07/11/2013 03:10 pm ET

Cameron Russell's 'Interrupt' Magazine Offers Platform For Women's Issues, Media Criticism


You might think that a fashion model would be the last person to champion women who feel marginalized by the mainstream media. But in the case of Cameron Russell, you'd be wrong.

Russell, who has modeled for Chanel and Versace, gave a TED talk in October 2012 on why looks aren't everything. In the talk, she admitted that she had "won the genetic lottery," making life easier for her -- and more unfair for everyone else. In particular, Russell finds it easier to find media platforms for her messages and projects.

In a blog post accompanying her "What You Didn't Know About The Modeling Industry" TEDWeekends talk, Russell acknowledged that women are painfully aware of how our looks play into our opportunities:

Women are often worried about how they look and that's not superficial. We know that our appearance has nothing to do with how smart, creative, or hardworking we are, but it plays powerfully into what society decides we are worth.

To combat this, Russell dreamed up a platform for people to share what they had to say. In March 2013, she launched Interrupt Mag, a participatory media project based on an open letter she wrote asking women, “What would you say if you had access to mass media?”

Contributions to the site have included written essays about race and body image, interviews with inspiring women, and video projects about beauty and the media.

Through this new project, the New York Times reported, Russell hopes to "share the press with some women who really are doing fantastic things" -- offering the limelight to people who wouldn't necessarily be offered it otherwise.



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