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Emily Ratajkowski Won't 'Know' Baby's Gender Till Age 18

Supermodel announces pregnancy, says she won't impose an identity on her soon-to-arrive child
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2020 8:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Emily Ratajkowski's "pumpkin spice" hair is making headlines, but that isn't the biggest news of the week for her. In an essay for Vogue, the 29-year-old supermodel reveals she's pregnant, but if you're tempted to ask if she's having a boy or a girl, stop right there. "We like to respond that we won't know the gender until our child is 18 and that they'll let us know then," she notes of the response she and husband Sebastian Bear-McClard often give to people who inquire—the start of her broader thoughts on gender identity and the stereotypes that often accompany that. "I want to be a parent who allows my child to show themself to me," she writes. "And yet I realize that while I may hope my child can determine their own place in the world, they will, no matter what, be faced with the undeniable constraints and constructions of gender before they can speak or, hell, even be born."

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Ratajkowski wonders if her husband secretly hopes for a boy, while she admits she's scared of that prospect: She knows she'll love a little guy, but she also fears she won't be able to adequately inform him as he grows up about the white privilege he's born with. And having a girl will come with its own challenges. "I still fight subconscious and internalized misogyny on a regular basis," she writes. "Who is to say I'd be able to protect my daughter from it?" Per CNN, Ratajkowski's essay is accompanied by a short film directed by Lena Dunham, who describes the 2:45 short as "the opposite of a People magazine baby announcement." "We are waiting for you, wondering who you will be," Ratajkowski says in a voice-over to her unborn child as shots of her daily life and images of her sonograms and pregnant body flash across the screen. Watch Dunham's film, and read Ratajkowski's essay in its entirety here, including her thoughts on how pregnancy can be "innately lonely." (Read more Emily Ratajkowski stories.)

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