You Just Couldn’t Resist Sexism, Could You, Glamour?

Fashion magazines aren’t exactly champions of gender equality. They are notoriously sexist, misleading, and even a little backwards when it comes to women’s advancement. While they certainly still have a long way to go, we want to applaud Glamour for their recent feature on LA mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel—with one small exception. If elected, Greuel would be the first woman mayor of Los Angeles, America’s second-largest city. This is a huge election, and while Glamour certainly acknowledges the importance of this—asking Greuel about the unique challenges women face when running for office—why oh why did they have to title the feature: “We Talk Politics, Parenthood, and Patent Leather Pumps With Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Wendy Greuel” (emphasis my own)?

Glamour was so close! They even asked Greuel about double standards, such as women politicians being called “bossy,” and young women’s advancement in leadership roles. Glamour is a fashion magazine, and that is most likely why they decided to include the “patent leather pumps” bit in the feature title. We get that, and we know that fashion coverage is fun. For a woman candidate though, talking about her fashion choices can damage her campaign. Couldn’t a fashion magazine write a feature on a woman leader that didn’t necessarily mention her clothing—I mean isn’t being a trailblazing leader a fashion statement in and of itself? Asking her about her confidence, how she benefitted from other women’s help, or what her plans are for the future are completely relevant—asking her about and mentioning her clothing is not.


Published by Kate McCarthy on 05/16/2013

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