Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski is expecting her first child with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard whom she married last February 2018.
The 29-year-old model opened up about her pregnancy in Vogue and how they’ll raise their child in a “progressive” way.
She wrote an essay published on October 26 that says, “When my husband and I tell friends that I’m pregnant, their first question after ‘Congratulations’ is almost always ‘Do you know what you want.”
“We like to respond that we won’t know the gender until our child is 18 and that they’ll let us know then. Everyone laughs at this. There is a truth to our line, though, one that hints at possibilities that are much more complex than whatever genitalia our child might be born with: the truth that we ultimately have no idea who—rather than what—is growing inside my belly,” she continued.
She added, “Who will this person be? What kind of person will we become parents to? How will they change our lives and who we are? This is a wondrous and terrifying concept, one that renders us both helpless and humbled.”
According to the supermodel, she would raise her child with few gender stereotypes but explained, “No matter how progressive I may hope to be, I understand the desire to know the gender of our fetus; it feels like the first real opportunity to glimpse who they might be. As my body changes in bizarre and unfamiliar ways, it’s comforting to obtain any information that might make what’s coming feel more real.”
Emily admitted that she grew up thinking that she’ll have a daughter. “‘To be perfectly honest,’ I tell my husband over dinner, ‘I’m not sure that I even know that I want a girl. I guess I’d just never really thought about having a boy before,'” she said.
To this her husband responded, “‘I do worry a girl will have a lot to live up to as your daughter. That’s a lot of pressure.'”
She responded, “I’ll never let that be an issue,’ I tell my husband, but I can’t help worrying. I still fight subconscious and internalized misogyny on a regular basis, catching myself as I measure the width of my hips against another woman’s. Who is to say I’d be able to protect my daughter from it?”
As far as having a boy is concerned, she’s scared, too but not that much. The model explained, “I’ve known far too many white men who move through the world unaware of their privilege, and I’ve been traumatized by many of my experiences with them. And boys too; it’s shocking to realize how early young boys gain a sense of entitlement—to girls’ bodies and to the world in general. I’m not scared of raising a ‘bad guy,’ as many of the men I’ve known who abuse their power do so unintentionally. But I’m terrified of inadvertently cultivating the carelessness and the lack of awareness that are so convenient for men.”
She continued, “It feels much more daunting to create an understanding of privilege in a child than to teach simple black-and-white morality. How do I raise a child who learns to like themself while also teaching them about their position of power in the world?”
However, Emily said that there’s something unique about her pregnancy. She explained, “It’s something a woman does by herself inside her body, no matter what her circumstances may be. Despite having a loving partner and many female friends ready to share the gritty details of their pregnancies, I am ultimately alone with my body in this experience.”
“There is no one to feel it with me—the sharp muscular aches in my lower abdomen that come out of nowhere while I’m watching a movie or the painful heaviness of my breasts that now greets me first thing every morning. My husband has no physical symptoms in “our” pregnancy, another reminder of how different a woman and man’s experience of life can be.”
She also admitted, “I’m completely and undeniably helpless when it comes to almost everything surrounding my pregnancy: how my body will change, who my child will be. But I’m surprisingly unbothered.”
Emily added that she feels a new sense of peace instead of being afraid. She said that she’s already learning from her baby and she’s full of wonder, too.