Fashion Model as Top Chess Player: The Case of Carmen Kass | loganluong | February 14, 2015


Fashion Model as Top Chess Player: The Case of Carmen Kass

One of the unfortunate consequences of cliche television and movie tropes is that these media send the unconscious message that there is something fundamentally incompatible between beauty and intelligence. Many movies, which portray models emphasize the actions or decisions of a few which would be considered not particularly smart, at least by the general public. The message this sends is that these beautiful people who make a career out of their physical appearances somehow possess lesser than average intellects. At the same time, many films portray intelligent individuals working in the fields of science and technology as rather less attractive compared to other people. Again, these stereotypes merely perpetuate the myth that beauty and brains do not go together.

However, it is clear that this is simply not true. A person's physical characteristics as an adult are partly due to his or her genetic heritage, as well as the circumstances of the person's upbringing such as good nutrition, the level of fitness and so on. A person's intelligence also works in a similar way. It is affected by the person's genetic makeup, but this is then expanded, reduced or in some other way adjusted thanks to such circumstances as nutrition as a child, the level of environmental stimuli and engagement, the availability of materials and resources, the quality of education and so on.

Intelligence and beauty can clearly exist in the same person. There is nothing physically preventing this from happening. Consider the case of Carmen Kass. She was born in Estonia in 1978, and since her teenage years, she has built a successful career in modeling. Her face has graced the covers of magazines such as Vogue and Elle. She has done runway modeling work for the likes of Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and more. She has been hired as spokesperson by cosmetic firms such as Revlon and Max Factor. She has also participated in the Victoria's Secret fashion show for several years.

Clearly, Carmen Kass is someone whose beauty is of such a level that she has been able to create a successful modeling career from it. The beauty standards required of a model are intense, and it is evident that Carmen Kass has met and surpassed those standards. However, this does not mean that she is lacking when it comes to intellect. Instead, one of the clearest manifestations of her intelligence is her participation in various chess tournaments, also with success.

In fact, Carmen Kass was voted in as the president of the Estonian National Chess League. This is just one example of a person who helps to disprove the myth that smart people are unattractive, and that attractive people are not intelligent. She is both a model, associated with Metro Model agency Zurich, and a chess player who combines both beauty and a high intellect. This is truly one of those misconceptions which should already by this point be laid to rest.


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February 14, 2015

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