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How to Make Herself Agreeable to Everyone: A Memoir (Hardcover)

How to Make Herself Agreeable to Everyone: A Memoir By Cameron Russell Cover Image
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“Gripping . . . a call to action—and accountability—for the entire fashion industry.”—Marie Claire

A bold memoir that explores who holds the power in an image-obsessed culture, from the model and activist who helped organize the movement to bring equity to fashion

“By elevating me for something I have no control over, the industry and economy signal to all women: there is almost nothing you can do or create that is as valuable as how you look.”

Scouted by a modeling agent when she was just sixteen years old, Cameron Russell first approached her job with some reservations: She was a serious student with her sights set on college, not the runway. But modeling was a job that seemed to offer young women like herself unprecedented access to wealth, fame, and influence. Besides, as she was often reminded, “there are a million girls in line” who would eagerly replace her. 

In her fierce and innovative memoir, Russell chronicles how she learned to navigate the dizzying space between physical appearance and interiority and making money in an often-exploitative system. Being “agreeable,” she found, led to more success: more bookings and more opportunities to work with the world’s top photographers and biggest brands.

But as her prominence grew, Russell found that achievement under these conditions was deeply isolating and ultimately unsatisfying. Instead of freedom, she was often required to perform the role of compliant femme fatale, so she began organizing with her peers, helping to coordinate movements for labor rights, climate and racial justice, and bringing MeToo to the fashion industry. 

Intimate and illuminating, How to Make Herself Agreeable to Everyone is a nuanced, deeply felt memoir about beauty, complicity, and the fight for a better world.

About the Author

Cameron Russell has spent the last twenty years working as a model for clients including Prada, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Vogue, and Elle. With over forty million views, her TED talk on the power of image is one of the most popular of all time. She is the co-founder of Model Mafia, a collective of hundreds of fashion models striving for a more equitable, just, and sustainable industry. She continues to organize, consult, and speak to transform extractive supply chains and center climate justice. She lives in New York with her family.

Praise For…

“Cameron Russell’s How to Make Herself Agreeable to Everyone is an unforgettable book. Fiercely intellectual, deeply vulnerable, and unapologetically honest, Russell reads through the layers of gender, race, capital, and exploitation in the fashion industry. Through her personal journey, she unpacks how inheritances, commitments, and dreams can both inspire and distort our paths. A voracious reader and critical thinker, Russell reveals the complex dance of an industry that punishes even as it rewards. Her story of being a supermodel and groundbreaking activist is particular, but the lessons she shares apply to us all. She teaches us how to move away from being accomplices to our own suffering and toward being loving witnesses for one another. I highly recommend this powerful work.”—Imani Perry, National Book Award–winning author of South to America

“A unique and honest perspective on the fashion industry. Cameron Russell doesn’t just hold the door open for more voices from within fashion, she makes a compelling argument as to why they must be heard.”—Christy Turlington Burns, founder and president of Every Mother Counts and model

How to Make Herself Agreeable to Everyone somehow exists before, beside, and after reckoning. I don’t know of a more blistering dismantling of what makes a so-called fashion and modeling industry. And that would have been enough. But the book artfully pivots toward repair and locates truths in the actual bodies, experiences, and imaginations of those who hold the clothes up. Craft matters here. Cameron Russell’s writing, and its audacious scope, will become malleable legend.”—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

“Russell’s story of finding her power and using it to uplift others—from workers’ rights to climate justice—holds lessons for us all.”—Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab and the All We Can Save Project

“In an image-obsessed era that reduces women to—or encourages us to reduce ourselves to—our bodies, Russell offers young women, especially, a way through.”—Peggy Orenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex

“Cameron affirms that fashion can be a space and a tool for liberation.”—Geena Rocero, model and author of Horse Barbie

“A sharp, provocative memoir about an evergreen topic.”—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593595480
ISBN-10: 0593595483
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English