According to some estimates, approximately eight million pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans every day. There may be about 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in our oceans, which equals about 269,000 tons. Nowhere is safe, as plastic pollution has been found at busy tourist beaches and uninhabited tropical islands.
While most of us simply acknowledge this fact and just get on with our lives, one prominent fashion model decided to do something about it. On December 10, 2019, New York City-based model Ria Serebryakova premiered her photo exhibition titled “The 2084.” Featuring photos exploring the role of plastic pollution in our current and future world, Serebryakova’s goal was to inspire attendees to think about how they can help mitigate this serious problem. Gauging the reaction of the hundreds in attendance, it is safe to say that Serebryakova’s work accomplished its intended objective.
Achieving Multidisciplinary Success
If you were to ask Ria Serebryakova whether she predicted that she would display her creative work in one of New York City’s most prestigious galleries, it’s unclear what the answer would be. But having said that, considering the hard work and passion that has led to her current success, it would be hard for us to be surprised.
Serebryakova, who was originally born in Russia, began her modeling career at the young age of eighteen. She experienced her big break when she walked the runway during Paris Fashion Week for renowned fashion brand Miu Miu. After achieving this initial success, Serebryakova’s career took off. Serebryakova hasn’t been afraid to seize opportunities to show off her personality and pure talent as a fashion model. For example, Serebryakova was featured in Ray Ban’s “Never Hide” campaign. She was one of the featured models in the 2018 L’Oreal Color & Co campaign. With other clients including Tory Burch, Forever 21, and Dolce & Gabbana, Serebryakova carefully selects partners that represent style and sophistication.
Even considering her nascent modeling career, Ria has certainly made a name for herself. She is active on social media, with her Instagram account (@RiaSalvation) having a little less than 300,000 followers. Along with her social media presence, Ria has turned heads in the world of old-school journalism. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harper’s Bazaar, where she appeared with two of the stars from Netflix’s juggernaut show Stranger Things.
View this post on Instagram
While it is hard to encapsulate what has led to Serebryakova’s success to this point, it is safe to say that her passion, intelligence, and commitment to her craft have certainly helped. In fact, it is these overarching qualities that she applied to “The 2084.”
Appearing in New York City’s renowned Van Der Plas Gallery, “The 2084” told the story of how plastic pollution has affected our world. Not only has it impacted marine and other life on our planet, but it will continue to do so unless drastic action is taken. Having said this, Serebryakova’s photo exhibition wasn’t a fire and brimstone attack on the role of plastic in today’s society. She inherently recognizes that plastic, both the good and the bad, tells the story of humanity. Essentially, she does not want to eliminate all plastic in order to curb the problem of plastic pollution. Instead, she takes a nuanced view, calling for all of us to break through the collective action problem and do our part to reduce plastic pollution.
“The 2084” presented a complex, yet emotional look at how we must act to leverage the benefits of plastic while minimizing the costs. It won’t be easy. Nevertheless, Serebryakova’s message is powerful. If we don’t act to curb plastic pollution, future generations will fall victim to our failures.
Using Her Influence for Good
Nobody forced Ria Serebryakova to take time out of her busy schedule to create a photo exhibition on the dangers of plastic pollution. Nevertheless, she invested the time into creating a stellar work of art that moved the hundreds of visitors in attendance. She should certainly be applauded for her efforts and her willingness to use her influence for good.
It will take all of us working together to address plastic pollution. But with individuals like Serebryakova as inspiration, we can be more optimistic about the future.