Cameron Russels gives a TED Talk.
Photo: TEDxTalks YouTube
"Image is powerful" is a statement that is as undeniable as it is ubiquitous. How we perceive and how we are perceived by others drives much of what we do. Our success, confidence, and happiness are directed by this authority that we can’t even touch. It’s a force. Knowing all this, how do we even begin to CONSIDER dealing with it? Well, believe it or not, we turn to a supermodel! Not long after sweeping the runway in America’s most-watched fashion show, Victoria’s Secret model Cameron Russell decided to trade lingerie for lectures. The beauty AND brain unpacks her career for TED’s “Be Fearless” conference with an honest and inspiring discussion about the power of image not only in her industry, but in all of our lives. We IMPLORE you to watch the whole talk. It/she is so awesome. But in the meantime, check out some of our favorite takeaways!
“These heels are very uncomfortable”
Seconds after taking the stage, Cameron changes her outfit from a sexy black bodycon dress with pumps to a long wrap-skirt with a cardigan and flats. In 10 seconds, she reforms her audience’s perception without so much as hinting at any personal, intellectual, or character-based information. Because now people will listen to her, right?
“I’ve received all these benefits from a deck stacked in my favor”
Cameron is a sexy girl. And she’s benefited from it. Historical definitions of beauty have built a legacy for her, and it’s a legacy that millions of girls wish to follow.
“I am insecure”
Contrary to popular belief, there is no guarantee that thinner thighs and shinier hair will make you happy. Even models are insecure. Cameron also issues a staggering statistic that 78% percent of 17-year-old American girls are unhappy with their bodies. Guys, this is heartbreaking.
“You could be a ninja cardio-thoracic surgeon poet”
BUT. Success and happiness follow multiple avenues. Be a leader, take a risk. Hell, INVENT a career! IDEAS are powerful.
“Being fearless means being honest”
Real talk: being pretty has its advantages. But we deal with this truth by becoming more collectively aware, in Cameron’s words, of the “power of image in our perceived successes and our perceived failures.” We become more comfortable talking about it, we remove it from obscurity. Body image issues are devastatingly common, but positive discussion has immense power, too.