I am fascinated by Marissa Mayer. She's young (well young-ish), good looking, a recent mother and a CEO. Everything I aspire to be by the age of 38. I recently read this article about Marissa Mayer's fashion sense and how it makes other people - especially women - view her.
It got me thinking about feminism and how when I was younger I always thought feminism meant resembling a man. For a while I renounced the color pink and insisted I liked blue. I thought that dulling yourself up meant you would be taken seriously. The more you resemble your male peers and pretend that your life is just like theirs then you're equal. Somewhere between that 16 year old wanna-be feminist I was and the 30 year old somewhat female supremacist I have become, things changed.
Personally, I feel very confident in my Pink desktop and very pink Microsoft Outlook. I feel no shame in wearing colorful blazers, holding feminine purses and red wallets. I witnessed at work that being a working mother does not make you less productive or less valuable to a company. If you're good, you're good.
My mother's generation had a very different attire at work, they wore boring professional suits while out of work they wore pretty dresses. Now when I look at the female leaders around me in the office, and global leaders such as Marissa Mayer, I see women who dare to wear what they want. Fashionistas that see no need for frumpy boring clothes or manly mannerisms. The stereotype has been broken. I find that women are now more proud in their femininity and uniqueness and understand that they bring something just as valuable to the table.
Now when I look to my generation and those who are younger, the ones next in line to be the leaders I find that things have been pushed even more. It is now essential that you look the part. The bar is raised even higher. Not only do you need to be smart, ambitious and hard working, you need to look well groomed and fashionable while doing it.
It's interesting how looking stylish at work used to be considered as vain and shallow and is slowly transforming into an essential way a woman presents herself.