I’m used to either ignoring, rolling my eyes at, or downright disapproving of all the holiday hubbub around the Victoria’s Secret “Angels.” But here’s an Angel who is speaking frankly and wisely to the impressionable young girls who might want to follow in her path. Model Cameron Russell spoke recently about why you shouldn’t choose a career that is “out of your control”: “Saying you want to be a model when you want to grow up is akin to saying you want to win the Powerball when you grow up.”
Russell is 25, which is model years makes her a wise old crone. She has done tons of runway and print modeling for designers including Giorgio Armani, H&M, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Laure, Derek Lam, and many, many more. She’s also appeared in magazines like Allure and Harper’s Bazaar. According to New York magazine, the American model’s hobbies include kung fu and playing the cello, so she seems like a successful, interesting woman.
Russell spoke recently at a TED conference in Palm Springs, and had some sobering advice for young women who say they want to be models when they grow up. “What I really want to say to these little girls, is ‘Why? You know, you can be anything,’” she said. “You could be the President of the Unites States or the inventor of the next internet or a ninja cardio-thoracic surgeon poet, which would be awesome because you would be the first one.”
Modeling is overwhelmingly a career that’s about luck, she said. “’I am the recipient of a legacy – I’ve received all these benefits from a deck stacked in my favor,” she told the audience. She also said it’s “awesome.” Finally! A model who admits that modeling is both a sweet gig and one in which success is at least partly based on sheer good luck. (Yes, yes, I know models work hard. But they only have the chance to do so if they’re incredibly lucky. A plucky, hard-working young girl can’t just transform herself into a super-model, no matter what the movies might tell us.)
So cheers to Cameron Russell, gorgeous lady, and, more importantly, wise career-advice giver.