Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Want to know what it's Really like to be a model? Victoria's Secret model Cameron Russell Speaks & My Views

Victoria's Secret model Cameron Russell has recently spoken very honestly at a Ted conference about modelling.

It is extremely rare to hear a model, especially one who is at the peak of their career, speak so openly about modelling in this way. For the most part it is known that you don't say negative comments about people or situations in the industry, the fear is that it will lead you to miss out on jobs and that people wont hire you. So to hear this is a breath of fresh air and desperately needed. 

How many models have you heard of say anything negative about their industry?

In fact I believe we need a lot more of the truth so that all these young girls who dream of being models at least know the reality of the industry and not just the dream and image presented to them. 

Maybe then they will choose another career option or at least they will not be so unhappy and surprised when they realise that being on the cover of a newspaper doesn't cure your insecurity or give you a ticket to lifelong happiness. That the smiling model they see in Marie Claire looking so perfect and happy is a creation and not a reality.

Cameron even chose to show pictures of herself in 'reality' next to pictures 'created' at certain times in her life. See below:

Cameron Russell pictures used at Ted

As a girl who has also modelled for nearly 10 years and faced some awful situations and blows to my self esteem and confidence I felt what she had to say was very powerful. I think it is so important to separate 'reality' from advertising and composed images.

I agree, seeing yourself in an advert doesn't often make you beem with excitement and joy but it can make you critise yourself and look at ways you could look better. Partly because there are often people telling you these things so you get used to thinking that way about yourself. The unsaid when you don't land the job you casted for, thinking why? Was it my hair, my nose, my stomach.  You feel like you aren't good enough.

"I am insecure because I have to think about what I look like everyday. If you are ever wondering if I have thinner thighs and shinnier hair will I be happier? You just need to meet a group of models because they have the thinnest thighs and the shinniest hair and the coolest clothes and they are the most physically insecure women probably on the planet" - Cameron Russell

One thing I really hated was castings and always will. I was self conscious, shy and very naiive. You can't help but sit and compare yourself to the other girls waiting to go in. If somebody said something about the way I looked I took it very personally and believed what the 'authority' figure said. If you want that career you don't have any choice you can't say well F**k them I think I look great because you want the job so badly. You need it to survive.

Being fearless is being honest and here is me being honest.

Modelling isn't for everyone sure it can be good to hear your friends and family praise you and say how good you looked but when you don't feel it yourself it doesn't make much difference. In your head you know those aren't the people who are going to give you your next pay cheque. The sad thing is that when my family would tell me I was looking too thin I would think to myself, yes maybe here but not in 'my' world (the modelling world).

Pic Left me messing around | Right LA fashion week

It can be demoralising and lonely. Sure there have been times that I have enjoyed. When you are on the catwalk and everyone is looking at you and taking pictures you feel powerful and special. Those are the moments in between.

I am proud of what I have done but if I have a daughter one day and she wants to be a model I don't think I would be jumping out of my chair in excitement.

See the speech here

I Would love to hear your thoughts on this ladies x


  1. great post! really interesting to hear what it's really like, it will be good for people who want to be models to read this so they know the facts! x

    1. Thanks Jenn. Sometimes it is hard to be so honet but I also feel its very important :-) x

  2. Hi Jenn,

    It's interesting how you are bringing these two worlds together, the one of modeling and the one of top-modeling :-)

    As a female researcher I must confess that, while being completely convinced about the usefulness of modeling I am undecided when it comes to the *usefulness* of top-modeling. For the latter I would argue the discussion of whether it is good or bad is very important, because at the end the top-models are humans (as opposed to the artifacts in modeling). At the moment I tend to think, that in order to answer the question about the usefulness of top-models one would have to see which purpose they serve. Is their role e.g. the displaying of fashion or is it more complex (creating desires, being some -unachievable- role model for young girls etc.)?

    Anyway, I am also an entrepreneur of modeling industry and like to connect with those who are new entrepreneurs or loved modelling. Here is some existence over net and you are invited to visit.

    Best regards,
    Alycia Kaback



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