SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
17
September
2013

TED Talk & Second Article (Sept. 17th)

Model Cameron Russell's TED Talk regarding appearances vs. reality presented a thought-provoking point of view towards a typically glamorous career. The superficial reality that models portray is a reality that Cameron does not identify with at all. She stressed that she won a "genetic lottery," and that the images that people see are merely "constructions" of the models, not even worthy of the title "pictures." "It is difficult to unpack a legacy of gender and racial oppression, when I am one of the biggest beneficiaries," Russell states.

I was extremely surprised by Cameron's reaction towards her career. This is an extremely rare and honest opinion of the modeling industry, and to hear it from somebody who has been modeling for some time, is quite an eye-opener. I really enjoyed how she emphasized the benefits of her looks, and has received free passes because of them. She spoke about a time she was pulled over by the police, and a simple apology to the officer got her and her friends out of trouble. She states that this is not the case for black males in New York City. I loved her point that she is the biggest beneficiary of the legacy of racial and gender oppression. Everybody is willing to talk about oppression, yet to acknowledge oneself as a benefiting factor of the injustice is incredibly bold and uncommon. Cameron's talk serves as a great eye opener to young girls and those who do not think that appearances play a significant role in everyday life.

The section of the article entitled "Why Change Traditional Trade?" had an incredibly powerful fact that stated "The gap between the rich and the poor is widening, with the world's richest 20% consuming over 75% of the world's resources while the world's poorest 20% consume only 1.5% (World Bank 2008)." Additionally over 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day.

This fact puts into perspective how frivolous the majority of the world really is. The incredibly sad part of this statistic is that the world's poorest are the people who are producing the goods that the world's richest benefit from. Thinking through my day, I can point out many areas where I really did not need something I purchased or used. The excess that the majority of the world absolutely depends on is frightening compared to the 1 billion people in the world who only have $1 to spend. I guarantee that most would decline the challenge to live on $1 a day because in our society it just seems preposterous. Money security is one of the biggest fears and another fear should be the fact that over 1 billion people are only surviving on $1 per day. That number will continue to rise if the richest 20% continue to deplete the resources so that the poorest 20% get virtually none of the resources in the world.



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