Target: Cameron Russell
Goal: Applaud model for telling the truth about the media and fashion industry.
A recent article on CNN by model Cameron Russell reveals the truth about the fashion industry. Russell reveals that the media and fashion companies focus too much on being thin and tall, having symmetrical features, and being white. She points out that only 27 out of 677 runway models in 2007 were non-white, a fact that points to the continued racism in the fashion industry. She also claims that she is just an average 25 year-old who only became a model because she “won a genetic lottery.”
Russell’s honesty is not just about giving an inside perspective into the fashion industry, but is also about bringing attention to the fact that the media chooses to focus on models while ignoring news about international crises and human rights violations. She wonders why the media chooses to focus on her and her beauty over issues like Hurricane Katrina, education, and drone bases in Saudi Arabia. As a recent graduate with honors from Columbia University, Russell is hyper-aware that her privilege in the media is only based on her beauty and race and she wants change.
Russell should be congratulated for using her media platform to promote change in the fashion industry and media. By acknowledging the racism and superficiality of these industries, she is promoting awareness for young women that the media and fashion industry are biased. She is also encouraging fans to seek a more global perspective and focus their attention on human rights and politics, rather than just beauty. Commend Cameron Russell for denouncing the racist and superficial practices of the media and fashion industry.
Dear Cameron Russell,
Thank you for your recent article on CNN, in which you denounced the superficial and racist practices of the fashion industry and media. By drawing attention to the fact that modeling requires being thin, tall, symmetrical, and white, you are demonstrating how biased the fashion industry is in terms of race. By emphasizing the privilege that you have received for being a model, you have increased awareness about the superficiality of the media and which stories they choose to cover. You highlighted the stories that the mainstream media has ignored in lieu of providing more coverage about beauty.
As a role model for young women, your emphasis on gaining a global perspective and realizing the biased nature of the media is commendable. Although you came into the public eye for your modeling career, you are using your media platform to detract attention away from the fashion industry and towards more pressing global matters, such as the drones in Saudi Arabia, education, and Hurricane Sandy.
Since young women rely on the media for social cues about which values are important, by diverting attention away from beauty and onto politics, global issues, and human rights, you are helping to conquer stereotypes about women as objects and beauty and are reinforcing the notion that women are equal participants in the greater social world. Thank you for denouncing the racist and superficial practices of the media and fashion industry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Georg Petschnigg via Wikimedia Commons