Blog Post #2

1. The first text discusses the differences between traditional trade methods and methods of fair trade. The reading explains why fair trade is important in underdeveloped countries.

2. The second passage is in the form of a Ted Talk. This video is titled "Looks aren't everything, believe me I'm a model" and is hosted by Cameron Russell, a model. She explains how people are often treated unfairly, and judged by looks or preconceived notions.

This text clarified why traditional trade methods do not suffice for people in underdeveloped countries. Often in first-world nations, such as the United States, the government imposes subsidies, tariffs, taxes and policies to set price standards in order to protect both sellers and consumers. Large and developed governments also provide labor laws to ensure people can maintain a high standard of living. Contrastingly, in third-world nations, the government does not have the resources to provide these subsidies. According to the National Labor Committee, the average wage for overseas production is one dollar per day, and this provides less than twenty-five percent of the minimum needs of a family of five. In order to produce and farm at low cost, environmental standards and working conditions are ignored. This was extremely eye opening for me. I believe, as people of a country of wealth, Americans have a duty to aid our international neighbors as they attempt to make a living for themselves and their families. It is important for businesses and individual consumers alike to examine the power of their purchase. Purchasing products that are certified Fair Trade enables artisans to receive fair wages while simultaneously maintaining environmental standards.

2. The TED Talk video reveals how image can be crafted to create a desired image or perception. The speaker, Cameron Russell starts the talk in a revealing dress and high heels. As the speech progresses she changes into modest clothing, making her appear much more like an average woman. She shows pictures of her doing typical activities such as vacationing with family and posing with her soccer team. Beside those pictures, she shows photographs of herself modeling during the same time period. In the first pictures she appeared as an average looking teenage girl, in the second, she looks glamorous, almost artificial, not even like the same woman. She says the pictures of her modeling are not her at all, it is pictures of a woman sculpted by hair and makeup artists and expensive clothing. I feel that I am able to identify with Cameron. Depending on where I am I change my appearance from clothes, to make up, to behavior. With family I conduct myself differently than with friends, which is also different from my behavior in the workplace and school setting. My many different identities all make up me, but each is sculpted form of myself. All people change depending on their settings. This makes me question when a person is revealing their true selves. I found myself asking: are people ever able to be their true selves without the worry of judgment? Cameron concludes by conveying that looks are not everything. How someone looks, regardless of setting is not the most important aspect.

« Blog #2: TED Talk and Second ArticleReflection for the Week of September 17th »

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