Emily Ratajkowski and Julia Fox are giving us the crossover episode we never knew we needed.
The duo get up close and personal in the latest episode of EmRata’s podcast, High Low, in which they openly discuss the complications, struggles, and joys of single motherhood. Ratajkowski shares her one-year-old son, Sylvester Apollo Bear, with ex-husband Sebastian Bear-McClard. Fox also has a one-year-old son, named Valentino, whom she shares with ex Peter Artemiev.
“I need advice, honestly. How are we gonna raise these boys to not be entitled city brats?” Ratajkowski asks Fox at the start of the episode. “Don’t you feel like New York City kids—even if they’re not raised rich—there is, especially dudes, have even more entitlement than your average guy? So how the hell do we avoid that?”
In response, Fox pitches a unique potential solution. Debating the benefits and disadvantages of the city’s public and private school system, the Uncut Gems star offers a middle ground.
“It’s hard, but I just think it would be so cool to create a little pod of kids, and then just hire educators to come in. It could literally be a mechanic. We just hire a mechanic. So I want my son to know how to change a tire, how to do his taxes, how the IRS works,” Fox says. “I want him to know all these things, and I just really want more, and I feel like there’s a lot of room for development in the educational sphere. I would love for Valentino to learn farming and how to plant and grow things. … He needs to learn actual useful life skills.”
Fox, who is in the process of writing her own book, credits her close-knit group of friends for helping her raise Valentino.
“My friends are so supportive and help me so much with Valentino,” she says. “That’s my family, 1,000 percent without a doubt. That’s my family.”
“That’s so special,” Emrata replies. “There’s a village raising Valentino.”
“Yeah, he has a lot of aunties and a lot of love, and he loves it,” Fox agrees.
Later in the episode, the duo continue to reflect on the untraditional family dynamics that more and more people are beginning to embrace.
“This mother, father, children structure—I feel like people are really starting to not like it,” Fox says. “I feel like a lot of things are kind of shifting, and I would not be surprised if maybe a trend started occurring where girls just have a baby with their gay bestie or just a guy that is a friend who also just wants kids, and then they kind of just raise him in a group setting type of situation.”
“I know some adult people who are basically from that situation. Like, their dad was gay and their mom was turning 40 and was like, ‘I wanna have a kid.’ And they’re amazing. They have a really balanced outlook on life,” Emrata says.
The My Body author also reflects on raising her son with her best friend, as opposed to a man.
“My best friend is living with me right now, and we fully co-parent Sly, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love it so much,” she says. “Spending time with another woman and just how much I don’t have to ever tell her—our instincts are so aligned. When you’re living with a man and you’re taking care of a child, you have to tell them. It’s so exhausting.”
“They never get it right,” Fox sympathizes.
When it comes to seeking out another romantic relationship with a man, Ratajkowski says, “The main thing I would want from a relationship is emotional support, and men are having such a hard time giving that to women. I can’t really imagine wanting that with someone else and having this traditional family structure. What I want is an emotional partner who can help me feel good about myself day-to-day.”
She adds, “I don’t know, I’m obviously in a particular place in my life, but I can’t imagine a man doing that. So I’m like, ‘Why would I ever have a relationship again?’”
While speaking for Harper’s BAZAAR‘s November 2022 cover story, Ratajkowski opens up about how her life has changed since she welcomed a baby boy.
“I’ve never had such clear priorities before in my life,” she says. “Number one is Sly, and that’s that. [Motherhood] made me re-evaluate what’s important to me, like, what do I want to teach my son?”
Chelsey Sanchez is an Associate Editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com, where she covers pop culture, politics, and social movements.