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Emily Ratajkowski is Selling an NFT for the Best Reason Ever: Spite

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If you’ve never heard of NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, they’re essentially a digital certificate of authenticity that authenticates nothing. As a bonus, they’re stored on the Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain so creating them causes a massive amount of pollution. But don’t worry, Ethereum has been promising basically since it was created that they’ll be converting to a blockchain that uses less electricity and processor power any day now. Any day now.

Any day now.

Emily Ratajkowski is selling her own NFT now, but she has a really good reason for doing so: spite.

You see, an “artist” called Richard Prince made some “art” by taking Instagram posts by Emily Ratajkowski and others, commenting on them and then selling a print of op the post and the comment to someone who is probably laundering money. Ratajkowski bought one of the “art pieces” featuring her and is selling a picture of her standing in front of it as an NFT.

The digital terrain should be a place where women can share their likeness as they choose, controlling the usage of their image and receiving whatever potential capital attached. Instead, the internet has more frequently served as a space where others exploit and distribute images of women’s bodies without their consent and for another’s profit. Art has historically functioned similarly: works of unnamed muses sell for millions of dollars and build careers of traditionally male artists, while the subjects of these works receive nothing. I have become all too familiar with this narrative, as chronicled in my 2020 essay for New York Magazine, Buying Myself Back.

NFTs carry the potential to allow women ongoing control over their image and the ability to receive rightful compensation for its usage and distribution. Link in bio for more information

Yeah, rah-rah feminism.

This really shows how stupid the art world actually is. Someone printed out a social media post and made six figures selling it, and now Ratajkowski is selling an NFT of that print-out, which is essentially the same thing but it saves on printer ink. But hey, what else are you going to do with all that cash you got from selling coke? You can’t put that in a bank.

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