Beauty Tricks To Remove Your Self-Esteem

cameron-russell-tedxtalk1“Can I be a model when I grow up?” 

That’s a question girls often ask model, Cameron Russell.

The lure of big money is likely a draw. But there’s probably also a yearning to feel beautiful, and therefore, worthy — and at the top of the pecking order.

As she was prepping for a TED Talk on the subject, Cameron learned that:

Of the 13-year-old girls in the United States, 53 percent don’t like their bodies, and that number goes to 78 percent by the time that they’re 17.

But if you are looking for self-esteem, modeling is not the way to go, she adds, 

I am insecure. And I’m insecure because I have to think about what I look like every day. And if you ever are wondering, “If I have thinner thighs and shinier hair, will I be happier?” You just need to meet a group of models, because they have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they’re the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.

The models portray an ideal to grasp for. But the goal cannot be reached — given the mix of starvation, Photoshop, and 14-year-old bodies that is required.

But it goes beyond that. Cameron says the pictures aren’t even her. They are constructions.

This picture is the first modeling job she had. She looks like a sex vixen. Yet she hadn’t even had a period yet. And it was the first time she had worn a bikini. Next to that picture is Cameron with her grandma just a few months earlier.


And as she says in the caption below, she’d never even had a boyfriend before this shot was taken:


Now check out the contrast between Cameron in V Magazine and Cameron on her soccer team:


And here she is today. In real life, and as fashion construction.


So if you look at these kinds of pictures in fashion mags and don’t feel as sexy and hot as Cameron, no matter how hard you try, don’t feel bad. She didn’t – and doesn’t – look that way, either.

She adds,

I hope what you’re seeing is that these pictures are not pictures of me. They are constructions, and they are constructions by a group of professionals, by hairstylists and makeup artists and photographers and stylists and all of their assistants and pre-production and post-production, and they build this. That’s not me.

You can see the whole TED Talk here:

Related Posts on BroadBlogs

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Low Self-Esteem? Blame Beauty Myths

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 16, 2014, in body image, feminism, objectification, psychology, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 56 Comments.

  1. It is interesting to read and learn more about social expectations displayed in today’s society. As mentioned in the post, these images are giving various messages and setting “normal society expectations. Unfortunately, these messages start issues beyond physical appearanc and characteristics.The example of the young lady in a portrait with the opposite gender shows a lot about how some models may feel when having to be in action. This young lady seems extremely uncomfortable with being in certain roles and positions. This experience could potentially pose a significant impact on their mental health.

  2. When I was teenager, I found out that my younger sister was almost scouted after a random trip to the mall, ‘almost’ because my mom turned the offer down, she wanted more for her kids. At the time I was confused as to why my mom turned the offer down, because in my head models made money, had opportunity to do more. I was also jealous, why was I not scouted?, but then I remembered that my sister and I are polar opposites. As Cameron talked about in her TED Talk, my sister had ‘won a genetic lottery and was a recipient of a legacy,’ though we come from a POC family, my sister was tall, slender, healthy, youthful. And I was not, I was a size 8, which was about 6 sizes too big to fit into what society viewed as beautiful. It did not matter that I was smart, kind, honest, because by society standard those aspects came second to beauty and sex appeal. Society standard is what makes women insecure about everything they are not, as a teenager it bothered me, and I questioned why I did not get so lucky. Now as a young adult, I have built upon my knowledge self-image, society’s unbelievable standards, come to realize that I did not have to check those boxes because to me what mattered more was my own character, realizing that I am beautiful in my own way.

  3. This post brings up a lot for me. The stats about girls who feel insecure in their bodies from ages 13-17 feel remote, but I’m sure they resonate with most young women. They certainly resonate with me, and I wasn’t even consciously aware of physically insecure at that time. In hindsight, it’s clear that a cultural focus change began in my pre-teen years. Suddenly, I was an object, holding my appearance up to the “ideals” represented by women in magazines. By the time I was 13, I was trained out of loving my unique value and identity. As a queer woman, I think I blame our society’s gender norms as much as I blame its homophobia for shaming me into the closet.

  4. I think Cameron Russell did an excellent job discussing body image and self-esteem. It’s important for people like her, who have the power and ability to influence young girls, to step up and be honest about these issues. I also thought it was important that she brought up race and the inequalities that women of color face. She was able to talk about how being white has afforded her and other women better opportunities and an easier life, something that is not openly discussed enough. This article does a job good at showing just much of an influence mass media has on young girls and society as a whole. Young girls are taught how they should look and act from magazines, movies, and television. This then leads those who are unable to achieve these ideals to diet, get surgery, and develop mental illnesses, such as anorexia, in an attempt to get as close to the ideal as possible. I also loved that we were able to see what Cameron actually looked like on a day to day basis because it made her seem more approachable and her looks more achievable.

  5. I gathered so much from this TedTalk. Cameron Russell beautifully put together this talk and talked about how she feels fortunate, but there is a dark side to her job. She is a beautiful woman on the inside, and she recognized that she is in her position because of a legacy and because she “won the genetic lottery” as she put it. Growing up, I was envious of models, I saw them, and they were perfect; that’s because they are. They are edited to the point where they are a version of a person, but they don’t actually exist. Cameron Russell is an actual woman, but the translations of her that exist in magazines and photos are not. However, the realism behind model photography is hard to recognize as a child. Even if someone did tell me how edited the images are, there is no way I could understand that.

  6. Stephanie Tran

    Even though I am aware that no one is perfect, I found this post to be still relieving and comforting to read, especially since it provided the point of view of a model. It is a reminder that nobody looks like the flawless, gorgeous models we see on the magazines—even the models themselves don’t look like that in person, as Cameron Russell revealed herself. It’s amazing how nowadays, even on social media, many people (especially influencers such as fashion bloggers) put in effort to post edited photos of themselves, choosing the perfect lighting, filters, and the best suited angle. There are mobile apps like “FaceTune” where anyone can easily remove blemishes, make themselves look skinnier, and more. I think our society is extremely caught up in the standards of beauty, especially since social media has become the main platform to share cool things with friends and make a good impression on the general public. The thing is that people are only showing things that they want to show and oftentimes portray what seems to be an amazing and perfect lifestyle. These things can make people set unreasonable standards for themselves, and, therefore, become less confident in themselves. I think it is really important to hear more from people like Cameron and I thank her for being real and speaking out about this.

  7. Carina DeLorenzo

    The number one reaction I have when seeing these is concern. Why, why, why, does media want to sexualize the body’s of young girls and have them look like adult women? There are arguments that if one simply looks at the fashion young actresses wear to events that they have to present a far more adult and polished image than they have in the past, and that this is possibly a reason that we as a culture have seen such a drop in self-image. And statistics are proving that even as girls get into the make up and beauty game younger and younger it still does nothing for how they internally view themselves and their self esteem. I’m just not sure how, if this is the case, we can correct for it. Girls of course should not have their individual fashion choices policed, but systemic change seems so far fetched at this current moment in time.

  8. I think Cameron’s message is important because the images we see of women in magazines and ADs is a construction of an entire team of people to produce an unrealistic expectations of women. It’s especially unfortunate with the rise of social media and models sharing their “perfect” bodies and luxurious lifestyles on platforms like Instagram, since so many young girls follow them and strive to look like them. There is an impossible standard of beauty that the media tries to sell to us – to look a certain way, own all these material possessions, and to have our bodies be wanted by men.

    It’s important to recognize that we all have insecurities about our bodies and that there is not a perfect way to look. True beauty is embracing ourselves in our natural states, like Cameron’s photos of her with her grandmother, playing soccer, and being with friends. Women are beautiful for who they are on the inside, and beauty should not depend on what we see of models in the media.

  9. I think it is really sad how the modeling industry plays with our minds when they create the perfect image of girls, while they make us think the perfect girls exist. Many young girls want to look like them, and they risk their health and life by starving themselves, or making themselves throw up. And we learn from her that it is not even real, but they use Photoshop to edit the pictures to make them look like those impossible criteria. I think those things need to change, and I think there should be limitations and rules for it.

    • Yeah, it doesn’t work for either women or men. I’ve had guys in my classes say that they wonder why they can’t get a girl like that. Well, no one looks like that, not even the models.

  10. I think it’s amazing that Cameron can tell her fans and tell normal people that the model Cameron isn’t her. The photographer, the stylists and the producer make her look like this. Her image is used like a product and it’s very important for younger people to understand that they shouldn’t compare themselves with a product. It’s sad that the industry makes so much money by producing bad role models. Or maybe not bad role models but makes these restrictions about how you are supposed to look like. The struggle is getting bigger and bigger because of the social medias and their affection on teenagers. Altogether, do I believe that Cameron looked more healthy, happy and beautiful in all the pictures to the right, from the real life. I think it’s important to remember as she is saying that we can’t compare us selves to these pictures, because they are not of her, they are changed and made up.

  11. I think this is a really important blog to have up. Girls these days are so intrigued by women in the modeling and fashion industry, and now, especially with the VS Fashoin Show coming up, girls are more and more likely to have body issues around these times. And just as Cameron says, those photos aren’t her, but they are constructions of her made up by different people who are working to make her look “perfect” in every single shot. I also really like how she points out how uncomfortable she really is in some of those images, but if you were to just look at the picture itself without her comments, she looks like she is happy and comfortable with herself. It’s kind of sad to me how pictures can yes, say a thousand words, but they can also hide a thousand words. We never really know what it going on with someone based off of a picture, and I think that is a very important thing to point out to young girls. Models are doing their job, they’re acting. It may look like a happy and wonderful and glamorous life, but that model could absolutely hate what’s going on, and we would never know just by looking at one of their photographs.

  12. Kaylie Solomon

    I think the reason why I love this particular TED Talk is because she has her main topic of body image and perceptions, but also talks about how she benefits from her own personal “lottery”. I had worked at a preschool a while back and remembered asking an Asian girl what she wanted do when she was grown up. She replied with model. When asked why, she said that she wanted to be pretty like the girl on her magazine. I looked at the cover and it was of a white model. It made me sad that she could not see her own beauty because our society tells us that white is beautiful and anything else is not. Although there have been many advertisements lately showing women of all color owning their bodies, most times they are trying to sell products to change their bodies. This is the definition of false advertisement. Why can’t we advertise body positivity without a background motive? Why can’t we all just be beautiful the way we are?

  13. After reading this blog, I just feel that women are being trapped in an unrealistic standard about body image. We internalize that standard and get obsessed about it. Women hate their imperfect bodies. Event they are supper models, they still feel insecure. Is it a double blind? Women are more than just a skinny body with big boobs. We should be more connected with our body, and we should love our body more. It is a great talk. It also shows how the media brainwash us and inject many unhealthy ideal in to our society.

  14. What I find fascinating about not only this blog post, but also the idea that photography is an art form. The models we see are indeed a ‘construction’ as mentioned in this blog. So where in our society did we start to view these art forms as our standards of beauty? Does is root back to Ancient Greece and the making of naked female statues? Is it a natural instinct to want to obtain the looks in these photographs or the perfectly structured Greek statues? I’m grateful for the women such as Cameron who have taken the time to make sure young women acknowledge how “constructed” these photos truly are. To think that at the tender age of thirteen young girls are already starting to dislike their bodies is terrifying. But can we blame them? From the time they were practically born, they were bombarded with advertisements for products that will make them prettier, thinner, or more likable. We have unintentionally instilled the idea that our looks define us in the upcoming generations through magazines, social media, and other marketing tools. The only way to change these social constructs is to change the way we view them. We are exposed to these advertisements because the multi-billion dollar companies know that our society has been defined by looks so, we buy products based on how it makes us look. In order to reverse these potentially fatal consequences we must change the way we view the art form of photography as well as the advertisements that are displayed to us.

    • The social construction of beauty varies from place to place. Greek statues of women are not anorexic. And the beauty ideal in some parts of West Africa is obesity. So there is not some Beauty ideal that transcends time and place. And creating and impossible beauty ideal can sell a lot of product, As women keep trying and trying to achieve it. Pretty much a bottomless pit of buying.

  15. I am currently experienced such lower self-esteem, just because I saw the picture of my classmate in SNS. Well, she is really beautiful and have appropriate make-up and dressing. I have to admit I feel kind of inferior in front of her. I think this is something like the influence of models. What is different is that she is closer to me than the models are, which makes me feel more under pressure. After reading this, I feel kind of released, not because how different the models look like in magazines and real life, but because Cameron makes me realize that even those most beautiful and ideal models experience the insecure. People face different problems in their life, and appearance shouldn’t lead to my lower self-esteem anyway. I would still like to improve my skills of make up and dressing, however, I would never feel inferior to others merely because of my appearance.

  16. I can also say that I am insecure woman who battles between a higher and lower self-esteem many times throughout the day. I feel that I am paranoid and consistently overly conscious about what I look like; from what hair is out of place and frayed, if my face is too fat or red, what my body looks like to other people, and especially how photogenic I am. Usually I am dissatisfied with myself or confident until I look into a mirror after I leave the house. Hearing Cameron, a notable model say that even she is insecure about her looks due to the fact that her career surrounds such is comforting. Yet, I still feel that even though I agree that our perceived successes and failures are just that, perceptions- my ingrown insecurities still hold a lot of power against this fact. I, at times, am unaffected by others and can provide self-esteem for myself. A lot of other times, however, I can’t help but put myself down in response to the constructions that are seen all around us and in personal social media as well (i.e. apps like Instagram). I believe in what Cameron is speaking about, yet I am fighting what I have grown up to feel/believe standard-wise and for what is right and true when we see the way media tries to construct us to believe.

  17. Young girls are faced with tons of ads about beauty. They are then expected or fell like they should look like the models in the magazines or television ads. But many young girls have to understand that the models in the final image do not even look like the model in real life. With the use of Photoshop and other editing software the model gets altered so much it creates an unrealistic idea of what women should look like. Young girls also have to understand that models are put into lots of pressure to be thin and size zeroes and even then they are not pleased with their body. The model Cameron Russell stated how she is insecure and just because she has shinier hair and thinner thighs does not make her be happy. Society has created the idea that by being thin and having thinner thighs you’ll be happy but even then there always seems to be something else you are not happy with about yourself. Young girls need support and more confidence that the way they look is perfectly fine and that they should be happy with the way they look.

  18. Well, I am one of the people who get judged based on her looks. I can totally relate, because I have some bad experiences, which has nothing to do with my self confidence. My appearance has always been different than my peers which dragged some unwanted attention to me by the public. My aunt tried many times to ask me to wear some make up at least lipsticks just to look like others. But now I am just very proud to be one of my few peers who don’t wear make up.

    Looks are not everything and becoming a model is not as good as it seems. For, I might be considered very fat ( not sure if obese would be a better word ) but I weight more than 90 kilos with is about 198 Lb and I do have hard time shopping. However, becoming a model was never on mind and never even thought of it. Indeed, I loved my body when I lost weight and my size became smaller as I had lots of variety of things to choose from and wear. But as for now? I think am satisfied with my shape as I got used to it.

    P.S the model looks so much prettier when she wore the bigger clothes. I mean, she looked hot at the beginning but later she looked natural and cute. I remember have seen this video before, and now watching it again I think I have more knowledge about what she is saying after our class today. 🙂

  19. I have always been hard on myself about my appearance, because I have always been so tiny. I have always been called names like anorexic, but that could be farther from the truth. Things like that are what I believe to have caused my insecurities, it is hard not to care about what other people think. I found it surprising to read that even the most beautiful models are not comfortable with what they look like, when they’re image is their entire career. I think that mainly women are hard on themselves about their appearance, maybe it has something to do with our brain structure. I just find it sad that even at a young age girls are worried about how they look rather than enjoying who they are.

  20. Christine Cortez

    A few years ago in my sociology class we did a debate. The debate was on weather or not young girls should be able to play with Barbie dolls and how they influence their rolls on young girls body images. After reading the blog it really reminded me of how hard we are on our selves to look a certain way just to feel beautiful. It’s sad to think that we have to put on so much makeup, and strive to have a body figure just to fit in with what we see on tv and also magazines. Back in the 1950’s woman who we’re curvy we’re beautiful, now they are also known as plus size, and are frowned upon. It is such a cruel world to see how serious it can affect ones health. There have been so many women who have starved themselves just to be skinny. We need to feel beautiful in every way, not just what we look like but how we feel. I believe that women should accept the way they we’re created and how we’re all different for a reason.

  21. Lenore hamilton

    This blog made me concerned for young girls and their ideas about and dislikes of themselves, specifically my own grandchildren. It’s alarming to know that more than half of girls in the US age 13 don’t like their bodies with the number growing for girls by the age of 17. I have granddaughters who are products of the world and they are exposed to the myths of what the world views as beautiful. At one time my granddaughters were consumed about their looks. I found them constantly in the mirror, complaining about their flaws and obsessed with their complexion. I also found them comparing their bodies to their peers. I can’t help but blame the media and society for attempting to destroy what me and my family had done to empower the girls and their self esteem. All forms of media have somewhat negatively impacted young girls about their belief of beauty and personal image. This blog is confirmation that everything that’s seen on television and through advertisements aren’t real. I’ve learned that it’s my job to teach my girls their own definition of beauty.

  22. Great post. It’s sad that most of the women we see in today’s magazines don’t actually reflect real women. And that the “ideal body” we see in these magazines are simply just enhanced with makeup, airbrushing, and photoshop. Talk about false advertisement. However, many still find themselves wanting to emulate that. And I think this can relate to a lot of young girls and women. It would be nice to see more of “real” and healthy women on the front cover of a beauty magazine for a change. And I’m talking about no enhancements or beauty tricks. Society needs to accept that you don’t have to be skinny or have flawless skin in order to be beautiful. Instead, we should encourage women to be healthy because healthy IS beautiful.

  23. For a short time I was obsessed with the idea of image and how I looked to others – I’d often think thoughts like “Am I pretty enough to them?” “Do they like me?” “Do they think my outfit is cute?”
    When I was thinking these insecure thoughts it was truly a plague. It’s not fun to be constantly haunted and never, ever fully satisfied because somewhere in your head there is something telling you someone is not liking your outfit or how to you look, and it makes you insecure.

    Somewhere at some point as I matured and grew older I learned to change those questions to things like “Do I think I’m pretty enough?” “Do I like me?” “Do I think my outfit is cute?” Quite frankly – it’s no one else’s opinion but mine that matters, and everyone should feel the same with themselves. And the answer to all those questions should be yes, every time.

    I can’t imagine living the light of a model. It’s just sad to me.

  24. I found as a 13 year old it was not the model aspect that I found myself wanting to emulate but the woman my body lacked to be what I found detouring me from my own form. I wanted to look older rather than more pretty. I felt I had a fairly decent tv role model if there was to be one from tv and if anything other parents would chastise my mom for the violence of the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Otherwise the tv show did a very good job of dealing with the real life problems of teens without making them awkward to talk about and without over sexualizing the females and instead making them strong without making them feminist in a way that could be annoying. The show had a strong female character for every type of girl to identify with and feel empowered by without objectification in any of the stereotyping. The rest of my role models were real women but older non the less so I found I appreciated myself but still wanted to look as old as I felt, and was, inside.

  25. It is very sad that these days we have 13 year olds that worry more about looks when they shouldn’t worry about such things at their age. Could this be part of human nature? It seems like most girls growing up always find something to dislike about their face, body, etc. This post is a great example of how “models” sometimes seem like something that in reality is not what they are. When we see a magazine and we see a beatufil model with nice make-up and hair we can only hope to look like that, when in reality, as the post describes, this is all construction; however this creates an image to young girls about what they “should” look like. As we get older we realize how these models look so perfect, by being photoshopped, but when you’re young and naive you can only wish to look like the model on a magazine cover. The pressure that girls get due to these images is what causes these 13 year olds to find something wrong with themselves.

  26. I’ve heard about this countless times, and I am not surprised that models are as against the “media” look as much as most women can be. First off, I have always had mixed feelings toward models and modelling for both males and females. However, it is more prominently made out toward women. My position is fairly simple: I wouldn’t ever encourage a girl I know to be a model as I think it is a terrible occupation both psychologically/emotionally/socially, but if I meet a model, I don’t argue against them. If a women chooses to become one, that is her choice. While I think it is not the best of choices, it does pay well and takes a lot of hard work and commitment and can make someone feel rewarded. However, I think it does so much damage to a person’s self image and self esteem, as well as distorts the world’s expectation of beauty.

    My sisters have auditioned and been accepted to a modelling agency, and I have a few friends that have done it. All I ever have heard about it is how stressful and fake everything is. The amount of makeup and artificial changes that are made to an original photo is astounding and makes you question why they use real people to begin with. The only positive I really see from modelling is that of financial gain. Even the publicity is bad in my opinion because, let’s face it, it’s sex appeal. Women will judge and criticize models for thinking they are better than everyone else when they are just the same, and men will just want to get to know them because they are a model. Cameron is spot on with everything she said and I feel bad that athletes have to be forced into doing shots like this, especially at a young age.

  27. This was a really good read, because it reminds us women that we are human.

    Sometimes, I think we stray away from that because of what the media portrays females as. We often see these models and celebrities made up and we tend to be jealous of their physique, physical attributes- but we forget that they are just like us. Often times, if we had the same people they did, the hairdressers, make-up artists, and professional photographers, we could be just like them.

    I mean after all…Have you SEEN Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj without make-up?!

  28. It’s interesting reading that there are 13 year old girls that are worried about heir appearance and how they look because when I think back to when I was a 13 year old I never even thought about my body like that. I was not worried about what I wore or how I looked and I think it was because I hadn’t been “corrupted” to think otherwise. I also find it ironic that a model that is usually someone who portrays society’s perception of “beauty” can feel so insecure of themselves when they are the people that are used to show us what “beautiful” looks like. And I hope that girls growing up will learn that worry about your body and how you look like so you can be accepted isn’t the best thing to do. It’s better to just love yourself instead of trying to be/look like someone else.

  29. The pressure on women to look a certain way has only been exasperated since women began to get equal rights. Models have only been getting skinner since the 1950’s and the ideal of beauty, as mentioned, is unattainable. In Tina Fey’s book “Bossy Pants” she says that photoshopping is alright as long as everyone realizes that it’s happening and that no one really looks like that. Yet, the more I actually think about it, I don’t look at pictures in magazines and think “Yeah, that’s photoshopped”, I think “Wow that girl looks amazing”. So I think the argument for photoshop is invalid. We should be presenting women with healthy body shapes as the ideals for clothes, because it influences girls’ subconscious more than anyone is willing to admit.

    • You are absolutely right that the increased focus on women’s looks is a backlash to women’s rights. Get them to base their self-esteem on their looks, and then create an impossible standard to live up to, and you are bound to diminish women’s self-esteem and sense of self. You’re also likely to get them to spend so much time focused on their looks that they can’t focus on increasing their political power. How convenient. See this:

      Self-Esteem Falls with Rise in Power? Blame Beauty Ideals

      And thinking Photoshop is okay isn’t a feminist position. I couldn’t tell from your comment whether you thought it was. I read Tina Fey’s take on it. She seems to be okay with Photoshopping out things like razor stubble. It was more like, “How is it being used”? It is a comedic peace. Here’s a link to the quote

  30. Jelissa Blanco

    I don’t understand how they can use pictures of this young girl, or how her parents would even allow her to be in these magazines. I think their should be an age limit to things like this. As mentioned in the comments above girls are insecure because guys have such high expectations for how a girl should look. And a girl thinks if she doesn’t look like a model she is fat or unattractive. None of this is true, not everyone can be as thin or have shiny hair like a model. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and the sooner one learns that the better and happier they will be.

    • I completely agree Jelissa. The sad truth is that some parents approve this sort of thing. Young girls are exposed because the “perfect body” according to media is a malnourished skeletal structure, which often looks and is referred to as a body of a young child. Media portrays an unachievable idea of “perfection”, and it’s all the work of photoshop and professionals creating their “masterpiece”. The issue is both sided – people need to remember to think realistically in these situations and that in the real world this idea is completely unattainable and no one should allow their thoughts with such negative thoughts. But, media needs to change their idea of perfect and perhaps talk more about how they are manipulating the human form to create art in photography or fashion or the human body. I think it’s definitely growing and becoming much more open minded, especially in the last few years.

  31. I have always known that the whole fashion and model industry is all about constructions. But when I was younger, I hoped to be one of the models too, and I believe most of the girls all at least had a thought that wish to be skinny as models or pretty like them. Seeing the differences between Russell’s photo shot and her real life, I think it explains everything about this industry. Sadly, a lot of girls go on diet or plastic surgeries to look like these models when the images of them are not even real. Girls, especially young girls are losing their uniqueness just to be like “constructed” models. This kind of misleading for young girls can harm them both mentally and physically, and the constructions from modeling industry should be responsible for it.

  32. It’s astonishing how big the number is of 13 year Olds that don’t like there body! When I was that age nobody was worrying about how good they looked school was our biggest problem. But I have noticed that with social media and all this new technology we have that has given us the ability to photo shop and share all these pictures has played a major influence on what beauty is. Especially in the younger girls who want to look like the people in the magazines not knowing all of it is fake. With this amount of 13 year Olds worrying about what there body image is its not surprising that that number only gets bigger as you get older.

  33. Khaoula Mouman

    This post opened my eyes to see that some models aren’t who they think they are. I always perceived them as perfect, have always thought that they never had to worry about their figure and to read that some are the complete opposite of what I have always believed is astonishing. The comparison of pictures that were shown also appalled me. There is a tremendous difference between the casual picture taken of Cameron Russell and the one that was taken at her job. What also surprised me was the fact that the photographer made her uncomfortable while at a photo shoot. I’m assuming she chose the modeling career because that’s what she loves to do, her being uncomfortable at her job totally defeats the purpose of her doing what she loves.

  34. I think the more technology progresses, the worse the advertising business gets. Not to say that the marketing business was good to begin with, but the fact that it creates the wrong message for girls around the world.

    “But if you are looking for self-esteem, modeling is not the way to go”
    Those words cannot be any truer as many models usually depict how fake modeling tends to be. Cameron Russell seems to explain the situation on modeling very well as it shows how false the model Cameron is compared to the reality of Cameron.

    Sadly, I don’t think the modeling business is going to get any better since we live in a technological world, meaning improved photoshop, meaning more false images of unrealistic women.

    Photoshop is a crazy technology to be able to turn a pizza into a woman:

  35. I find this extremely sad; the modeling world is secretly a dark place. The truth is no one is perfect enough to be a model but they find people (women in particular) close enough to perfect they then manipulate the models into changing themselves. “You know we would hire you but we are looking for a blonde no a brunette” Of course you want the money and if all you have to do is change your hair color why not? That is just the beginning soon they will ask you to lose weight, get a tan, wear colored contacts and then these evil people don’t even use the original photos they take they Photoshop them into “the perfect model”. This is what young children grow up with and they have no Idea that it is all fake. These fake images then give them unreasonable expectations on how they themselves should look. Imagine a world where modeling didn’t exist I bet people would be happier with themselves because there wouldn’t be much to compare to

  36. I’m also one of these girls that don’t like their own looks and body, and I don’t remember how many times I thought that I wish I can look like or I have a body like a model in magazine. So, it was really surprising to know that not only she but most of the models feel insecure. However after I watched her TED talk, I kind of understood why they feel insecure and how nonsense people’s prejudices are which is a little bit shocking to me. Well, it’s hard to say that our society should be fair to everyone because they are born that way, but as long as both these models and people in general (although I don’t prefer to say like that) have some struggles, still I’d say that our society should have fair eyes to everyone.

  37. This article is very interesting to me. I know there are tens of thousands of people especially girls who want to be like models. I can understand why they are yearning so because the models look like cooler, the more fascinating, or the thinner than the general people. However, I think models always sacrifice themselves for their job. I guess they are always hungry and they are always sleepy because I heard that models especially who are really famous cannot sleep enough. Therefore, I guess they are in danger to live because of their life styles. I also agree with the topic that the models are constructed. They can be the models by helping by other assistants or technicians. They must be the ideal at the work field. Thus, I reflect that girls should adjust their ages or personalities, and they shouldn’t long for the excessive objects.

  38. I think Cameron looks more real and beautiful in her candid photos. There is a realism that goes along with that, because women don’t have perfect bodies, but that’s what makes it beautiful and unique. I think there is also a lot of pressure from the media and society for women to look a certain way, however, it is an unattainable and unhealthy beauty. I recently watched a documentary called MissRepresentation which goes into more depth about how this portrayal of women is having a negative affect on young women-very interesting!

  39. I saw this talk a little while ago and I thought she was great. It is disturbing using very young girls in provocative poses isn’t it.

  40. Are there laws in the U.S. against using models that young for certain things. This seems to ring with my post from yesterday. She’s 12 and she shouldn’t be used as a sex object. Even more, 12-year-olds should not think they have to aspire to be like that. I mean, her modeling images are beautiful… it just disturbs me how young she is in them and how provocatively she is posed.

  41. I think her beauty is even vaster in the au natural pictures- there is an aliveness to them because she doesn’t have to constrict herself into her poses. I love that she exposed the truth about what goes on.

  42. Poor things…and to think they are called ‘models’. More like clothes-hangers or mannequins. And they must be under constant pressure to prove they are ‘more than just their body.’

    All things said, I’m just happy the way I am.

    • A lot of girls strive to be like them, and get down on themselves when they can’t attain the ideal — not realizing that even the models aren’t like “themselves” in reality.

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