Sorry, TED Talk about drying your hands and TED Talk about tying your shoes, but this almost impossibly un-self-aware 10 minutes of self-aggrandizement-disguised-as-humility humblebrag-garbage in which Cameron Russell puts on a pair of flats as a visual demonstration of how…looks…aren’t…I mean…they…are…but…OK…what? No, I get it, it’s totally crazy how she is pretty and therefore you shouldn’t uh she’s pretty OK the end. TED TALKS ARE SO IMPORTANT AND FULL OF GENIUSES, OPEN YOUR EYES TO THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF IDEAS! (Via Gynomite.)

Comments (46)
  1. I actually liked this and forwarded it to at least one friend. But while watching it I thought to myself “ugh, she seems Christian” so … yeah, I’m a garbage person.

  2. I know this question is as dumb as the observation that TLC isn’t actually about learning anymore but. Like. What. Are. TED talks?!?!?!?!

    Like what are they. LIKE WHAT ARE THEY?! I do NOT get it.

  3. Looks like Gabe could use a TED talk on video embedding. Ha Gabe you see this, see how I burned you here?

  4. I mean, yes. What she said about privilege and legacy and all that is true. But if she wanted to reach out and say this to people who didn’t already acknowledge those facts, why do a TED talk about it? That’s really just preaching to the choir, no? It doesn’t strike me as particularly brave or insightful, though I get the impression she would like me to think of her as brave and insightful for giving this talk.

    tldr, I’m pretty sure she still looks like a gorgeous white lady even when she’s wearing a sweater.

    • Am I the only one who has Social Justice fatigue? Like I know that discussions of privilege and hegemony are really important but like, I JUST don’t ever want to hear about it ever again, and maybe if we took the buzzwords like “privilege” out of discussions about, let’s say, heteronormativity or ableism, we could have a more productive conversation?

      Iunno, iunno, iunno.

      • I see your point, but I also think it’s an important word that has (to my understanding, feel free to correct me) been misused and tied to silly things. I don’t know how else to encapsulate the unearned rights afforded to one group over another/others based on whatever (race/sexuality/etc.)

        It seems better to talk about the current structures than ignore them, and if we don’t talk about them I don’t see what else we can do.

        • Definitely, agreed. But “privilege” specifically is becoming such an overused buzzword that it eventually is going to be robbed of any semblance of meaning or rhetorical value, so maybe we should look for better ways to explain and discuss things like compulsory heterosexism or genderized subjectivty (among many of the other discussions that “privilege” gets overused in)?

          • I think you’re forgetting to check your Monster privilege. Frankly, it’s insulting that you’re completely ignoring the fact that some people do not identify as Monsters. There are even some who don’t have Videogum at all. Essentially, you’re oppressing them with your words.

        • I think privilege is an accurate word to describe, as you put it, “unearned rights afforded to one group over another/others based on whatever”. But I also think it’s a divisive word that I wish we could somehow replace.

          In my experience, when privilege is discussed with people who aren’t already on board with the basic premise, they seem to be put off by it. By “people”, I mean white people who aren’t particularly well off themselves. Minorities don’t normally have to be made to understand the concept of privilege, because privilege is obvious to those who lack it. But try explaining privilege to someone who’s poor and white. Most poor white people (I’m talking about white privilege specifically here) don’t take to kindly to the term because if it exists (it does), it hasn’t helped them much. It’s hard to stomach the notion that you’re privileged when for all of the supposed unfair advantages you have, you’re still struggling to make ends meet.

          What I’m saying is that privilege discussions are all well and good, but if they only happen between people who already buy into the notion of privilege then they aren’t really worth all that much.

          • Very well put R2D2!

          • Weary as I am of social justice, over the weekend I ended up in a discussion about “privilege” with friends who’ve all been to grad school for fields related to social justice, and because that was about the third time it had come up in 2013, I asked for a book recommendation. (Never Stop Learning, Never Stop Growing.) They came up with “Privilege, Power, and Difference” by Allan G. Johnson. So far I’ve only read a few pages of it, but… well, it rings very true until you start engaging with it, asking how it applies to real life — and then there are too many points that it simply does not address (so far) to be at all useful. But I’ll withhold judgement until I’ve read all of it (well, more of it, anyway).

            I haven’t watched this video yet, either.

      • Well you hang out in a corner of the world that has a social justice flavor. There are just tons of white men who’ve never heard of or considered the concept of white/male privilege (for example) and it is a very important concept!

        • Yes, absolutely. But I think sometimes the insular nature of this corner of the world creates a very unwelcoming and alienating aura which makes such discussions of these concepts at best undesirable and at worst incredibly hostile and alienating for these unread white/males.

          That is not to say “poor white males are left out of our conversation”, but to say that the increasing air of persecutory feelings and expressions within a lot social justice communities is really off-putting to people who might other wise be open to those discussions.

      • Must be nice.

  5. It’s the beginning of a sub-series!

    Money Isn’t Everything: Believe Me, I’m a Rich Person
    Privilege Isn’t Everything: Believe Me, I’m a White Person
    Food Isn’t Everything: Believe Me, I’m Not a Starving Person

  6. SRSLY you guys, it is so hard to be tall, thin, and beautiful and I’m glad someone is finally talking about this terrible condition.

  7. man, when did Ted Talks become the worst?

    I’m super bummed now.

  8. I will bet money that there are more obnoxious TED talks than this one.

  9. I haven’t watched this TED talk but I did read an article about this TED talk by the woman who gave this TED talk saying she couldn’t understand why she got to do a TED talk and also why so many people have watched her TED talk other than her privilege?

    Listen, I understand in this Tumblr age that people are being more and more sure to Check Their Privilege, but, ugh, it is so annoying to hear someone actively talk about how she benefits from it. But then you’re like, well there are a bunch of people watching this because she’s pretty, so maybe those people will learn a lesson about how they also benefit from privileges they didn’t know they got, but then no duh of course they will not learn any sort of lesson and they will probably just say she needs to stay in her place or something so I DON’T KNOW.

    You guys, feelings and society and hair and attractiveness and talking are so complicated!

    • I didn’t watch the whole thing and I can’t cause I’m an adult at a job (ugh gross I hate being an adult at a job) but if this is a talk about like “attractiveness privilege” maybe there are just more important issues relating to oppression and repression and the marginalizing and disenfranchisement of certain populations to talk about. Like rampant homophobia and misogyny and discrimination against the disabled and the super-flattening of any non-white peoples into caricatures, etc…?!

      Like, maybe this is supposed to open the door for those discussions but also, shut up, we ALL (like, EVERYONE) get that you are pretty and that there are certain advantages to that?!

      • It’s such a weird and complicated thing, though! Like of course there are advantages to being very pretty and no doubt she is amazingly pretty, but the issues aren’t just that people want to help out people that are attractive, but that her type of prettyness is basically the only acceptable type of prettyness, and she is getting wayyyyy more advantages than a black pretty person, or an asian pretty person, or a trans pretty person, or any other sort of pretty person than a tall, white, symetrical pretty person.

        So there are a million factors going into why this is both a necessary conversation (and why she may in fact be the best spokesperson for this specific issue) and a very annoying conversation (and why she may in fact be the most annoying spokesperson for this specific issue). I suspect it is annoying for me as a relatively attractive person who could never be a model but has experienced privilege on a daily basis by being a middle-class white person who was born with a high baseline intelligence and ability to communicate, and thus have never had to work particularly hard to get a job, or even help filing for unemployment. So. It’s just tough to think and talk about.

  10. She’s pretty.

  11. One time in high school this cheerleader gave a very earnest speech in English class or something that was about how school spirit was neat and not just for the popular people. Very similar vibe here.

  12. So does this mean she will quit modelling? Otherwise, this seems pointless.

  13. upto I saw the receipt 4 $7808, I didnt believe …that…my best friend woz like actualy bringing home money in their spare time on their computer.. there great aunt has been doing this 4 only about 23 months and as of now cleared the loans on there mini mansion and got a new Ford. read more at,………. BIT40.ℂOℳ

  14. This was actually… ummm… good? Well, it certainly wasn’t bad. Gabe set it up for me to expect much worse. She was fairly articulate, but my issue is what was the point of the “talk”. Was it to address White Privilege, the prevailing narrow definition of beauty or Multiple Marginalities? Each of these is a complex issue in an of itself and should be conflated, especially in a ten minute speech. Reminds of this terrible book I bought, Money Honey (the premise was pretty interesting, you guys!) that basically expounded that being attractive helped you become successful, over and over again, for over 200 pages. NO, DUH!

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