“Once, when my daughter Paula was in her twenties, she said to me that feminism was dated, that I should move on. We had a memorable fight. Feminism is dated? Yes, for privileged women like my daughter and all of us here, but not for most of our sisters in the rest of the world who are still forced into premature marriage, prostitution, forced labor. They have children that they don’t want or they can’t feed. They have no control over their bodies or their lives. They have no education and no freedom. They are raped, beaten up, and sometimes killed with impunity. For most Western young women of today, being called a feminist is an insult. Feminism has never been sexy, but let me assure you that it never stopped me from flirting and I have seldom suffered from a lack of men. Feminism is not dead—by no means. It has evolved. If you don’t like the term, change it, for Goddess' sake! Call it Aphrodite or Venus or Bimbo if you want. The name doesn’t matter as long as we understand what it is about and support it.”—Isabel Allende
Cameron Russell: Image Is Powerful Ted Talk
I thought this TED Talk was insightful, refreshing and incredibly candid. Cameron is eloquent, provides shockingly ‘real’ talk about the illusion of beauty, modelling, and self-esteem. She also shares some of her own images, both real life and covers, to show how much goes in to the photographs we see everyday.
Excerpt from TED blog.
“I always just say I was scouted, but that means nothing,” Russell says in her talk. “The real way I became a model is that I won a genetic lottery, and I am a recipient of a legacy. For the past few centuries, we have defined beauty not just as health and youth and symmetry that we’re biologically programmed to admire, but also as tall, slender figures with femininity and white skin. This is a legacy that was built for me, and that I’ve been cashing in on.”
In this talk, Russell delivers two powerful messages: First, that young girls who dream of being a model should think of it like they would winning Powerball—something to shoot for, but “not a career path.” Second, Russell takes on the tendency to think that life would be better and easier if we were more beautiful. Russell’s response: “If you ever think, ‘If I had thinner thighs and shinier hair, wouldn’t I be happier,” you just need to meet a group of models. They have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes and they are the most physically insecure women, probably, on the planet.”
But Russell has another point she wants to convey too. While many bemoan the use of Photoshop for making models look thinner and imperfection-free, Russell says that this is just the tip of the iceberg. To hear more about how the image of sex appeal is carefully constructed from the ground up, watch her bold talk. And after the jump, pay attention as Russell shares the reality behind some of her sexy images.
This is the very first photo that Cameron Russell ever took as a model, shot for the magazine Allure in 2003, when she had just turned 16. Yes, she may look like the beacon of femininity. But she hadn’t so much as gotten her period yet. To hammer the point home of just how young she was at the time, she’s contrasted the image with a bathing-suit shot of her with her grandma, taken just a months before.
Russell looks like a siren in this red bikini. Despite looking well into her 20s in the image, she was just a teenager when the photo was taken. For argument’s sake, here’s a photo of her on the beach with a friend taken the same day. Her look: polka-dotted innocence.
Another illustration of how young Russell was as she embarked on her early modeling career—in this shot, she looks beautifully brooding in a shot for French Vogue. However, she was giggly at a slumber party just days before.
“There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools. But teaching is a creative profession. Teaching, properly conceived, is not a delivery system. You know, you're not there just to pass on received information. Great teachers do that, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage.”—Sir Ken Robinson, on education and great teachers
3 TED Talks The Establishment Would Prefer You To Miss
What do economic inequality, scientific materialism, and human consciousness have in common?
All 3 of them represent important pillars of our current economic and social arrangements, and, all 3 are topics of TED presentations surrounded by controversy, with many people claiming censorship by the revered idea broker.
TED, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ has inspired the world many times over with the quality and variety of their conferences, speakers and topics. They, of course, reserve the right to choose their content accordingly, however, a common thread in these 3 talks, intellectual revolt against mainstream thought, does makes them suspiciously ripe for suppression by a larger media establishment already guilty of enforcing our status quo with a heavy regimen of triviality, propaganda and fantasy.
None of these ideas are violent, none are offensive nor profane, and all are reasoned and intelligent. And, although they may not appeal to everyone, there is certainly no physical harm to be done from sharing these ideas.
Take a look at these worthwhile presentations, 3 TED talks the establishment would prefer you to miss