Should I Be Attractive?
I really try not to fuss about the challenges of being a woman in a leadership role, particularly an arena (church work) where leadership is primarily male-dominated, however occasionally I just have to rant a bit.
I came across this article the other day from a Fox News alert entitled “Female Candidates Judged on Looks More than Male Candidates”. The article opens with this quote:
“Women running for top offices need to appear competent and attractive, according to a new study. For male candidates, seeming competent may be enough.”
So apparently it’s not enough for women to just be competent?
I know this article is particularly about politics, but I have to say that I have experienced a lot of critique and opinions on the way I look. Nancy Beach even addressed this female leadership phenomena with a section entitled “Hair, Lipstick, and the Fashion Patrol” in her book Gifted to Lead. She shares:
“But nothing surprised me more than the apparent obsession the congregation has with what a woman leader wears. I really wish this weren’t such a big deal, but apparently the outfit selection can either drive listeners to distraction or become a non-issue so we can all focus primarily on the content.”
And we are not talking about modesty here – that’s a given. Both of these quotes are speaking to how much people expect women to “look good”.
I know I could be opening a huge can of worms, but I would love to hear what you all think about this? Why is the standard different for woman than men in regard to appearance and the focus that is placed on it?