Next time you need to take a break from typing e-mails or are just ready to kick back while getting a pedicure, check out our favorite TED Talks for some real #inspo.
THE BEAUTY OF HUMAN SKIN IN EVERY COLOR
Inspired by a personal story to create a global catalog of “every conceivable human skin tone,” Angélica Dass’s portrait project, Humanæ, strips away the untrue colors and labels society associates with race to create a new way of thinking about identity and culture. Humanæ made a splash around the world, making its way into anthropological and scientific research, politics, and education. What we love so much about Angélica’s story is the way that she highlights the array, complexity, and nuances of our skin, illuminating “cinnamon, strawberry, yogurt, honey, chocolate, peanut” tones, holding a mirror up so that we can each discover our own unique color and freeing us from the false labels of “white, red, black, and yellow.”
TEACH GIRLS BRAVERY, NOT PERFECTION
Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, seeks to disrupt the status quo – and initiate one million women in computer science by 2020. Reshma emphasizes what she calls the bravery deficit – from a young age, girls and boys are conditioned differently: girls are taught to smile and play it safe and boys are taught to play rough and race to the top. Her nonprofit does not just teach girls to code – a skill that is an endless process of trial and error – but perseverance and courage with the aim of reversing the “perfection or bust” loop track that too many girls have playing in their brains. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says, so we cannot wait any longer to teach girls that bravery is more important than perfection. We couldn’t agree more.
THE BEAUTY OF BEING A MISFIT
“You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.” Talk about a sentence that makes us THINK. Author Lidia Yuknavitch’s powerful story explores self-acceptance without shying away from some gritty truths like growing up in an abusive household, failing out of college, divorce, rehab, jail, and homelessness. In the face of what can feel like a deck stacked against us, seizing hope and opportunity – even when it doesn’t feel natural to say yes or when we feel like we aren’t deserving – is the road to self-discovery.
LOOKS AREN’T EVERYTHING. BELIEVE ME, I’M A MODEL.
Self-proclaimed winner of “a genetic lottery,” Cameron Russell is a model. She lends an insider perspective to the fashion industry and what it’s like to be transformed from her everyday self into a seductive construct assembled by a group of professionals for editorial use. But what’s really amazing is how she finds a way to discuss the power of image and how it plays into perceived successes and failures. Addressing a hot-button issue, Cameron points to a legacy of gender and racial oppression, hitting the point home that we only see half of the story when we just use our eyes to judge. Personally, we recommend using eyes to wear the perfect cat eye, and ears to really get to know people.
KNOW YOUR WORTH, THEN ASK FOR IT
What happens when even an expert pricing consultant is underpricing her own value relative to the value she is delivering? Casey Brown uses her own story of growth and observations to help you shape the thinking of the people paying you so you can earn what you are worth. In her work and personal experience, she has seen that women underprice more so than men. This doesn’t just apply to women employees, but women business owners are also earning less to the dollar than their male counterparts. Wherever you fall on your career journey, Casey discusses the importance of finding your own voice to communicate what you bring to the table. We know that you are ABLE to get paid what you’re worth; you might just need to speak up and ask for it.