Columbia-Educated Victoria's Secret Model Cameron Russell: 'Looks Aren't Everything'

Columbia-Educated Victoria's Secret Model Cameron Russell: 'Looks Aren't Everything'
(Getty Images) Model Cameron Russell walks the 2012 Victoria's Secret Show

Okay, okay, hearing a supermodel say "Looks aren't everything" is about as convincing or relatable as listening to a billionaire wax on about how money doesn't buy happiness. But Columbia and Wellesley-educated Victoria's Secret model Cameron Russell made some good points in her TEDxMidAtlantic talk, which was filmed in October 2012 and just posted online today.

The ten-year veteran of the modeling industry—who changes from a sexy LBD in the beginning of her talk into a dowdy skirt and non-descript sweater—talks about the image-making industry. Here are some highlights:

On how to become a model: "The real way that I became a model is I won the genetic lottery and I was the recipient of a legacy. For the past few centuries we have defined beauty not just as health and youth and symmetry... but also as tall, slender figures, and femininity, and white skin. And this was a legacy that was built for me and this is a legacy that I've been cashing out on."

On what she tells little girls who want to be models: "Why? You can be anything—you can be the President of the United States or the inventor of the next internet. Or a ninja cardio-thoracic surgeon poet."

On modeling as a career path: "Saying that you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying you want to win the Powerball when you grow up. It's out of your control and it's awesome and it's not a career path."

Must see: We love the part where she demonstrates a "walking shot." And we die over her juxtaposing real-life snapshots of herself with editorial photoshoots that happened around the same time.

It's actually a great talk—if you have time, see it for yourself right here:
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