Visiting any high-profile female entrepreneur’s socials or website, we are often greeted with a massive hero shot of said woman.
The image typically involves a picture-perfect smile, a shampoo-ad-looking hairstyle, and last but certainly not least, a cup of coffee in hand to illustrate to us commoners that this woman is just like us. If you hadn’t double-checked the website address, you might have thought that you’d mistakenly taken a trip to Vogue’s site.
Why are these women presented this way? Well, unfortunately, much of our society still struggles to value women on anything other than physical appearance. This stems from a deep-rooted sexual objectification of women that takes form in casual ways like the sexed-up hero shot. While we may not realize it consciously, this representation of what a female entrepreneur should look like can begin to create self-doubt in our own abilities and appearances. Suddenly, even if we have a great business venture, we can begin to question whether we’re right for these build-your-business programs offered by these women, or even if we are the “type of woman” to be in entrepreneurship in the first place.
However, flawless pearly whites, a tiny waist, and legs that look like they live on a Peloton bike are not the criteria for starting your own business. Your appearance has no bearing on your business and the passion you have for it. The reason that women are made for business is not that they are the prettiest CEO in the room. Instead, it’s due to our innate intelligences, such as our high emotional literacy, our inherent ability to create, and our unmatchable passion.
Having self-doubt in our ability, rooted in a comparison of our appearances, has some negative side effects. We perpetuate the cycle of messaging that female entrepreneurs are businesswomen by day and elite models by night. Is that a message you would want to tell to your female friends? Your mother? Your daughter, perhaps? Most would likely answer ‘no’ to all of the above. So why do we subject ourselves to the same harsh, limiting beliefs that we deny we would push onto our peers?
It’s time to switch the narrative and stop trying to conform to how you think a ‘businesswoman’ should appear. Instead, celebrate that your strengths, skills, and passions define who you are as an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs wear sweatpants and have their hair in a messy bun. Some of them have acne on their faces from the daily stress. Others are pajama-clad, in bed, answering emails in their blue-light glasses. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, skin tones, a wide array of outfits, and varying levels of ‘glam’. Stop comparing yourself to the air-brushed, dolled-up, sexy woman you see telling you that she can make you a million dollars in a year. Even she doesn’t look like that.
You are an entrepreneur for a reason. That reason has a whole lot more to do with what is in your head and your heart rather than what you look like. If you’re wondering what represents a female entrepreneur, take a look in the mirror. That’s what an entrepreneur looks like.