Speaker: Cameron Russell
Cameron changes her outfit on stage, to show how quickly she can change people’s opinions of her. Despite your beauty being superficial and meaningless, it has a big impact on how you are seen.
To become a model, Cameron is feminine, white and tall. She describes this as a genetic lottery – less than 4% of models are non white. Cameron looks at modelling as extremely fake and shallow – the skills learnt are minimal. Most of the shots are heavily directed – and unrelated to who she is.
She gets free things because of how she looks – a store owner gives her a dress for free, or a policeman lets het get away with “Sorry, officer”. On the flipside, she sees others also penalised because of how they look – 86% of people frisked by police in New York are black or latino. 78% of 17 year old girls are unhappy with how they look – hoping that if they look like underwear models they will be happier. However, Cameron says models are the most insecure people around – their whole life revolves around how they look.
Cameron’s takeaway is that everyone should be more comfortable acknowledging the power of image in our perceived successes and perceived failures.