“Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.”
Posted by adrianaestill on May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: body image, model, modeling, race, spectatorship, whiteness
May 22, 2013 at 7:36 pm
We watching this in my SWA meeting a week ago! I absolutely loved this video.
May 30, 2013 at 11:05 am
I liked this Ted Talk a lot. I liked Russell’s frankness about “winning the genetic lottery” and her confusion about profiting from systems of oppression. I also appreciated the way she portrayed the difficulties of being a model (you can’t say you want to be the president when your resume reads ‘underwear model 10 years’), in a way that did not seem to negate her previous acknowledgement of her privilege. While I appreciated the honesty of her talk, I was frustrated by the conclusion. After illustrating her genetic privilege and the systems of power and oppression which go into paying her salary, she ends on a rather frail note of reminding the audience of the importance of appearance in one’s life. I realize these systems of oppression, racism, sexism, lookism, are not ones easily solved, but I still wish Russell had tried to end with a nod towards means of change for the future, as opposed to merely settling for raising awareness. This got me thinking back to Bordo’s comment at the beginning of the term about how feminist knowledge shouldn’t necessarily be used as an instruction manual for living your life, and that it’s enough to be aware of systems of oppression and then choose to exercise your own agency through your knowledge. It’s the end of ninth week now, and the end of the term, and I’m still grappling with Bordo and Russell’s argument. Is it really enough to just raise awareness around systems of oppression? Will this type of action get us where we want to go as a society, to where I want us to go as a society?
June 7, 2013 at 10:50 am
In response to fantinio, I found Russell’s talk satisfying. Even if she is not pushing for change in the future, she is spreading awareness. This awareness is being spread to those in the audience as well as the little girls in the world who might stumble upon this Ted Talk.
Also, one of the lines that stuck with me is when she said how her pictures were constructions not images of herself. This immediately made think of the class discussion we had on Beltrán and Hobson. Hobson’s focus was production, and Beltrán’s focus was the reaction from the audience. It seems as though modeling uses a combination of both. Russell is being produced/constructed in these photos for the pleasure of others. Not only is she aware of it, but also she is not thrilled by it. I feel that Russell’s confession could make a change in the world (even if it’s small scale).
Maybe I don’t expect much from the world, which is why I find the small things very beneficial. Thus, Russell’s acknowledgment of her privilege was refreshing and powerful for me.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)