Beauty is only geek deep

Misbehaving pointed to a new Geek Calendar featuring 12 young, attractive female tech workers in typical calendar poses.

According to the “About the Producer” page (the producer being one of the models):

Lilac Mohr, who herself is a Senior Java Developer, is the producer of the Geek Gorgeous Calendar. Sick of hearing complaints from male co-workers about the lack of attractive women in the computer industry, Lilac set out to show the world that there are plenty of beautiful, intelligent, and interesting women in the fields of computers and engineering.

Gina at Misbehaving writes:

This seems like a good idea, but it’s too bad the photos are so cheesy and tasteless (in my opinion). I don’t know about you, but I don’t use pink ethernet cable as a bikini top. In addition to the photo, each month includes a summary of each model’s technical skills and quotes on working in the male-dominated tech industry.

I would have much rather seen classy, artsy photos of people looking both beautiful and geeky.

Personally, I would rather have seen a small, stylish photo of each woman, and then fill the page with code or other results of their work. To me that would be both geeky and beautiful. But then, according to the creative tech writer, I’m not the target audience:

My version would probably be a study of “What Not to Wear” befores and afters — in my experience, it’s a rare geek who can pull off the prOn pout with studied disheveledness with any style. Give me the slightly overweight and overworked senior network engineer who wears too-tight yoga pants, oversized sweaters, and ponytails. Or the newly-back-from-maternity-leave security manager who’s gotten no sleep in 12 weeks and still has to manage the outcomes of 3 crises her first week back. Talk about people in need of some cheesecake overhauling. And after they’ve been pampered and styled for the camera, what do you think their eyes would say as you stared at their calendar pic? I don’t think it would be anything like what the girls are saying. Sure, they’d look as good, but they’d be telling a whole other story.

I’m sure that were I to interview at any number of companies, and I walked in looking like who I am — an almost 51 year old woman who would really prefer not to pose in Victoria Secret underwear in public, thank you–there would be no disappointment among the young males who I’m most likely to be interviewing with. I believe in challenging stereotypes, but I agree with I Speak of Dreams: There are better approaches.

Maybe my reluctance about the calendar is that I don’t know any of the women. I wonder how Joi Ito would look as a Victoria Secret Angel?

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