Powerful, Strong & Beautiful: The Marissa Mayer Controversy

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has raised some debate about her recent Vogue layout. Some are saying they fight hard to succeed and prove that it’s not about being beautiful or well-dressed. They shame Marissa for “playing to the stereotype” stating, for women to be treated as equals, they shouldn’t take advantage of their physical assets.

Well, if to be “equal” means women have to dress in dull pant suits and go without makeup or hair color, I don’t want to be equal. I prefer to have fun with style, embrace my femininity and be the best mom, wife and business owner I can. In my mind, it’s an advantage, not a detriment, to look my best.

What is wrong with women being strong, powerful AND beautiful??

Absolutely nothing and it’s time that more women embraced their feminine side in business! A woman who is both glamorous and a geek should embrace it!

I believe that when you look your best, you feel your most confident and that inner confidence helps you achieve things you never imagined possible. What if the women who are hating on Marissa put on a little lipstick, some red heels and embraced their feminine side at the same time that they use their intelligence to promote their business or career? I bet they’d make quantum leaps! Fashion and beauty are tools, just like PowerPoint, public speaking and SEO skills. Use them to enhance your life experience!

Read Marissa’s feature in Vogue where she talks about motherhood, fashion and leading a company that needs saving.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Please share in the comments below.




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  1. Tammy thanks for sticking up for fashionable women who also happen to have a brain! Funny she’s been called out playing to a stereotype … when the stereotype of a female CEO is NOT fashionable. now is she? To be our happiest we can embrace all that we are and Marissa Mayer is certainly a role model for that. I hope she inspires more beautiful, smart women to stop downplaying what they’ve got! Thanks for putting it all into context.

  2. Absolutely right Elaine! Love your phrase, “Embrace all that we are”. In the struggle for equality, many women have forgotten how to be a woman. Ironic. Love when I see movement back to feminine…with strength 🙂

  3. Love this! Though I love your red heels, any shoes they think are pretty and some jewelry and makeup wouldn’t hurt. I get so annoyed with the whole ‘we MUST be equal’ feminist rant, men and women are not meant to be equal in all things! We have to remember we are women and we are feminine – some more than others, but that’s not a reason to put anyone down. And there’s nothing wrong with a woman using all her talents and assets in her work =)

  4. @Elizabeth We always say, “don’t compare yourself to other women” but women also need to stop comparing themselves to men as well. We are each uniquely gifted and to have your personal, highest level of success, you have to embrace who YOU are as a woman and stop fighting against it.

  5. There is nothing wrong with a woman showing off her physical attribute’s whether she is powerful or not has nothing to do with it. It would be more of a shame, when the time comes and she could no longer flaunt and embrace them, that she wouldn’t have to look back with any regrets about not fully enjoying her god-giving femininity!

  6. How about we simplify this into, “Women, quit picking on other women, high school is over!”

    Seriously, when one of us succeeds, it is good for the rest of us, no matter if we did it wearing a paper bag on our head,red heeled shoes, or our bathrobes in our kitchen. Let’s switch the conversation from competition and who is doing it right, to helping each other build up our collective self image, confidence, skills and power.

    Looking great is a choice we all should be able to put on, just like our fluffy bathrobes and that favorite pare of sweats. Here’s to choices and sticking together!