Watch a Victoria’s Secret model’s TED Talk about body image and modeling
Victoria’s Secret model Cameron Russell took the stage at a TED Talk event in Washington, DC in October to talk about modeling, image, and why she tries to deter little girls from pursuing a career in modeling.
Russell starts off explaining how she became a model: by winning a genetic lottery and inheriting a legacy (being tall, slender, pretty and white and all that). She then goes on, in kind of an anti-Tyra Banks approach to leadership, to say that she advises girls who dream of modeling to instead aspire to be models’ bosses—like designers or editors or CEOs of international brands.
She also allows us behind the great wall of genetic unfairness, admitting she gets free passes for being pretty in her pedestrian life as well as work—like not having to pay for stuff or getting out of traffic tickets. The problem, as she explains, is when you contrast her experience with those of people who are penalized for their looks, like the black and latino men who have been racially profiled under the stop-and-frisk policies in New York.
Russell went to college at Colombia and is one of the founders of The Big Bad Lab, an activism project “dedicated to including people in radical demonstrations of positive social change.” Her TED Talk came out on December 7th.