Don’t hate her ‘cuz she’s pretty: The backlash against Marissa Mayer’s Vogue photoshoot 1

Beautiful women can’t be trusted. It’s a well-known fact. They’re most likely mindless bimbos or worse: conniving manipulators using their sexuality to trick helpless men into fall into their traps.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, is a beautiful woman. She stirred up trouble with her attitude and policies on working from home and now she’s challenging how we think a successful, modern woman should carry herself.

Her cover photo shoot for Vogue features her lying upside down on a lounge chair, wearing a stylish but fairly conservative dress. Her blonde hair cascades over the foot of the chair and her heels are angled in just the right way. What a flirt.

It’s not her first time making a controversial appearance on a magazine cover. Last year she showed up on Fortune‘s cover looking very not pregnant just days before giving birth.

Once again the Internet buzzed with passionate reactions, some of the most volatile coming from fellow women. Anna Nicole Moose, a Facebook CNN commentator, was disgusted that she would take a step backward for women. We worked so hard so that we wouldn’t have to rely on our beauty and sexy outfits. Some men expressed concern that this photo shoot could result in employees losing respect for her.

I guess I foolishly hoped that we were passed all of this. Yet somehow, still, we as a society have a problem processing the idea of a beautiful woman who is also smart and successful. How can this be? How does she get anything done looking that way?

People will argue that the issue is not with her looks but her boldness in displaying them in such an in-your-face manner. I might be more concerned if she was insecure and felt like this was something she had to do. But she’s shown us many times that she’s quite confident and unwavering, whether you love it or hate it.

What if this is something she wanted to do? What if she enjoys it? Does it matter? Or are we still trying to fit women into a box, discouraging them to behave in a way that we see unfit, asking them to walk some nonexistent line?

Are we perpetuating the idea that women are “asking for it” if they wear makeup and stylish clothes by suggesting that she’ll lose the respect of her employees? Will this tasteful photo shoot really erase all of her hard work and excellent performance at her job?

I don’t think it’s the end of the world if teenage girls have a role model to look up to who doesn’t have to prove herself with her looks, who is famous for her brain rather than a leaked sex tape. Lets celebrate a smart, confident CEO rather than rip her apart. Even if we don’t like her.