Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Can Smart Women Be Beautiful?

As a female technology professional, I am often asked my opinion on well-known women in the field.  This can vary from my thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In" to the decisions made by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.  Recently, Mayer ignited a firestorm by posing for Vogue.  Here is her picture:

The woman who sparked heated conversations on her two-week maternity leave and her decision to end the "work at home" policy at Yahoo was at the center of controversy again.  Because she chose to pose for Vogue Magazine.

I'm not going to talk about my thoughts regarding being a female in a male-dominated field.  Ask me to coffee and I'll be happy to share at length my thoughts (and it may surprise you, but many of them are positive).  But as I read some of the commentary around this photo, I thought to myself "Would I do it?"

1)  Would I wear the shoes?  Yes
2)  Would I wear the dress? Yes
3)  Would I pose for Vogue if ever asked? Yes, in a heart beat (although I would be horribly nervous!)
4)  Is it wrong for a smart woman to love and care about fashion and style and want to embrace that side of herself? No

I am in the unique position of living in both worlds.  And some of the comments from this CNN article (here) frankly amazed me.    I make decisions and distinctions every day to keep my worlds separate.  But I don't every lose my sense of self in the process.  And if Vogue came calling, I would definitely answer the phone!

What are your thoughts?  Was this appropriate?  Or not?

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