Model, Cameron Russell, points out that image is a powerful influencer of how we perceive success or failure.

In her case, she’s led a successful career for 10 years as an underwear model. However, this wasn’t simply due to hard work and determination. She openly accepts that this stemmed from having won the genetic lottery and being born into an age where gender and racial bias exists. Being a tall, skinny, white woman in an age that embraces Caucasian features as the benchmark for beauty was a big factor for how well she got on in life. She also talks about an industry that churns out and perpetuates our idea of what an attractive woman looks like. In her talk, she shows photos of her in seductive and alluring professional shots and magazine covers held next to photos of her with her friends and her family looking like a normal girl.

This is a criticism of the deeply entrenched stereotypes and archetypes of beauty that we continue to propagate and uphold. This is a criticism of an industry that openly sexualises the photos of a 16 year old girl just to promote commercial products aimed at women who feel that buying such things will make them love themselves more. Finally, this is a criticism of a society, despite how “evolved” it claims to be, still persecutes, punishes and rewards people based on gender, race and beauty.

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