Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Embarrassed by Vogue Shoot

The Yahoo! CEO responds to the criticism she received for her September Vogue profile.
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Dhani Mau
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The Yahoo! CEO responds to the criticism she received for her September Vogue profile.
Mikael Jansson/VOGUE

Mikael Jansson/VOGUE

Often times, when someone with a "serious" job--say a position of leadership in politics or business--poses for a fashion magazine, he or she catches a lot of flack--regardless of how legitimate and well-regarded the publication or photographer.

The latest instance of this was Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer's recent profile in Vogue, for which she posed horizontally on a chaise lounge wearing a pretty conservative blue pencil dress. Many people, from Internet commenters to Time, thought it was inappropriate for a CEO of a major tech company to pose in such a fashion--and they didn't hold back sounding off about it.

For the first time, Mayer herself responded to the criticism and explained the editorial Tuesday at IAB's Advertising Week conference during a talk with Charlie Rose.

Mashable caught the talk and said Mayer was "clearly embarrassed" when asked about the shoot and the pose, which she described as "out of necessity." Apparently, photographer Mikael Jansson wanted to catch the CEO looking unconventional, hence the sort of upside-down-ness of the photo. Mayer said she hesitated but that Jansson promised it would look good.

We thought it was a cool photo, and a lot more interesting than, say, her sitting at a desk in a suit. It is Vogue, after all; and we kind of wish she would have owned it a little bit more. Plus, shouldn't what the story says about Mayer be more important than the photo?

That said, Mayer's reaction also makes us wonder how often models and celebrities of all kinds end up doing photos they regret. Sure, all of them have the power to say no, but photographers can probably be pretty convincing.

Do you think Mayer should be embarrassed by the photo?