Marissa Mayer Embarrassed by Her September 2013 Vogue Photo Shoot
When Vogue asked Marissa Mayer to pose for their September issue profile, who knows exactly what the Yahoo CEO thought she'd come away with. However, the resulting photo of Mayer in a form-hugging cobalt dress, reclining in a lawn chair, has been the subject of a lot of flak. (Oh, Internet.) And, according to Mashable, Mayer is none too pleased about the picture, either.
Speaking about the image at IAB's Advertising Week conference on Tuesday, Mayer, embarrassed, mentioned how the image was unplanned and "out of necessity." From Mashable:
The photographer Mikael Jansson's assignment was to capture an unconventional CEO in an unconventional pose — sitting ladylike on the chaise wasn't going to cut it. When Jansson suggested she lay upside down, she hesitated. He assured her it would "look good" and so she went for it.
But should Mayer be embarrassed?
Back in August, Michelle King wrote here at Bustle:
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.
At Refinery29, Libby Banks feels let down that Mayer didn't stand up for the photo, which was for Vogue, a fashion publication, after all:
Mayer's apparent need to explain herself has disappointed us on two counts: the first is the assumption that a woman profiled in a fashion magazine is somehow betraying the sisterhood, and—perhaps more frustratingly—the fact that Mayer tried to shrug off her decision to appear in Vogue instead of owning it.
The photo is a little silly for someone of her position, but it’s beautiful. It’s not like she’s half-naked and straddling a computer, but if she feels uncomfortable with it, then that’s all that matters.
Regardless of the side of the line on which you stand, the real crime here is that Mayer is ashamed of the image. But whether the source of that embarrassment is an insecurity within Mayer that prohibits envisioning herself in a role outside of a 'conventional' CEO, or because she's receiving signals from the outside world that she should be showing signs of embarrassment is anyone's guess.