vulture recommends

I Tear Up Just Thinking About Julia Fox on EmRata’s Podcast

Photo: Somethin’ Else

I can’t stop thinking about Julia Fox’s episode of High Low With EmRata. Emily Ratajkowski’s podcast is in its first few weeks, but it has already become the kind of show that shoots up your queue when a new episode drops. Episodes are split between two formats: interview segments, with folks such as Fox and Call Her Daddy’s Alex Cooper, and solo ones, in which EmRata discusses listener questions. If you’ve yet to dive in, Ratajkowski’s talk with fellow “It” girl Julia Fox, star of Uncut Gems and multiple Kanye West press cycles, is the one to start with. In the episode, Ratajkowski and Fox discuss many things: bell hooks, fashion week, writing their memoirs. But their discussion of men is what shook me to my core. I haven’t been able to shake the melancholy it inspired in me, rattling around in my head for more than a week. And with Fox’s dating history making yet another weird moment in pop culture, the episode feels like a more vital listen than ever.

The way EmRata and Fox talk about men makes me so glad to be ugly (or at least not possessing the otherworldly type of hotness that compels men to treat them as less than human). Not to brag, but I have some insanely hot friends. And people are just fucking psycho to them: the projections, the demands for intimacy, the bullshit they endure — all of which is discussed at length by Ratajkowski and Fox. I do not envy the lifestyle.

At one point, Fox says she thinks there are some men who are “amazing” and “wonderful,” she just has yet to meet one. The moment got clipped on TikTok and struck a chord with viewers. It’s a joke but one with real pain behind it. Every relationship these women has had with men has been transactional, and it has hardened their hearts to an untenable degree. Everything is extractive. Men try to take sex from these women as if it were a rare earth mineral and they’re the rainforest. This extends to the relationships both women have with the fathers of their children. Fox went on a long Instagram rant about how feckless her ex Peter Artemiev was, calling him a deadbeat dad. Ratajkowski is in the process of leaving her husband, Sebastian Bear-McClard. There’s no room for trust in their hearts; scar tissue takes up all available space.

Fox and EmRata are also mothers to young boys, and they talk about being terrified their sweet little cherubs will grow up and become the men who take from them. That’s devastating. You can do everything in your power for your children, but the world is still going to leave its mark. That they came to create these kids with these men — men who have since betrayed their trust — makes it all the worse.

This all makes it sound as if the podcast is a slog or a miserable We Need to Talk About Kevin–esque rumination on the limits of motherhood. That’s not fair. EmRata and Fox touch on many topics in the interview, and they’re both wryly funny with a declarative bravado. They will escape New York’s educational pitfalls and help their kids touch grass; Fox’s memoir will come out, and it will gag you with its brilliance. EmRata’s podcast in general is very good, and her chat with real-life bestie Ziwe is another must listen. But what has stuck with me for days after listening to the Fox episode is the heartbreak of patriarchy, the sense of brittleness from these literal supermodels. They are so, so tired of guarding themselves. And the more famous they get, the weirder strangers are going to be to them. I have teared up recapping EmRata’s podcast at brunch, and for that I thank her and Julia Fox.

I Tear Up Just Thinking About Julia Fox on EmRata’s Podcast