A model employs her success to underscore some important points about image and privilege.


It’d be difficult to find a single one of us who hasn’t been influenced by ad and images.

It’s so subtle that a lot of us could probably even tell ourselves we haven’t been influenced because it’s like the air we exhale it’s around us constantly and we don’t even think about it that much.

Case in point I bet you can finish this motto without even Googling it: “Choosy mommies choice ______.” If you don’t know the brand, I’d bet you’re an outlier.

We’re constantly absorbing data and impressions from imagery and ads whether we know it or not, and companies pay big money in the race to be the first to push their impressions into our faces. They certainly aren’t paying that kind of cash for something if it isn’t effective.

Let model Cameron Russell break it down because she nails it.

She’s had success as a model for about a decade, and she took to the TED stage to share some unique insight from her journey.

Here are three great aha moments she brings to the audience.

1. Image can be a powerful influence over our perceptions, and some people are more be permitted to exerted it than others.

She came out looking like this, knowing it was going to give a certain first impression.

All images from TED/ YouTube.

Then she did the first ever on-stage wardrobe change at a TED talk.

And then she explained why she’d do something so awkward 😛 TAGEND

“Image is powerful. But also, image is superficial. I simply wholly transformed what you thought of me in six seconds.”

You’d never guess that she hadn’t even had a boyfriend before this photo was snapped, right?

2. In response to girls asking whether they can be models, she explains that while there’s nothing incorrect with being a model, it’s not a career route .

Cameron likens modeling to winning some kind of genetic and societal lottery. Her message to young people: Define your sights on something else.

“Be my boss. Because I’m not in charge of anything and you could be the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Telling that you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying you wishes to win the Powerball when you grow up. It’s out of your control, and it’s awesome, and it’s not a career path.”

She demonstrates what she’s learned from 10 years of modeling: what direction to look, how to pose, and the art of looking back at imaginary friends for the camera 500 days.

3. What we see in magazines is a complete fabrication and a building from something else altogether.

She wants people to realise just how fake what they’re looking at in ad really is. Cameron represents it with images of what she actually was like during certain times of their own lives, in contrast with how magazine images portrayed her at the same days.

This side-by-side comparison is a magazine shoot and a family photo taken in close succession. A little different, right ?

How much does it floor you that these photos were taken within a few months of each other?

Her entire talk is really fascinating and invites us to look at the advertising we see in a much more educated sun.

Cameron induces some unbelievable phases about how she’s benefitted from a stacked deck in national societies all because she won the genetic lottery, and she juxtaposes that against the different life experiences of others all based on how society perceives their looks.

As one of my favorite bands tells about media and ad, “There is a war going on for your mind.” If you’re supposing critically about it, you’re winning .

Read more: www.upworthy.com


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