Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Looks aren't everything
As I was randomly going through TedTalk's videos (again), I saw this surprising speech lead by a model whose name is Cameron Russell. She came forth with a tiny dress, a decolletage, wore high heels, and said "I'm a model". She wanted the audience to have the usual reaction to this whole image we have of models, and it worked. She then put a long skirt, a sweater, and some flat shoes on, to make us realize how we saw her now. As a normal person, of course. She then showed a panorama of pictures of her in magazines, and then of pictures of her in real life. She showed how the pictures of her as a model, weren't her, and how nobody could naturally look that way. She then showed how, to get that perfect picture, she had to do some kind of jumps for hundreds of times and look like an idiot all along.
Then, she went on reminding us that models are just normal people, their job just happens to be one where they transform you to become some sort of work of art. It is a work where your personality doesn't really matter, since what you're expected to do is to represent something that you're not. Something that nobody can be. She ended up saying that models are, of course, lucky to do that for a living, but that there are also some aspects of it that aren't that funny. Like the fact that only a small percentage of colored women were to become successful models, while an incredible percentage of white women actually are. She showed that even in that field there are discriminations. Not only in the field itself, but also from society towards models in general. They're automatically thought of as stupid, careless, irresponsible, immoral beings who lack personality. Which of course can be the case, but just as it might not be. Models are common people, they just do an uncommon job. She also mentions how they are scrutinized all the time, and how it affects them and shapes the way they must pretend to be all the time. And she finally concluded her speech by talking about insecurities. Those that we have, seing them on a magazine's covers, and those that they have but mustn't show. They're expected to live an amazing life, being amazing people who don't know what real life is, when all of them have a life, a background, AND insecurities.
You probably think that I lost my mind, finding inequality in how models are seen, but the truth is, I think that it is an important subject that we should keep in mind. I feel like models and the way we see them are both problematic to them and to us. I feel like both the paradoxical images of them that we have are controversial, either their image of awesomeness, or that of dumbness. And I wonder, why can't we just see them as normal people? Aren't they just people like you and I? Are you that sure that you'd like to be them? Why are you so sure they wouldn't like to be you?
I will soon post an article about the pros and cons of being a model, and the good and bad impacts the modelling industry has on society.
Enjoy Cameron Russel's TedTalk speech:
Have a great day, and keep your mind sharp!