When it comes to women, the funniest issues come up. Should they play sports? Should women enlist in the army and fight active battles? Can a smart woman be beautiful? Can a fat woman be beautiful? How old is too old to wear red?
Questions of the kind have also been making the rounds recently since the announcement last month that Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House deputy chief of staff for President Obama, would be joining Marie Claire as a contributing editor.
What? How can that be? The buzz got so loud that the lady had to come out and address the issue.
"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.
Well, she has a point and the people who have an issue with her choice are the ones who really need to be put under the microscope and not women like her.
A few months ago novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talked about how she "played down" her looks and dressed unflatteringly to go with the image of a "serious writer."
Well, it’s about time such stupid notions are laid to rest. Without wasting too many words, here are 10 brilliant examples of how fashionable and intelligent women can be at the same time.
Dr. Debbie Berebichez
Highly motivated and qualified, Debbie Berebichez has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and two postdoctoral fellowships in applied mathematics and physics. She speaks five languages and currently works on Wall Street as a risk analyst while she continues to develop video, articles and public communications programs to bring science to all. Impressed? So are we, equally with her accomplishments as well her sense of fashion.
Farida Khelfa is an actress, director of documentaries, a former fashion model as well as the ambassador of the revived fashion house of Schiaparelli. This French lady is not only smart and beautiful, she has a good head on her shoulders and excellent leadership skills.
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund and the first woman to ever head the prestigious organization, Christine LaGarde has held various ministerial posts in the French government. She has served as the minister of economic affairs, finances and industry; and minister of agriculture and fishing.
If you think this leaves her no time to look good, boy, are you wrong or what?
Tank Magazine's executive fashion director and a management consultant has brains as well as style. "Financial and business skills are a big part of the skeleton on which the glitter and glamour hangs…no dough, no show, as they say," she says. We agree.
CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction and the co-author of "Super Cells: Building with Biology," a book that explores the new frontier of biotech, this lady is also a fashionista. While her credentials boast of her being a TED senior fellow, a staff associate postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia University and an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at the Cooper Union, she does not mind dressing to the hilt or playing down her style.
Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias may have spent her life working passionately as a social and human rights advocate, but she never strayed away from her innate sense of style. Bianca, a former actress is currently a Council of Europe goodwill ambassador, founder and chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, member of the Executive Director's Leadership Council of Amnesty International U.S.A. and a trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust.
Susan Diane Wojcicki
Susan Diane Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, is not just a businesswoman but has a degree in history and English literature from Harvard and a master's in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz as well as a master's in business administration from the UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She is frequently seen sporting the most cutting edge trends.
Queen Rania of Jordan
Queen Rania not only holds a degree in business administration but also is a former tech professional. She is strong progressive voice in the Arab world and a powerful advocate for education, health and women's rights.
Ayana Elizabeth is an American marine biologist and has a list of fellowships more than a mile long. She is also the recipient of multiple grants and awards including the Rare/National Geographic Solution Search and was named a “World Changer” on Dell’s #Inspire 100 List. She is currently executive director of the Waitt Institute and a blogger for National Geographic.
And oh, she is also a jazz singer and a keen investigator of dance parties.
The stylish lady on the cover of Vogue is none other than Marissa Ann Mayer, the current CEO of Yahoo! and previously a long-time executive and key spokesperson for Google. She was ranked eighth on the list of America's most powerful businesswomen of 2013 by Fortune magazine. Brains and a geeky inclination towards technology she may have, but it hasn’t altered her sense of style.