Model Cameron Russell, who has been modelling for the past ten years, spoke at TED about the importance and vanity of appearance. She started by changing her attire while still on stage, remarking that it was an honour to be able to alter how others perceived her instantly.
According to Russell, appearance greatly influences people’s lives. But it is superficial and powerful. She also addressed how one becomes a model, acknowledging that the underlying cause of her success in the business was winning a “genetic lottery” and inheriting a history of beauty characterised by tall, slender bodies, femininity, and white complexion.
Russell addressed the realities of the fashion business and the underrepresentation of some groups, notably people of colour and plus-size people, throughout the whole discourse. She also discussed the value of being open about one’s privileges and the influence society’s conception of beauty has on individuals’ lives.
She admitted that the fashion business is about more than simply clothes; it is also about privilege and power. She urged audience members to use their ability to make the world a better place by being more conscious of their privilege as she concluded her speech.
Russell’s speech raises awareness for variety among the models selected and representation in the fashion business to communicate beauty to the general public. The fashion industry has long been attacked for encouraging a limited and idealised definition of beauty that is largely white, slender, and physically fit. Russell emphasises by highlighting how she profited from this norm.
The fashion business must represent the variety of the population it serves since it tremendously affects society and culture. In addition to better-reflecting society, a more inclusive fashion business will encourage more self-esteem among people who have been marginalised from the conventional standard of beauty. The business community must support diversity and a more inclusive, reasonable definition of beauty.
Russell’s message is especially crucial for young people since they are frequently exposed to unrealistic beauty ideals that can cause low self-esteem, eating disorders, and other mental health problems. Russell is promoting awareness of these concerns and change by speaking out against the superficiality and lack of diversity in the fashion business.
Cameron Russell’s TED presentation emphasises the shallowness of the fashion industry and the negative effects of social beauty standards on people’s lives. She emphasises the need for increased diversity and representation in the sector and promotes using privilege to effect change for the better. Russell’s address is a call to action for the fashion industry to embrace diversity and advance a more reasonable and inclusive standard of beauty.