5 Must-See Beauty TED Talks

TED Talks make you think about the world a little differently. They cover a broad range of topics, from genetics and happiness to relationships and marketing. One of the topics it delves into in surprising ways is beauty and glamour. Here are 5 TED Talks — from a model, a fashion photographer, a designer and more – that will make you think about yourself a little differently, and help you embrace your real beauty. Each talk is less than 20 minutes, so it’s a perfect sidekick to your breakfast, your gym session or your commute to work. Check out these must-see beauty TED talks, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.



No one wants to hear a model, of all people, assure you that “looks aren’t everything.” But Cameron Russell’s TED Talk is eye-opening and inspiring. She admits that she won “a genetic lottery,” and that she’s the beneficiary of an industry wrought with racial and gender oppression. She explains that though she may be naturally beautiful, her modeling photos are “not pictures of me, they’re constructions” developed by hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers, a lighting team and an art director. Cameron turns your notion of models upside-down by showing side-by-side images of her professional photos and her personal photos and then reveals a secret held by most models.


Rick Guidotti: From stigma to supermodel


As a fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti was always told to shoot the hot, must-have model du jour. But a chance encounter with a stunning, 12-year-old albino girl in New York City sent Guidotti on a mission. He researched various medical conditions and found the images of patients depressing and sad – they always looked downtrodden and oppressed. So he founded his photography nonprofit, Positive Exposure, to celebrate the beauty of genetic diversity and transform the way kids with albinism and other conditions see themselves, boosting their self-esteem in the process.
“I saw beauty everywhere,” says Guidotti, and his photos prove that he sees it because it’s there.

Richard Seymour: How beauty feels


Richard Seymour is a designer, and he has an interesting idea of what beauty is, whether it’s in regard to a motorcycle, a water bottle or a woman’s face. He explains that beauty is an amalgam of intrinsic and extrinsic beauty – a little context or a glimpse behind the scenes often makes objects and individuals strike us as more beautiful and poignant than we first thought.

Virginia Postrel: On glamour


What is “glamour”? It’s not plucked eyebrows and lip lacquer. It’s not false lashes and 5-inch heels. Glamour, according to Virginia Postrel, is about “transcending the everyday.” True glamour is spellbinding, with an air of mystery, a desire to know more and see more. “It’s about editing and evoking a perfect world,” she says, going on to explain that everything from an airplane to a spiral staircase exudes glamour. Everyone can exude glamour, not just Hollywood starlets, and glamour is not something you’re born with, it’s something you craft.

Tavi Gevinson: A teen just trying to figure it out


How can you not love Tavi Gevinson? The now-17-year-old is wise beyond her years, and her stellar TED Talk addresses a lot of the confusion she faced growing up as a feminist in a culture that oversimplifies women. Tavi rejects the notion that “You can’t be smart and pretty, you can’t be a feminist and also interested in fashion.” She explains that true beauty lay in your flaws, your complexity and your willingness to be unapologetic about who you are.
Happy watching!
Lauren Drell, Mashable