Limor "Ladyada" Fried is the first female engineer to grace the cover of Wired magazine. She's featured for being a brilliant engineer (obviously), entrepreneur, MAKE advisory board member, and open source hardware pioneer.
It should be a milestone for women and inclusiveness in general -- especially because Wired so rarely features women on the cover. (Some industry experts even say she's the first female engineer to appear on a high-profile tech publication.) But not everyone's happy about it.
Can you guess who?
Cord Jefferson at Good accused the Wired folks of photo-shopping Fried beyond recognition. As you can see on the cover, Fried is looking pretty fabulous. But Jefferson found a photo of her in which she looks like an ordinary woman with short hair and a nose ring; he called Wired out for "treating a smart, innovative scientist like she's shooting a Britney Spears album cover."
It would have been a valid complaint -- if Fried herself hadn't responded to his critique in the comments section:
You found a 3+ year old photo of me in Japan, after a 20 hour flight and short hair.
The cover is stylized but that is really what I looked like. I was not 'plasticized' or 'heavily photoshopped'. if I take off my glasses, have my hair done, and wear make-up its what I look like ... Its a bit different than my every day look, especially when shot with a proper camera and lighting, but it -is- me. I do get dressed up from time to time, being a magazine cover is one of those times! :) ...
If I'm happy with this and I say it's looks like me isn't that GOOD :)
And then there's the reaction from Feministing, which takes issue with Fried's tired "Rosie the Riveter" pose:
It’s a great image, but I have to be honest and say that I’m tired of it. It feels so flat that that’s the only way we can represent women working in a man’s field ... When can women across fields just be acknowledged the way their male counterparts are -- for their accomplishments?
A salient point, to be sure. And one I would ordinarily be in full support of; in this case, I'm too focused on being excited that Fried is actually on the cover. Period.
Here's the thing about Wired: It so rarely features women on the cover that it opens itself up to criticism regardless of what it tries to do. Perhaps if the magazine were generally more sensitive and inclusive of gender, it wouldn't be so heavily criticized when it actually puts out a good cover.
What do you think of Fried on the cover?
Image via Wired