Born Emily O’Hara Ratajkowski on June 7, 1991 in Westminster, United Kingdom. Emily was born to American parents, Kathleen, a professor and John David Ratajkowski, a painter. Her parents relocated to California when Emily was five and she was raised in Encinitas, California, near San Diego. Her mother because a professor at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and her father taught art at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas where Emily attended.
A keen actor from a young age, Emily started her career as a child theatre actress before being signed as a model for Kohl’s and Nordstrom at the age of 14. Although only 5 foot 7, (short in the modelling world), her modally career flourished. This led to some appearances on Nickelodean’s iCarly at just 15 where she played the role of Gibby’s girlfriend, Tasha. But it was the 2013 Robin Thicke music video, Blurred Lines that catapulted her into superstardom. It was her modelling she had to thank for this as Thicke had spotted her on the cover of Treats, an artistic erotica magazine which led to her being hired for Blurred Lines. It is believed that Emily’s openness to everything, including nudity and her uninhibited attitude stems from her numerous visits to nude beaches in Europe as a child that left a profound impact on her young mind.
In the same year as Blurred Lines she starred in Maroon 5’s Love Somebody, Esquire Magazine named her ‘Woman of the Year’ and Rolling Stone magazine listed her among its twenty hottest sex symbols. Emily was initially uninterested when she was contacted about Thicke’s offer, while the video received controversy and was labelled sexist by some, Emily believed that it did not objectify her or any other woman and it was hearing the female director’s playful vision that convinced her to participate. Talking about the project she said, “Like any art, there’s a million ways to interpret it. All I can say is that when a woman is naked, that’s not immediately anti-feminist. I have no apologies for it, and I’m not ashamed at all.”
Her new found status led to a pivotal role in the film Gone Girl playing Andie, the mistress of Ben Affleck’s character after Affleck spotted her in Robin Thicke’s video and mentioned her to director, David Fincher. She then appeared as Zac Efron’s love interest in We Are Your Friends and was romanced by Adrian Grenier in the Entourage film. In Darkness saw her take on a darker role playing Mallory, a model suffering from low self-esteem and additional appearances in Cruise, I Feel Pretty and the thriller, Welcome Home, cemented her status as a household name.
Ratajowski has also graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, walked the runway for Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week and appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan, British Glamour and Marie Claire. She has also starred in ad campaigns for DKNY (one where she walked the streets of New York wearing underwear just with a dog!) and is an ambassador for Kérestase and Paco Rabanne Parfum.
On February 23rd2018 Emily married Sebastian Bear-McClard, a producer and actor. The surprise ceremony took place at City Hall in New York City with just a small group of friends in attendance. Instead of a wedding dress Emily wore a mustard-coloured Zara pantsuit and a wide-brimmed black hat. She later explained to Vanity Fair, “I never loved the idea of white for a wedding because I’m not a pure woman. I’m a woman with a lot of character and experience and life.”
News went public with the wedding via Instagram with images of the bride and groom with gold wedding banks. Bear-McClard also had two additional rings reading ‘EM’ and ‘RATA’. The pair finished their unique nuptials off with a honeymoon in the Amangiri resort in Canyon Point, Utah.