The Business of Beauty is Very Ugly​ | Carrie Hammer | TEDxSantaBarbara

  • Published on Sep 21, 2016
  • Fashion designer Carrie Hammer was shocked to discover the techniques the fashion and beauty industries employ to sell products. She fills us in on the real harm that these do to our psyches and proposes some smart solutions.
    Carrie Hammer started her career as an advertising sales executive and often heard that she should “dress for the job she wanted not the job she had.” This was tough advice to follow as she found a limited selection of fashionable, professional women’s clothing with a contemporary fit. As a solution, she felt she had no choice but to start a line to cater to the underserved professional woman. CARRIE HAMMER launched in 2012 in New York City to critical acclaim to deliver stylish professional wear to women.

    Hammer’s passion extends beyond fashion to empowering women inside and outside of the workplace. This was exemplified in her debut fashion show during New York’s Fashion Week in February, 2014 where she featured “Role Models Not Runway Models,” and included the first ever model in a wheelchair on the runway. Hammer and her clothing line have been featured on CNBC, Fox Business News, Forbes, Good Morning America, Elle, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan, to name a few.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 402

  • Raju Das
    Raju Das 6 days ago

    Here after 2.7 year just to say that Carrie Hammer you were totally awesome in this session.

  • Lily McAllister
    Lily McAllister 7 days ago

    I've seen a lot of TED talks, and this is one of the top 3. Thank you. For all of us who have never fit that magazine, now instagram mode, this should be shown in elementary school, middle school, high school and before going to college. I have boycotted VS before I lost the ability to fit into their male-gazed oriented view. You are a role model Carrie.

  • Tina S
    Tina S 11 days ago

    Soooooooo beautyfuly said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bravo Carrie. Many women are beautiful . I am very surprised that Women needed to be empowered when in The \communist systems all the women are respected and empowered.

  • Leslie Wheeler
    Leslie Wheeler 14 days ago +1

    Why not show off the natural curls you have to drive your point home?

  • Everardo Cancino
    Everardo Cancino 20 days ago

    This is amazingly motivational

  • Lily Anderson
    Lily Anderson 24 days ago

    I. Love and respect you. So Much. MY HERO❤️

  • Татьяна Давыдова

    Если индустрия красоты ужасная, зачем сама накрасилась¿

  • N Daw
    N Daw Month ago

    I've just been fired as a manager in the beauty training industry for speaking up about racial discrimination, all the while trying to help my colleagues not to feel less than the pictures on the wall. But on-one cared ..... they just continued in this perpetual pathological endless undulant cycle of self hatred!...... Wake up people.....!!! We are more than vacuous conversations and aesthetic 'beauty'!

  • Mfon Inwang
    Mfon Inwang Month ago


  • Tricia Williams
    Tricia Williams Month ago


  • Kate Kaur
    Kate Kaur Month ago

    Why cant we just enjoy our orginality...what nature has given us...

  • Kate Kaur
    Kate Kaur Month ago

    OMG...the girl was 12...what cheaters ..

  • Shar Stevens
    Shar Stevens Month ago

    This is beautiful..

  • Ramkumar G
    Ramkumar G Month ago +1

    The harmful chemicals on cosmetic and their plastic containers - Cosmetic pollution is real.

  • Isca S
    Isca S Month ago

    It's not only the beauty industry that exploits people, and I say people because money making is top priority for all big industries. Seek out people's weaknesses and exploit it by whatever means available. If there are none, then create one. There are endless meetings on this very concept. Money is top prioity for not only industries, but for many people. Many of us are so screwed up and unhappy we don't know how to live a simple happy life.
    The endless circle of ; "work-spent-work some more-spend more" Feel like something is missing but don't know what and won't look inwards to find out what it is. So....go back to work, watch tv, see things to buy that surely will make one feel better and buy it. "The endless circle"

  • Paula Isaiah Panganiban

    Audience so dry. If I were here I could've been doing back flips.

  • Brenda B
    Brenda B Month ago +4

    15:40 I'm surprised that Ms Hammer felt that her interaction with Beyoncé Carter was positive. Beyonce is known for photo shopping her own photos before posting on her Instagram.

  • Tex200950
    Tex200950 Month ago

    The word BEAUTIFUL is way TOO OVERUSED !!!!!!!!

  • Southern Bella Donna

    It wouldn't matter what you try and change, it's an internal entity that only you can conquer. A healthy minded person can see through the beauty standards that society has supposedly set for us and not let it defeat them.

  • the Life you Don't Have :P

    Kinda sucks that she has a bunch of mannequins for an audience because everything shes saying is absolutely true i wish they would give some sort of reaction to what shes saying damn

    • Rade Jovanic
      Rade Jovanic Day ago +1


  • J. Changolini
    J. Changolini Month ago

    Don't forget Men as well..

  • Karyn Grinstead
    Karyn Grinstead Month ago

    I agree that the beauty industry is BS, but I do love a good photoshop moment for Facebook 😊 along with me sitting on the couch in my mixed matched jammies. Nobody can say they don’t feel good when a high school buddy comments that you look great 30 yrs later.

  • Zainab Abdulrazzaq
    Zainab Abdulrazzaq Month ago

    I'm literally clapping after every sentence she says alone in my room. her audience is so dry and no interested in her talk. why are they there if they are not going to listen. great presentation!

  • Veronica Gress
    Veronica Gress Month ago

    All the guys in the audience look extremely confused

  • Anita B.
    Anita B. Month ago

    So true!

  • YX
    YX 2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing. This is very important for girls to know.

  • Charles Long
    Charles Long 2 months ago

    Very strange item of clothing there, cape, throw, coat, shall?

  • Chandie East
    Chandie East 2 months ago


  • yellowunlimited
    yellowunlimited 2 months ago

    her dress cape combo is badass

  • Bria Barrows
    Bria Barrows 2 months ago

    incredible talk. WOW

  • Jazzy Ember
    Jazzy Ember 2 months ago

    i could totally understand my beauty when i was young, before i needed meds that made me gin a ton of weight. i hate the way i look now, so very much. no amount of comments that big can be beautiful will convince me.

  • Imee Narciso
    Imee Narciso 2 months ago

    Real deal! it's a wide eye opening into realization of each individual.Thank you for sharing the reality of our daily lives.From Baguio City, Philippines with love God bless you!

  • Serena Lawson
    Serena Lawson 2 months ago

    runway models are NOT role models thats for sure ...

  • Anali Garcia
    Anali Garcia 3 months ago

    But, you clearly still straighten your hair, wear lipstick and obviously care about your looks? Very mixed message.

  • Emma Cat
    Emma Cat 3 months ago +5

    How about we also encourage neutrality towards our bodies as well. Beauty isn't everything, and it's okay to not feel beautiful. It's okay to not prioritize beauty as important.

  • Luv iz Luxury
    Luv iz Luxury 3 months ago +1

    Interesting presentation - but I did raise my eyebrows where she said her "curly hair doesnt define her" but yet she has had it straightened for the talk?

  • Jade L
    Jade L 3 months ago

    She looks like my favourite actress Vera Farmiga

  • Jay Z
    Jay Z 3 months ago

    Also, wd a thick lower lip, small eyes, scanty brows, flabby pimply face, nose like an inverted tree? (Think upper case i over lowercase cursive w)

  • Anna Sophie
    Anna Sophie 3 months ago +1

    so false and so much lipstick

    AGNES 3 months ago

    This would have been so much better with more photos..

  • Georgiana speaks
    Georgiana speaks 3 months ago

    I love her outfit

  • Gina Riggio
    Gina Riggio 3 months ago +1

    She is so ditzy, I'm done with this video.

  • Alex Red
    Alex Red 3 months ago

    A lot of those modern cartoon industries are probably receiving paybacks from alcohol industry that is definitely raising a lot of money from selling alcohol for those unhappy women. Moreover, many “beautiful” personages in movies are often drink too much and those women that want to look alike but cannot become so “successful” starting to drink as well hoping at least in something become similar. That is other side of ugliness of this “beauty” industry.

  • Abigael Roy
    Abigael Roy 3 months ago +2

    I used to want plastic surgery as a teenager and now I've accepted my past insecurities as things I embrace; a small chest, a distinct nose profile. My nose makes me memorable bc it's not the same as we see in magazines, and I'm more recognizable. My chest doesn't weigh me down, giving me back issues, I can go braless and fit into cute tops, things I hadn't appreciated in my teens.
    I wish I could instil in my friends who worship instagram influencers, that they are so beautiful and those images are SO FAKE. They've bought the message that their looks define their life. But they absolutely do not. I wish they understood and wanted to be happy with how they look so they can focus on more important things.

  • Sincerely Defiant
    Sincerely Defiant 3 months ago

    jesus, what a dead crowd

  • ayysha
    ayysha 3 months ago +1

    "my crazy curly hair" and "i hated my skin tone" lol what

  • Rayan Saad
    Rayan Saad 3 months ago

    😰😰😱😱😱 wow

  • WhySeeF
    WhySeeF 3 months ago

    The audience finally clapped at 15:30.... ._.

  • Samantha Peters
    Samantha Peters 4 months ago +4

    I remember the first time I heard kids getting their school photos Photoshopped. I thought "photos are meant to capture are story. You can't remember having acne as a teen if Photoshopping it out."
    My school photo wasn't Photoshopped. My hair was wet on top, so it looked oily. Before hand I had been in the rain.

  • Emma Lu
    Emma Lu 4 months ago +29

    She’s wearing a cape bc she’s a hero ❤️😍

  • SoLuVaBle299
    SoLuVaBle299 4 months ago

    If Hammer turns around I bet there’s an ‘S’ on the back of that amazing cape she’s wearing. Keep making waves until you start a tsunami!

  • diparno dev
    diparno dev 4 months ago

    True all is true, hard truth
    Love this video ❤

  • Aimee Evans
    Aimee Evans 4 months ago

    This woman is amazing! And so inspirational!

  • ZackAttack
    ZackAttack 4 months ago +2

    In the end its *business*

  • Hana Tanana
    Hana Tanana 4 months ago +3

    What crazy curly hair, what freckles?

  • Bloc-Notes
    Bloc-Notes 4 months ago

    Thanks !

  • Marty Novotná
    Marty Novotná 4 months ago

    This speech is so empowering!!

  • John La Marca
    John La Marca 5 months ago +1

    You're not overweight or anything and you personally don't need to worry about your looks but I see a lot of these women that will live VERY short lives being over one-hundred pounds overweight and being told that it is "okay"... It is NOT OKAY!!

  • mz molly
    mz molly 5 months ago +1

    Hard to believe in her sincerity when she's wearing all that makeup, has her hair done and is wearing that expensive outfit. She's beautiful but nothing seems "natural" about her own self acceptance.

  • 20to1Devotchka
    20to1Devotchka 5 months ago +3

    She sounds very nervous. The audience isn’t making a peep either... which probably isn’t helping

  • Natalie Lou
    Natalie Lou 5 months ago

    It is "beauty FULL" after all.

  • Natalie Lou
    Natalie Lou 5 months ago +1

    That intro petrified me

  • Carlos Garcia
    Carlos Garcia 5 months ago

    Looks like she's conforming to the beauty industry to me.

  • Asma Haque
    Asma Haque 5 months ago

    Which singer is she talking about? Who got her video removed because of her editing team?

  • umeonisofien chioma natasha Dikio

    why do we live in such a beauty-centric and anti-ageist society

  • Mila Thomas
    Mila Thomas 5 months ago +4

    Dove try to portray themselves as if they are trying to break down the present beauty standards and give us the illusion of choice, when in reality they are still the same as any beauty company ...

  • myworldlovesme
    myworldlovesme 5 months ago be beautiful is it mean participate in a catwalk?thats what she stressed about...she also doing fashion and beauty business but sell this differently..because she knows that people dont buy what she do,they buy Why she do it.

  • myworldlovesme
    myworldlovesme 5 months ago

    Where is her curly hair,she so proud about?

  • Lady Crystal R
    Lady Crystal R 5 months ago +2

    Yeah, it's Hammer Time girls!!!

  • Peppermint Snowdrift
    Peppermint Snowdrift 5 months ago

    I agree with the underlying message here.

  • deltaxcd
    deltaxcd 5 months ago

    Coming to the show to bash beauty industry with heavy makeup LOL

  • Anabelle Brown
    Anabelle Brown 5 months ago +4

    I hate this. I shouldn’t need to look beautiful. I’m not beautiful and it doesn’t bother me because I don’t care what other people think. In a world where the options are ‘beautiful’ and ‘worthless’ the way to fix it isn’t to expand the definition of beautiful.

  • Jo Andrews
    Jo Andrews 5 months ago +4

    My husband tells me EVERY day that I am beautiful. I feel beautiful.

  • zucc for v buck
    zucc for v buck 5 months ago +1

    I mean over 80% of my income goes towards fashion, makeup, and beauty so that makes sense. Btw I’m 15 and I live at home and have a pretty basic job

  • Kirstin Brown
    Kirstin Brown 5 months ago +1

    Just want to say that her message isn't written off just because she is wearing makeup and has straightened her hair. You can believe you're beautiful but still dress up and enhance that beauty. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have a skin condition called Rosacea, which makes the skin on my face sensitive and bright red, and I often embrace my natural skin but sometimes I put on a little make up to make it a little less noticeable. There's nothing wrong with that, it doesn't mean I don't think I'm beautiful.
    And about her comparing her curly hair to her friends disability- She wasn't placing her insecurities about her hair to that model's disability, she was making the point that her wheelchair shouldn't define her or hold her back, just as curly hair or freckles shouldn't either. Everyone has insecurities, some more serious than others, she was just saying that we shouldn't let them define us no matter how big or small they are.
    I definitely think her talk could've been better, I think she should've went into more depth about natural beauty and she should've showed a more diverse set of models. But at the end of the day, she is still spreading a good message. We are all beautiful in our own ways and we all deserve to feel beautiful.

    • Beethoven’s Fidelio
      Beethoven’s Fidelio 4 months ago

      Kirstin Brown Curly haired people aren’t systematically oppressed. Curly haired people aren’t being denied housing, jobs, medical care for their curliness.
      Also, she could always straighten her hair, but disabled people can’t stop being disabled. That’s why people got mad at her comparing her hair to being handicapped.

  • June Twenty
    June Twenty 6 months ago +1

    She is talking about Meghan Trainor

  • Matthew Jones
    Matthew Jones 6 months ago

    Great talk!

  • SoJustCool
    SoJustCool 6 months ago

    i wouldn't have worn red lipstick while making this speech....

  • Simone S
    Simone S 7 months ago

    CEO’s, philanthropists, doctors, and handicapped women are still not representative of the average population. "Professional" women are not only the rich ones, at the top of the pyramid.

  • handel
    handel 7 months ago +3

    great speech but i missed her talking about how society reduces women to their looks and the background why women invest that much in beauty (guess its the same but sounds goood)

  • jurysdykcja
    jurysdykcja 7 months ago +1

    Gaussian curve. Beauty is an extremity in the looks department. It is the top of the tops. If we are all beautiful, then the word looses its meaning. Are we all tall? Are we all intelligent? Nope. And we are not all beautiful. 4 in 100 seems actually like a decent evaluation of the actual condition.

  • angolangel
    angolangel 7 months ago

    I feel beautiful. Some days I don't look my best, but overall I've pretty much always thought I was beautiful. Not in a conceited way. I don't think I'm MORE beautiful than most other women I know. I don't think the fact that I'm beautiful makes me better than anyone else, and I certainly don't think my beauty is the most important or most interesting thing about me. But I do like the way I look in general, and I'm usually happy when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or in a store window. I always thought this was pretty normal (especially since, like I said, I think many, many women are at least as beautiful as I am). Now I feel kind of weird about it though...

  • Erin Laemmle
    Erin Laemmle 7 months ago +1

    People must agree on what’s beautiful for some reason! Blue is blue for some reason! It ain’t going to change the facts! You can say life is an illusion and nothing matters, like the “new agers” like to say, but we are in fact matter and that’s the reality we live in. So I don’t agree with this.

  • Dee
    Dee 7 months ago

    I love her outfit.

  • Mr Argyle
    Mr Argyle 7 months ago

    Wheelchair milf lady is cute tho

  • Irene Martinez
    Irene Martinez 7 months ago


  • brightbite
    brightbite 7 months ago +31

    People are inherently pretty- all of them. I stopped buying magazines when I realized they were nothing but ads that I was paying for and a waste of trees. I began to see makeup as a tool to express and enhance my strengths, not "fix" the "weaknesses." Wear what you like. If it ends up in a magazine, so what.

  • ivy hothot
    ivy hothot 7 months ago +1

    Whoop! Whoop!

  • Amelia N
    Amelia N 8 months ago


  • Llyyn
    Llyyn 8 months ago +3

    No capes!!!

  • Samantha Thompson
    Samantha Thompson 8 months ago

    I care about is if a clothing brand is fairly made. If there are women and children who are working in sweat shops overseas for an unfair wage then I don't want to buy it. I would like to know whether the clothing itself was made ethically and sustainably. I can't find that on the page, only this model empowerment stuff. What do the profits go towards? Perhaps women's charity groups?

    • Thumb Print
      Thumb Print 7 months ago

      Samantha, I think she runs a fashion business.

  • Immaculate Memories
    Immaculate Memories 8 months ago +5

    I adore the girl I am in love with natural curly hair, big bright eyes and freckles.. wtf

  • V for vendetta
    V for vendetta 8 months ago

    Shes literally gorgeous df

  • Rory Nowlin Art
    Rory Nowlin Art 8 months ago

    What? My first thought is why is she wearing makeup herself? She’s supporting an unrealistic idea of beauty.

  • Just Me
    Just Me 8 months ago +129

    Why are so many people complaining that she straightens her hair and is wearing makeup? Why do we automatically criticize a women for how she chooses to present herself instead of listening to her message? Why is there an ultimatum for women to either please others with their appearances or choose not to express themselves through clothes and makeup at all (which is another form of pleasing others with their appearance)?

    • Beethoven’s Fidelio
      Beethoven’s Fidelio 4 months ago

      Sarah Washington Thanks

    • Chief Purrfect
      Chief Purrfect 4 months ago +20

      @Beethoven’s Fidelio While I will agree that how you choose to present yourself does matter because it builds your image- and that we are designed to notice these things- I can tell you she didn't "spend hours getting ready". Besides, even if she did you don't have to show up looking like a cave troll in order to point out that the beauty industry sets impossible standards. The point of this speech wasn't that we shouldn't dress up or take care of our looks. If you think her looks invalidate her point then you haven't got the point.

  • Skye blue16
    Skye blue16 8 months ago +12

    I'm like is she gonna show visuals??

    • Luv iz Luxury
      Luv iz Luxury 3 months ago +1

      Yeah I thought the same thing, the visuals would have enhanced the statements

  • Windy Nicely
    Windy Nicely 8 months ago

    I'd be easier to belive her if she didn't reinforce beauty standards through her appearance. It's about walking your talk.

  • andthenifellinlove
    andthenifellinlove 8 months ago +1

    Yes, yes, yes!

  • Epic Bunny
    Epic Bunny 8 months ago +39

    Not trying to be a Negative Nelly-her intentions are good, and maybe she will make a dent in the fashion industry. Unfortunately, the men who control the fashion and beauty industries are not going to change. (And I use the term “men” loosely) Everything will go on as before.
    She started strong, but the message got muddled in the middle. Women and girls today need to put down the glossy magazines, social media, and everything being force fed through the tell-lie-vision. Shocker-most men enjoy a natural-looking woman. This is a complicated issue, but it can change with mothers helping their girls to realize that brains, intelligence, individuality, and kindness produce a beauty that enhances them from within. Sorry, rant over! Off of the soapbox now..😂 Have a great day!

    • Doris Schäfer
      Doris Schäfer Month ago

      Amen! I so agree with you

    • Laurel KE Rossow
      Laurel KE Rossow 7 months ago +6

      A couple steps in the right direction is still heading in the right direction.

  • Paige Heartly
    Paige Heartly 8 months ago

    What If I was made for you and you were made for me what if this is it what if it’s meant to be what if I ain’t one of them fools just playin some game