Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cameron Russell, a model, speaks out about the industry

I came across this video of Cameron Russell, a professional model who has walked the runway for companies like Victoria's Secret and Chanel, giving a talk about women in the media. Here she admits that she won a genetic lottery and she is lucky that she looks the way she does but she raised some excellent points such as: "Image is powerful but image is superficial." She explains that a "sexy girl" in the industry is defined as a "pretty white woman." She explains that those pictures are not pictures of her but pictures of constructions made by the clients and photographers and makeup hairstyles.

It was especially insightful since she is a making her money through this industry and recognizes how destructive it can be. For me, the most disturbing point raised was when she showed an over-sexualized picture of herself in a bikini and mentioned that at the time of the shoot, she hadn't even gotten her period yet!

The talk of Photoshop being destructive has been discussed at length and the same goes for talks about models setting an unreachable ideal for women and how pretty white women are the norm, but I would say that models themselves speaking out about it is not something I've seen too much of before.

How do you feel about models speaking up about the industry they are so heavily invested in? Do you think it will help young girls realize that so much of what they see in magazines is altered? Or are Cameron Russell's arguments useless since she still willingly participates in the industry?


  1. I feel its good she is speaking out about being a model and lettig everyone know she is human not just a super model. Also I think it could help young girls to realize what they see in the media isn't real.

  2. I thought that was actually a really moving talk. The photos from the same day were also really striking. I worked for a fashion photographer for a while, and have worked with models who are 14 or 15 years old. Many of them are really young and it is amazing to see the incredibly sexy and mature-looking photos of them, and then hear them talk about prom or homework or something. Calling it a construction was a really good choice of word.