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Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model. | Cameron Russell

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Cameron Russell admits she won "a genetic lottery": she's tall, pretty and an underwear model. But don't judge her by her looks. In this fearless talk, she takes a wry look at the industry that had her looking highly seductive at barely 16-years-old. (Filmed at TEDxMidAtlantic.) Cameron on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CameronCRussell Cameron on Instagram: https://instagram.com/cameron_r/ TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector
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Text Comments (14184)
Pim Pam (1 hour ago)
A few of these comments are very insightful but for the majority of them I have to wonder if the person commenting even watched the video.
For Your Spirit (3 hours ago)
Cameron says, “Gender and racial oppression”=MSNBC Brainwashing
Michael Brook (4 hours ago)
This woman's talk was so spot on. Many of the commentors got her message completely backwards.
Michael Brook (4 hours ago)
There was a very pretty woman at work, but not that nice. I went out of my way to help her. I have done something like that a few times in my life.
Il Capitano Alexandr (9 hours ago)
*Humans commenting here , only makes me to appreciate even more quality people like her and dogs..*
Guy Montag (13 hours ago)
And I find it disturbing how focused she is on race. Surely in a white majority country white models will be the vast majority, no? It's not as if in Japan and South Korea they only hire white models...
Guy Montag (13 hours ago)
Power, money, beauty, youth. These will never "not matter".
marcus futter (15 hours ago)
Honesty is sexier than looks ..too me anyway ..and heart matters too
Rene (1 day ago)
It always made me feel bad that my dad is taller and better looking at his 20s than me and he still managed to mess his life while i had to do twice the effort that he needed to do
invisible girl (1 day ago)
Bunun turkcesi yokmu
ramenz (1 day ago)
oop thought watching this would make me feel better but with my eating disorder then y’all i feel worse but i respect her words skkssk
shoosh almilify (1 day ago)
When I was younger, I wasn’t dressed beautifully like girls in my age because my mom died when I was just three. And even tho I was smart and funny none really payed attention to me because I wasn’t a cute little girl with brushed hair and lovely dresses. As I grew up I learned how to get dressed and do my hair and make up, I became very fit and my face turned out to be so pretty. Now people treat me better and try to get to know me. I hear the word you are beautiful every day. So don’t tell me beauty is not essential to having a great life.
杨雯凯 (1 day ago)
Nothing is everything but more is still better than less. If being pretty does not make you happy, then being ugly could be worse for you. Being pretty, you have an option to step down while being ugly, you have no way to step up.
a krystal ocean (1 day ago)
Laura Taran (1 day ago)
I like the ones who say:oh she is speaking bulshit,this is crap,but all of you have used the 9:37 min,to watch this women till the end.Who won? I liked her to be honest!
Sandra (1 day ago)
I like her.
Moritz B. (1 day ago)
it feels like her talk isnt finished.
Praise daisy Mutoko (2 days ago)
Great speech indeed... looks do no matter. People should stop judging themselves and should appreciate themselves. Nobody will see your beauty if you cannot see it yourself. Yes looks aren't everything, i understand her very well...i do not get why people are making a fuss about her speech.! Lol! Be happy with who you are.
Jiff Pop (2 days ago)
She looks like Cerci Lannister
Denise Hall (2 days ago)
Looks are like wealth.......it's makes your passage through life easier than it would have been otherwise.
Hadiza Saleh (2 days ago)
Like Beyonce said "pretty hurts"
jay2fono (2 days ago)
The biggest takeaway for me was that there are cards you’re dealt beyond your control that dictate how the rest of the world will treat you. Being able to acknowledge that you’re on the positive spectrum with privileges you were born into is not only admirable, but WOKE AF!!! Great job.
Dustin Chen (2 days ago)
FEARLESS AND BRAVE because honest?
TakeANotch (1 day ago)
Yep. honestly I think telling the truth is what other people have trouble with.
mohammad abbas (2 days ago)
Life Theorist (2 days ago)
I am too insecure, I love my body but hate my person. I would NEVER be more than a year in the model industry
Marco Gerard (2 days ago)
"looks are everything, you think Ryan Reynolds got this far on his superior acting method?" Deadpool 2016, only Ted talk on the subject worth anything.
Shes so nervous, out of breath, kinda annoying
Charlotte (2 days ago)
Probably the most candid, transparent and best body positive video out there. Modelling is all about images, so is social media.. there is more to a person than a ' snap shot'.
Robert Denham (2 days ago)
Looks are about 90% of what first attracts you to another human. You could be the nicest puddle of flesh but if you're a puddle then I'm not interested in anything past friendship...I Don't breed with puddles.
yiddena (2 days ago)
She is incredibly intelligent and insightful.
Fire Nation Files (2 days ago)
Every blessing is a curse. Every curse is a blessing.
samarhafeez (3 days ago)
Looks ain't everything
Yusayr khan (3 days ago)
Looks aren't everything! Your voice, your personality, your vocab, your intelligence your degree and tons of things matter. ( Applies to men only )
Jenn Smith (3 days ago)
LOOKS AREN'T EVERYTHING.......but i have them just in case.
Emilia Chidester (3 days ago)
Very candid sweet woman. Looks are important in certain instances and times, my sister was gorgeous, also my husband was a model, both of them they kind of have loss their looks and I notice it hurts them.
Α Ω (3 days ago)
Looks is everything but why?!The life is unfair. Media, Brands, fashion designers, movies, have created the standards of beauty. They promote the idea that the beauty, looks IS EVERYTHING. Fashion magazines, TV shows, advertisments , all media are rensponsible. Unfortunately, Society grows with this idea. Rich people buy attractive womens, they promote their LIFE everywhere, the poor guy wants to make money to be more attractive, a "successful" person. People act like farm's animals. We follow the rules of a unfair market system. We are affected by their bullshit ideas. I'll give you an advise my friend. Being authentic human, don't let them affect you. The real beauty is hidden into us. Let's change the world. We have to educate the new generation with moral values. Excuse me about my english language but i am not native speaker.
That was so meaningless 🤦🏻‍♀️
Jennifer Ghaleb (3 days ago)
Did she like run a marathon before doing this or something?
Ivan Leong (3 days ago)
Looks aren't everything, but without looks you are nothing 😥😥😫😫😫
At The Bricks (3 days ago)
I love your awareness... but people need to know that your beauty is subjective. You won the genetic lottery in the "western world." You did not win the genetic lottery in the objective world. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23948346 And therein lies the problem that I think you are getting at, but could use more explanation... the western world is filled with multiple races but still has a majority of "white" people and thus values "tall, skinny, white" women as the pinnacle of beauty.
Jalila Ouraieth (3 days ago)
She's amazing
SuperGaleford (3 days ago)
Guess a vast percentage (or more) of a certain demographic or two shouldn’t almost all the violent crime.
Cynthia G. (3 days ago)
"not everybody gets to do that" . so true
fakenuggets (4 days ago)
Loved this! She’s beautiful and smart!
User Name (4 days ago)
They all talk about the industry and how it spoils people or rots but yet still in it and yet did it for many years after all this! Makes no sense...you pointing it out in such way, yet you also being part of it and thus keeping it growing *facepalm*
Chen H (4 days ago)
Man you have really BIG hands and feet!!!!!😱
a gray (4 days ago)
She tried a lil too hard to be funny
Maker Marx (4 days ago)
I'd blind sow t dive know watery she's galkinf amount m.
Alina Makgeolina (4 days ago)
I have a friend and she looks absolutely gorgeous. Every time I hang out with her, guys get us free drinks and ask her for her number, they even ask me for her number. But there was this one time when I met her and she told me how the guy she liked so much stopped contacting her and basically just used her and threw her away, although at first everything was going really well. Seeing her like this I realized the true meaning of looks is not everything. Before I always thought that she’s so lucky, she meets all these good looking guys, they are crazy over her and then I realized that she was just a girl who got dumbed by this jerk and that every other “uglier”girl has been through the same. I also realized that being happy is much more important than being pretty and I’ve seen waaay less attractive people in life who are probably waaay happier than that friend of mine. 🙏💕
The expert (4 days ago)
Sam Harper (4 days ago)
Bless her heart, if she ever needs a hug. . .
Mari Nevin (4 days ago)
Watched 5 hours ago, forgot to say thanks. Thank you TED and Miss Russel for this insightful talk.
Michael Ahsin (4 days ago)
Honest & wise !!
mrshastri (4 days ago)
She is unattractive. I know many women who are much better looking.
Paul Mclean (4 days ago)
Now everyone can say its opinion and hosts a show even if they don't have a single clue about the topic. People are made by a part of contingency; this woman is made totally by contingency
Mari Nevin (4 days ago)
I don't have problem with the talk or the title. The title is right, looks are something but aren't everything.
snags (4 days ago)
I always wondered why such beautiful woman required acting and artistry skills, Acting for the captivating poses and artistry for the tantalizing make up. Last but not least, money. Lots of money to cover the cost of fashion. To be perfectly honest tho, I do not think ugliness exists with in appearance. The beautiful people are most likely beautiful due to a habitual life style, derived from rich parents. Fortunately the human anatomy does not differ greatly from person to person and if you can learn to optimize it, beauty lies at everyone's finger tips, that being said, so does aptitude, intelligence, creativity and physicality. For example, it might be cliche but its true, pretty woman are dumb but the power to be smart lays dormant with in their own minds, simply because they dont need to be smart. You heard her say she was given a dress because she didnt have the money. Enter stupidity, maybe its forced by society or maybe pretty people accept it?
harsha dundi (4 days ago)
Love you.....too bold
Lexi Spurgin (4 days ago)
She’s literally flexing on the fact that she’s white and pretty
Atis Luguzs (4 days ago)
It IS everything. Because it gives attention of super males and gives super high quality mating opportunities :) and extra beautiful children as the result at the and of the day (year) :D
Be Kind (5 days ago)
She is Brave to talk full truth!
Jarret Heller (5 days ago)
This is easy for her to say looking like that. If she woke up one morning looking like Rebel Wilson she'd be on suicide watch!
Etsy ASMR (5 days ago)
So what I learned is I need to be better looking.
Aman Jaiswal (5 days ago)
Informed, aware, innovative and intelligent. Brilliant talk!
I have respect for you. Fashion industry thrives on people telling that be insecure about yourself ,you are not good enough
DeNiLe_Asylum (5 days ago)
What I took from this is she thinks white privilege is a thing and it is ABSOLUTELY NOT. What an idiot.
Max ime (5 days ago)
Do you think there's no link between how we look and how we are inside?
MAGGIE (5 days ago)
es ridiculo que una mujer haga un speech diciendo que la belleza no es todo cuando ella ya tiene la belleza y aunque sea una tarada o creida la sociedad la dejara encajar en cualquier lado
OrdinaryCreation (6 days ago)
She needs Jesus. And she's not the first to admit to having everything and still be insecure and unhappy.
AungKyaw Min (6 days ago)
this is complete bullshit. Look matters the most in this world. People like u, listen to u and give u everything when u r tall, handsome or pretty. Personal experience. This girl just got money and fame based on her look and now shes talking bullshit look isnt everything ? TED talk is just bullshit
Kappa123 (6 days ago)
Leave it to a good looking person to say how much looks don’t matter lmao. It’s like a millionaire saying to a bunch of poor people money doesn’t matter
Kyungmi Park (6 days ago)
People get so angry when it’s about looks. Her message is, physical appearance is superficial, don’t ever look at someone and compare yourself or think you’d be happier if you look that way. Don’t let other people change how you feel about yourself. Always be happy in your own skin.
Alex P. (6 days ago)
This sounded like a bunch of SJW stuff. Some people win the genetic lottery, be happy not arrogant. No need to apologize for it its extremely annoying and disingenuous.
mydarlinggirlrachael (6 days ago)
ah, the cult of Petersen destroying any remnants of critical thought
Louie Adam (6 days ago)
Very well said!! Honest and Sincere.
WeDontThink (6 days ago)
I am very handsome. I understood what she was saying. Looks are given out based upon nothing. I just read what I wrote. Sounded stupid...
_ Poly (6 days ago)
Her point about LEGACY is deep.. this was built for the white views and what is beautiful for them. Very discriminatory. Because people view beauty very different around the world, for example my country we find skinny tall women unattractive.
dreamgetter13 (6 days ago)
She's beautiful
get2rog (7 days ago)
In my twenties I had so much negative persecution just because of my looks. Queens can be vile creatures. I wish I had had more confidence in myself back then. I would have called them out on their unwarranted vitriol. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, qualities and attributes.
Vane Caba (7 days ago)
And she's right. They gave her 9 minutes and 30 seconds to talk. There's a video about how you'll marry the wrong person and that frikin got 22 minutes. Daamn, Daniel.
Qur'anic ISLAM HD (7 days ago)
Lmao why is she talking about looks, she's ugly asf
Qur'anic ISLAM HD (7 days ago)
Lmao why is she talking about looks, she's ugly asf
valeriaxcx (7 days ago)
Put my thoughts into words.
SW71ful (7 days ago)
Even with the change shes cute
matt cullen (7 days ago)
Looks aren't everything. Says the girl who has had people hand her things her whole life based on looks.
s0012823 (7 days ago)
It's all about the money It's all about the dum dum didudumdum I don't think it's funny to see us fade away It's all about the money It's all about the dum dum didudumdum And I think we got it all wrong anyway
Jackie Tocci (7 days ago)
I know!
lark6spur (8 days ago)
"I'm a pretty white woman," typical white mentality!
Tanoy Das (8 days ago)
Never heard someone making more sense. I don't knew who she is Now I know she is a model She is really sensible
Remi Deglave (8 days ago)
Melissa Tang (8 days ago)
Nice talk♡
Sarim Mehdi (8 days ago)
Complete nonsense
黑黑黑 (8 days ago)
Haha only outside
Katherine Bitto One (8 days ago)
I always say, "If only our outsides matched our insides..."
David Nguyen (8 days ago)
Fast-food spirituality
Bre Cayri (8 days ago)
This is great. Here’s what I interpreted. Being the "ideal" look is to the utmost beneficial financially and socially. The ideal look is to be of light European decent, male or female. Looking this way for her personally gave her a career, financial freedom, free passes from offenses, and social acceptance from just about everyone. The cons are insecurity and being seen as someone who is the opposite of who she truly is. I like how she mentioned the biases against others for what they look like. Black and Latino males are truly ostracized by society because of the basic norms that are taught by the dominant “color.” Lol funny way to put it. My opinion....Everything she said is true and it brought up all of my emotions and experiences of my own life. Read on if you would like. I’m a “black” educated female and it is taboo for many that both can coexist. Black? And a university education without affirmative action? 4.0 gpa? Dean’s list? Paying out of pocket? I’m “black” and said by many “pretty.” For many others, it is taboo that this can also coexist. Pretty and black? WHOA!!! I cannot count the number of times I have heard, “you are pretty for a black girl.” It’s horrible that it has been said so much by so many that is has caused those that are light in the black community to look at dark girls and tell them that they are pretty for a dark chick. 🧐 Huh? For real though? Colorism needs to cease! I am told all the time that I should be a model for my looks. I have gone to big cities like Miami and Chicago and have been asked by actual models if I was one too. I am not one btw. Because of my looks, I get free stuff (food, clothes, technology) and compliments just about everyday but she is right, it is definitely not peaches and cream. As already mentioned, I get ignorant comments about being smart, pretty, and black all at once. I get unwanted touching like butt grabs by strangers (I was actually threatened to be beaten by a man who I told to never inappropriately touch me again) and unexpected shoulder massages by coworkers. I get rude stares by other women, untrue gossip by jealous people, and hated by women for looking this way. I had a few bullies in HS that I never even had a full conversation with; they hated me for my looks, my style, and the fact that others liked me for it. I am also insecure, I see in black culture that thick thighs and big butts are in. I see that big hips and breasts are in. Long bouncy hair and straight white teeth are in. Well I have gaps in my teeth and coffee/tea stains. I have small hips, long legs, a small waist but with a big booty. My bf calls it slim thick. But definitely not thick like the video girls though! I have short kinky curly hair and 90% of my body resembles that of a skinny white girl with this model’s body type...so in the black culture, I feel less than everyday because my body type is not ideal to them. In the general society, many men don’t give me a second look regardless of prettiness because I am black. Many only give me a second look because I AM black and they want to know how it is to be with a black girl. 😒 Dating sucks because people always want to be with you for the wrong reasons. Okay here is my point....There are many pros and cons to being what you are, NO MATTER what you are. She has pros and cons for being the ideal human, I have pros and cons for being me and so does everyone else in life. But as long as you stay true to WHO you are, don’t worry about another’s opinions about WHAT you are. It may hurt you financially or socially for a little bit but keep pushing and the bully at the top will eventually give way. I am a strong black female, I don’t care if someone pushes me , I will push back until they stop.
Andy DeJoseph (8 days ago)
I'm not sure what the point of this was. It just seems like she feels guilty about being beautiful. She did graduate from Columbia, and stays in excellent shape. That part takes work.
KH HK (8 days ago)
Lol you people are so bitter.
Rosio Flores (8 days ago)
I feel like she’s downgrading all models! Yea its not a career but it builds confidence.
Vee Zee (9 days ago)
I appreciate what was said, but it is easy to talk about looks when one is blessed with exceptional looks. Looks aren't everything but as she pointed out, it presents numerous opportunities in one's favor. What would be interesting is to see this same content given by someone from the opposite end of the physical spectrum.
Amun Ra (9 days ago)
Says she's white, but has brown skin and brown eyes. hmmm

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