Last month, it was announced that Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Obama, would be joining Marie Claire as a contributing editor. Awesome, right? Well, apparently not everyone felt as positively as we did.
Yesterday, Mastromonaco shared an essay in the Washington Post responding to the critical reactions to her announcement and the supposed "frothy content" of women's magazines.
"Such dated arguments assume that women are incapable of being both informed and fashionable, that to be a woman of substance and gravitas, to be taken seriously by her peers, she must subordinate her appearance and interests outside the office. Is it so inconceivable that a smart, accomplished woman would have both the latest issue of the Economist and the second season of The Mindy Project downloaded on her iPad? Sorry, but modern women see no contradiction there," she wrote. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Mastromonaco also makes the point that "men’s magazines don’t face any of the same scrutiny when they publish supposedly hard-hitting pieces adjacent to features on golf swings, pinstripes, and bikini babes." She offers this closing message:
"Thankfully, a new generation of young, ambitious women refuses to be hampered by the apparent double standard and rejects the idea that their interest in fashion, beauty and fitness somehow connotes anything beyond just that. I’m thrilled to align myself with a magazine that speaks directly to these women, whether it’s about access to abortion or fall trends. Because if we really want to talk honestly about 'having it all,' we need to start by according a woman’s many interests outside the office with the same deference we do a man’s."
We agree! Nothing in life is a zero-sum game, and there's no rule that says you can't love or be genuinely interested in "frothy" topics like fashion and fitness and "harder" ones like business or politics simultaneously.
What do you think of Mastromonaco's comments? Share your opinion below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!