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A new magazine photo of Emily Ratajkowski is being called ‘fatphobic.’ Here’s why

The M Magazine photo shoot features the model in various pairs of oversized jeans. But one image in particular rubbed some fans the wrong way.
/ Source: TODAY

Emily Ratajkowski's new photo shoot has been met with backlash and accusations of "fatphobia" from numerous social media users.

Earlier this week, the 32-year-old model posted on Instagram a series of photos from a spread in M Magazine (affiliated with French newspaper Le Monde). In most of the photos, she's wearing baggy jeans, but one image in particular stood out to her followers.

In the photo, EmRata, as she's affectionately known, stands in a pair of light-wash jeans several (if not more) sizes too large for her. She also extends the jeans' waist band, highlighting the space in the pants that she doesn't fill. The second image in the Instagram carousel is the only one featuring her wearing this particular pair.

Instagram users were quick to question the sartorial choice in the comments on Ratajkowski's post.

“What in the fatphobic hell is that second picture?” one person wrote, adding the clown emoji.

"Fatphobic vibes?" someone else asked.

"Not sure how u think wearing oversized jeans made for a much larger person and accentuating your smallness promotes healthy body image like you preach in your books/social media. shame on you," another person wrote.

"What’s the point of the big pants? To show up how skinny you are?" another person commented.

Ratajkowski's team declined TODAY.com's request for comment.

Gianluca Russo, author of "The Power of Plus" and expert on the size-inclusive fashion movement, tells TODAY.com via email that he normally takes backlash "with a grain of salt" — but in this case, he does believe "the comments around this photo are warranted, as is a larger conversation."

"This photo could likely be very triggering to someone dealing with the terrible impacts of weight stigma as it so clearly mimics triggering weight loss ads," he says. "The photo of Emily is praising her thinness, and the usage of a very large pair of pants puts even more emphasis on the smallness of her body."

Some Instagram users saw the photo as an opportunity to call out how difficult it can be to find fashionable clothing for bigger bodies.

Plus-size model Tess Holliday joked: "I’ve been looking for those jeans in the second photo if you could just please return them that would cool. Tysm."

Another person added: “Designers won’t make plus sizes unless it’s for a photo opp where a thin person can be quirky.”

Another criticism of the photo was tied to Ratajkowski's 2021 book "My Body,” a collection of essays about feminism, sexuality and taking ownership over her body.

"Writing a book called 'my body', a book about body empowerment and loving yourself and then posing for the second pic is crazy," one commenter pointed out.

"That second picture…..do you need to read your own book? Like? It’s so tasteless," someone else commented.

Russo also says he thinks the photo shoot was a missed opportunity.

"This could have been an editorial that discussed the importance of plus-sizes — especially given Emily’s book on body image — but rather, it furthered a fatphobic image type that we’ve become all too familiar with," he explains.

M Magazine also faced backlash for the artistic choices behind the photo shoot. The magazine did not immediately respond to TODAY.com's request for comment.

"Please explain how having a model hold up a pair of pants that are too large for her to wear in the extreme is fashion. Oversized clothes are one thing but this photo with the jeans that are too big is something else. Tell us the vision. What is the story you’re trying to tell?" one person asked.

"This is extremely insensitive, untasteful, and wrong on so many levels. No one thinks this is a good idea. How did this get past PR teams?!?!?" another person wrote.

"Fire the art director. Fatphobia doesn’t look good on you," someone else commented.

Russo agrees that the photo shows that "people in fashion — both in front and behind the camera — are still uneducated (about) size-inclusivity."

"Even further, it shows that many of them do not care about the importance here," he adds.