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Cameron Russell on Image

December 20, 2012

I’m working on a post about myself to celebrate my triumphant return from my first semester at a grown-up university, but this popped up on my Tumblr and I thought it was worth drawing attention to, besides generating some much-needed content for all these folk pinging me from the illustrious requireshate.

Cameron Russell is a Victoria’s Secret model, and she stood up to give a talk about what being a model really means, how privilege (or as she calls it, “legacy”) functions for her in her job and life, and a little bit about her struggle to unpack that. I find it quite brave, and you can see the blank looks from a lot of the audience, and I salute her for standing there and laying it out in ten minutes.

And without taking away from that bravery, I’d like to contrast it with this: Meteorologist Fired for Responding to Racism. This woman, politely and professionally, responded to a Facebook comment shaming her for her short hair. Her network reprimanded her, fired her…and liked the comment.

Also, in a follow-up search on the article, I found more than one gem about how an angry black woman viciously lashed out at a disabled man with dementia online. Happily the writer neglected to carefully cherry-pick and doctor quotes from the actual post, and was pretty well lambasted in the comments, but…

The point is Rhonda Lee, for the crime of her image, was summarily fired for her politely standing up for herself. Cameron Russell can be safely applauded for outing her whole industry.


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