Emily Ratajkowski shares body-positive message alongside throwback photo

"I wish the world had encouraged my 14-year-old self to be more than just my body," Ratajkowski wrote.
/ Source: TODAY

Emily Ratajkowski shared a throwback photo of herself posing in a bikini as a teenager, writing that she wished the world had encouraged her to "be more than just my body" as a young girl.

In the photo, shared on Instagram, a 14-year-old Ratajkowski is wearing a bikini at the beach and posing for the camera. The model and influencer, now 28, wrote that she relied on the pic to prove to people that her body is natural.

"Now I'm a little sad it exists at all," she wrote. "I was just a kid in this picture and I wish the world had encouraged my 14-year-old self to be more than just my body."

Ratajkowski, who has 25 million followers on Instagram and has appeared in fashion shows around the world, said she still feels "like I've been empowered through my body and sexuality" but is glad to have "discovered the parts of me that are so much more important than 'sexiness.'"

"If you’re a 14-year-old girl reading this, don’t worry about any of that for now," she said.

She advised younger fans to spend less time online, saying that they should "read lots of books and know that what you see on Instagram is just a very small fraction of complete and beautifully complex human beings."

Ratajkowski has been candid in the past about how she has to ignore Instagram trolls who leave comments criticizing everything about her body.

In an essay for TODAY Style last year, Ratajkowski also opened up about the one part of her body that she had to learn to love: her bellybutton.

"It's sort of a half-innie-outie. I got made fun of for it in elementary school, so it was a long road to loving my bellybutton," she said.