Was the Photograph in Vogue's Profile On Marissa Mayer Unfair?
Objective statement: Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is one of the most powerful women in business. Regardless of how you feel about Yahoo! or even Mayer herself, you simply can't deny her relevance in the worlds of technology and business. If you were to try, Vogue 's profile of Mayer in their September issue provides plenty of evidence to refute you.
Mayer speaks candidly in the 3,000-word profile about her struggles to balance a family and one of the largest companies in the world. She discusses Yahoo's $1 billion acquisition of tumblr, and her vision for Yahoo's future. Read any of her quotes from the article, and you'll see that Mayer is an incredibly intelligent, driven individual — so, why is she posed like a model in the photo next to her profile?
For starters, Mayer looks absolutely stunning in the photograph, taken by long-time Vogue photographer Mikael Jansson. She's stretched out invitingly on a lounge chair, iPad in one hand, blonde hair fanning out from behind her, red lips pursed, and hand behind her head. But why reduce one of the most powerful women in business to a glamour shot? It's difficult to imagine Vogue treating, say, David Karp or Mark Zuckerberg to the same treatment.
The Vogue profile does a wonderful job of illustrating all of Mayer's accomplishments, but that photograph does not, and it points to the stigmas and double standards that still exist regarding women in business.