We’ve learned about ‘paparazzi body’ and now we can’t unsee it.

Last month, Emily Ratajkowski took her dogs for a walk.

And — unsurprisingly, given her level of fame and visibility — she was photographed doing so.

A video of her outing soon went viral on TikTok, because she looked... too good? It looked like she was posing with her hand on her belt buckle and in various other moments during the outing. She wasn't smiling or actively engaging with the cameras, but the way she positioned her body made it clear that she knew they were there.

And so, as the video displayed, she followed the 'paparazzi body' rule.

On her podcast, High Low with EmRata, Ratajkowski explained othe so-called 'roasting' she got for it.

"If I, like, have 10 photographers around me and I'm walking the dog, yeah like, I'll kind of make sure that my body's in a certain position to like, look good," she explained.

"I got roasted for that."

Ratajkowski claimed she couldn't win – she didn't engage with the paps, nor give them a pic of her smiling. But she also didn't ignore their presence.

"I'd like to see anybody get photographed as much as I'm photographed and see if you look perfect in every f**king picture," she said.

"It's like, either you're trying too hard or you're being thirsty and a loser for trying to look pretty for these pictures, or you know, you're mid-sentence and the light is whatever and you don't have sunglasses on and you're a mess and you're ugly.

"That's just the existence of being a woman and, you know, very, a la Barbie," she said, adding, "People just really love to hate on women. You can't get it right."

It's not a relatable struggle for most of us, but she's not the only famous woman to discuss the realities of engaging with paparazzi.


In the early years of her fame, Kim Kardashian often smiled and waved to paparazzi, and even gave walking interviews as they followed her.

In a 2016 video with former friend Jonathan Cheban, she recalled him telling her 'the rules'.

"Every time I'd go to the gym or go eat, every paparazzi would ask me questions and I would be like, 'Hey guys!' Like, I so wanted the attention," she explained.

"Jonathan was like, 'This has got to stop. Do you think Victoria Beckham sits and does all these interviews?'

"'Do you think everyone else has smiles on their faces? You are too happy, you are smiling way too much. Put your sunglasses on. You need a whole makeover and you need to stop talking and stop smiling.'"

Meghan Markle was told a similar thing in the early days of her relationship with Prince Harry.

"I remember going to get flowers, coming out of the flower shop, and there must have been nine or 10 paps standing in the street," Markle recalled in her and Harry's Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan.

"They were all sort of blocking the cars and saying 'Hey, how are you doing, Meghan?' and I was like 'Oh, thanks, stay warm, guys!'"

She recalled Harry telling her the next day, "You can't talk to them".

"And I was like, 'I'm just trying to be pleasant. I don't know what to do, I've never dealt with this before. And he's like, 'Right, but the UK media are saying you love it. You're smiling, you love it.'"

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the objectively bad paparazzi shots – the ones in which celebrities are captured in unflattering poses that are then blasted around the world alongside snarky headlines or words like "UNRECOGNISABLE".


That might suggest that the subjects are less self-serious, but it's hardly an appealing trade-off.

And so, as the video of Em Rata demonstrated, the paparazzi body rule prevails.

Once you see it, you won't be able to unsee it.

Key features for most celebrities include keeping their head down, or looking into the distance. Their expression is usually blank (but still... like they're definitely *thinking* about how their face looks) — not smiley, but definitely not frowny either.

Smiling means you like the attention. But frowning means you're a b**ch. 

The photos are supposed to convey casual and unbothered, even when the reality is anything but. 

Even recently, as Taylor Swift – another extremely photographed woman – left a New York restaurant, video showed her walking to her car as the flashes of cameras lit up the night.

In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, Swift turned her body in a subtle pose towards the cameras. She didn't speak or smile, because that would be breaking the rules.

But the subtext was that you can't pretend they're not there. And if they're going to publish a photo of you, you may as well try to make it a flattering one.

Alternatively, there's one final option: the Kristen Stewart method of constantly flipping the bird. 

That definitely seems like the most fun.

Feature image: Getty.

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