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Cameron Russell TED Talks: Race, Height and Weight in the Modeling Industry

By Elma B.

Last evening, I saw Cameron Russell, an American supermodel from Cambridge, Massachusetts speak on one of my favorite websites: Her speech was titled "Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model." The speech cast a spotlight on a set of very important issues: race and body image in the modeling industry. Ms. Russell spoke about winning the "genetic lottery," i.e. she was tall, slender, and white, which in turned fulfilled the pre-qualification for entering the high-end modeling industry. She said that there was a huge issue with race in the high-end modeling world because only a very limited amount of slots are allowed for non-white models. In turn, Ms. Russell said, the modeling industry communicates a message to women all over the world that beautiful means white, slender and tall. 

Another issues she tackled was photoshop and the extent of it use, which in turn impacts negatively the self-esteem of many young girls and women. Ms. Russell said "[i]in real life, nobody looks like that," referring to the airbrushed photos. In addition, she noted that hours were spent on her hair and make-up by professionals.

Ms. Russell's video carries a very powerful message for young girls and women all over the world who look at the photoshopped models (who also have had cosmetic surgery, spent hours in the gym and have professional make-up artist and hair stylist working with them to create a look) and are unhappy with themselves. Girls and ladies, please take a look at Ms. Russell's talk on TED and also her follow-up talk on CNN. Ms. Russell is an excellent role-model as she is very candid, well-educated, and is also an entrepreneur. Please let us know what you think in the comment section below or  via


Ann said...

Another great TED talk. She spoke the truth. I am really happy to hear someone in fashion being honest and straightforward. Go Cameron!

Too often, in media beautiful women can not be smart. I'm so happy to hear a little truth from someone who is smart, beautiful, and a woman.

Elma Beganovic said...

Ann, thank you for your comment. We fully agree, and hence, we decided to do a post on this beautiful, honest and charismatic woman! I am glad you enjoyed our post on Cameron Russell!


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