So I’ve been reading a lot of commentary and opinions about Marissa Mayer’s Vogue photo shoot, and I really don’t see what all the hubbub is about.
Do I see the photos of which they speak? Sure. Do I think they’re demeaning? Pshaw, please. I’ve read a lot of praise, and I’ve read a lot of criticism of them. My opinion focuses largely on the latter.
One woman said she was in a “CFM” pose. Another said she was undoing what women have worked so hard to achieve.
What? Did I miss something? She’s not in Playboy, she’s in Vogue. She’s not making lewd gestures, her appearance was artfully directed. She didn’t install a stripper pole at Yahoo’s offices, she took down cubicle walls and embraced collaboration and efficiency.
We’re so fast to pick women apart. Of a particular high-ranking female in the White House, we criticize her hair, call her dowdy and say she needs a makeover. But when high-ranking Marissa Mayer is featured with lovely hair and appears to not need a makeover whatsoever, we also criticize.
Seriously? Somebody wake me when criticism of a man’s rugged, typically male posture takes over the WWW. I can (not really) just hear it now: “That’s not a casual pose on the cover, that’s a man subliminally calling attention to his junk! He’s sending men around the world back a buhjillion years! Look at the way he’s sitting, with his hands folded by his crotch!”
The Marissa Mayer hubbub is akin to the above male rant for me. It’s ridiculous.
Heaven forbid someone’s daughter, sister, niece, cousin or friend think she’ll never be appreciated for anything more than her looks. How fantastic would it be for said female to see Marissa in all her brainy classiness, featured in a way that the rest of us can only dream? How much more fantastic would it be if said female decided her new role model was Ms. Mayer and not Hustler, er, “talent”?
Heaven forbid women think that the definition of “sexy” only means attire above that’s obscenely short and cleavage that rivals the Mariana Trench. Ms. Mayer proves that sexy is beauty, brains and tastefulness — all rolled into one.
Articles applauded the hiring of Mayer as CEO of Yahoo, calling her “young, pretty and vivacious.” But, whooooooa, be careful that you don’t put it on display, Marissa! (Sarcasm.) She had the confidence to jump from Google and take the helm at Yahoo, but whooooooa — don’t let your confidence shine through in that cover, there, young lady. (More sarcasm.) We placed her “technical sophistication and Silicon Valley street cred” on a pedestal, but how dare we showcase the woman who delivers such things in a magazine like Vogue.
Yahoo needed a makeover, it needed reinventing, confidence, swagger and it needed to be turned upside down. Is the Vogue piece not an extension of all those things, in a way? Of course it is. And for a woman who has proven that you don’t need to choose between brains and beauty, I am thankful.
Well played, Ms. Mayer. Well played.