a ceremony to bring flowers to the tomb and I was chosen,” she said. "So I put on a skirt and heels and walked, not only in front of my own class, but in front of all these 7th graders from around the country, with a giant red spot on my back. Yeah.”
Ratajkowski also admitted that being on her period as an adult comes with some challenges.
“It still feels like something I need to keep to myself and deal with, like you might gross someone out, and that is really unfortunate,” she said. "Even birth control and contraception are still really stigmatized. And it’s 2017! I have a doctor that I can call directly, but I still have to jump through many hoops to get birth control, which is mind blowing. You shouldn’t need a note every time you need a refill. That limits women in a serious way."
Now she’s speaking out to encourage other women to embrace their bodies, and everything that comes with it.
“Periods represent the circle of life,” she said. "And the power that you have when you get your period because you have the ability to create another person. There’s also a camaraderie that you can share with other women. It doesn’t have to be something you hide."
Watch a sneak peak of Ratajkowski’s interview with Vodianova above. And to see the full video, go to Flo.Health to download the Flo app.