Emily Ratajkowski says her mental and physical health took a hit by the end of her marriage.
The My Body author filed for divorce from then-husband Sebastian Bear-McClard in September 2022 following four years of marriage. The former couple shares son Sylvester Apollo, who they welcomed in March 2021.
In conversation with sex education blogger and mental health advocate Eileen Kelly on her Dear Media podcast Going Mental, Ratajkowski said that the end of her relationship with Bear-McClard took a toll on her both physically and emotionally.
"I didn't have the courage to leave for a long time," she said of her marriage. "I was really, really unhappy. I was 100 pounds and I had just had a baby. I got really skinny because I was not OK."
At the time, Ratajkowski said she "tried everything else," including antidepressants, in order to make herself feel better, because she felt like "something was wrong with me."
"I think so much of what I've learned, coming out of that relationship, is to trust your instincts. And gaslighting is a real thing," she said. "I didn't understand that it was actually going to be so nice to come back to myself and return back to how I see the world, how I understand things, my instincts, whatever. That's the advice I would give, basically to somebody. You'll be shocked how much easier life is."
Leaving her marriage was especially challenging as "every piece of media" encourages the idea of finding a partner that "completes and validates you."
"Plus, I had just had a child," she continued. "I just really wanted to have that family and whatever. So it was especially hard for me to totally walk away."
Ratajkowski also reflected on the reaction to her divorce, which came after infidelity rumors on Bear-McClard's part. At the time, Kelly said, many people couldn't believe that a "perfect woman" like Ratajkowski could be cheated on. The model found that response surprising.
"It was so interesting that was the reaction to that news, because I was just like, 'Duh, men are trash, ladies.' It doesn't matter who you are or how 'perfect' you are," she said.
The High Low podcast host, who has been linked to stars like Eric Andre and Pete Davidson since filing for divorce, shared that she is dating again, but is doing so less to find a partner and more in order to feel fulfilled in all areas of her life.
"I'm tired because I do spend the extra time to help me define who I am as an individual separately from my identity as a mom or as a professional in my career, and that means being a little more tired, but it actually makes me happier and is helping me come back to myself," she explained. "That's what I'm doing, but some people I know, a lot of newly single moms are just like, 'Why would I date?' I'm like, 'I don't know. I don't have an answer for you.' But that's what I'm doing and it is helping me and I like it."
She noted that she's a retired "pick me girl," which, to her, meant that she had previously "abandoned my own priorities in order to be loved or to be chosen," both romantically and professionally.
"I was appealing to a lot of powerful men, essentially" she said. "I just totally abandoned my own boundaries and my own ideas of what is important and now I'm super-grounded in them. I have basically curated my life exactly to how I want it to be. It's almost hard to imagine somebody coming in and being additive and bringing things to the table."
The Gone Girl actress has spoken before about finding herself in the wake of the split. In an October 2022 interview with The Cut, she shared that she is officially in her "bitch era" — and defined it as a way of reclaiming feminine anger.
"Generally speaking, I think anger is something all of us have a negative relationship to," she said. "Justified rage can be really productive. A lot of good things can come out of anger, and it doesn't mean violence or toxic masculinity; it can just mean being a bitch."
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