Working GIRLS and Ladylike Glamour

working girlSo it’s 2016. And there is a full page in Canadian Living magazine dedicated to the “Working GIRL”, filled with wonderful ways for us GIRLS to mix “ladylike glamour and modern functionality”. How delightful!

Just the other day, as I was reviewing my corporate yearend with the accountant, he mentioned my lack of “ladylike glamour”. At the time, I was inclined to stuff a calculator up his behind, but now I see that he was just being diligent. Clearly, I have been neglecting my “ladylike glamour”.

A quick scan of the article tells me that “ladylike glamour” requires warm-toned metals, faux marble, and fresh white accents. How enlightening.

Upon closer perusal, I find an opportunity to “tuck small office supplies out of site” in something referred to as a “luxe globe-shaped box”. It looks like a large gold apple to me. Not sure how I would fit it into my briefcase, but I suppose that’s just a silly thought. What would a working GIRL need with a briefcase, once she was enshrined in “ladylike glamour”?

At the top of the page is an image that looks rather like a Monet painting, but I see that it is not just art. No indeed… apparently it is a removable decal I can use to “wrap my laptop in colour”. How fabulous!!! What a wonderful ice-breaker for those situations in which I turn up in a boardroom filled with middle-aged men (note: more than 75% of Fortune 500 board members are still male). Because nothing says capable businesswoman like a pink and red impressionist laptop cover.

There is also an “elegant small-scale metal bookcase” which is “perfect for tight spaces”. Strong implication that the average working GIRL will be in a teensy little cubby somewhere at the back of the building… not necessarily inaccurate but sad to see it assumed.

To the female editor-in-chief of Canadian Living magazine (Jes Watson) I say…. seriously?!? Are “working GIRL” and “ladylike glamour” phrases you feel represent your magazine in the 21st century? Because I am pretty sure I am your target demographic. I am a parent. I love to cook. And I enjoy a good magazine in the tub (the last bastion of magazine reading, since no one wants to drop their iphone into the bubbles!).

Yet… as a grown-ass WOMAN in 2016 I feel secure saying that I can cope with the loss of this subscription. And should I find myself in need of warm-toned metals, faux marble, or fresh white accents, I am sure I can find them online. Good bye Canadian Living.

Note: I wrote to the editor-in-chief regarding this article and must note that I received a prompt, personal response including the reasoning behind the article’s title and acknowledgement that “ladylike” was not an ideal word choice…

“I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t like our verbiage for this story. Sarah was making reference to the 1988 Melanie Griffith movie in her headline, and we felt it was clever in the context of showcasing a home office. As for the word “ladylike,” we wanted to convey the sense of women being able to have “a room of one’s own,” but you’re very right that there have been a better word choice. I’m so sorry you felt we missed the mark—we’ll keep your feedback in mind when writing future stories.”

Author: Kim Scaravelli

Kim Scaravelli is an entrepreneur, marketer, content consultant, and author of “Making Words Work”. The best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to Kim’s popular newsletter. Every second Wednesday, she shares practical writing tips, timely insights, and resources to make your work easier and your content better. To learn more about Kim, visit her website.

2 thoughts

Can't wait to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s