Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s baller new CEO and baby Mayer’s baller new mom, is getting yelled at on the internet again for being able to handle motherhood gracefully. This week, at a Fortune Magazine “Most Powerful Women” event, as guardian of a tiny human, Mayer had to audacity to show up in an outfit that was not sweatpants and a dirty ponytail. She then went on say that she enjoys her child. “The thing that surprised me is that the job is really fun…and the baby's been easy. The baby's been way easier than everyone made it out to be. I've been really lucky that way.” What a bitch—loving her kid and being grateful for her good fortune.
This prompted Slate to wonder, “Why Does the Internet Hate Marissa Mayer’s Baby?” Theories run the gamut from, “jealous?” to “bullshit.” Whatever the reason may be, ignorance or false projection, PolicyMic doesn’t really care why haters gonna hate, but what Mayer can do about it. And what she can do is be more like E News anchor betch, and fellow new mom, Giuliana Rancic.
Since the birth of her son via gestational carrier in September, Rancic has been gushing about what an easy baby she has, and the internet loves her for it. With their son Duke just a few months old, she already wants another baby since this one is apparently such a breeze, “we’re just having so much fun that we’d love to have another child” she said. She told People that she even likes nighttime feedings and sleep deprivation, and no one howled that she is doing a disservice to working mothers by making it seem easy. Rancic even went so far as to say that she loves changing dirty diapers, “I love changing poopy diapers. When I open a diaper and it’s poopy, I’m like, ‘Yes, score!’”
Although the Fashion Police pundit crafts an image of herself as a shallow Hollywood fluff chaser, she’s also a serious career woman. Rancic was back to work only two weeks after undergoing a double mastectomy for breast cancer. On her reality TV show, Giuliana and Bill she constantly worried about how much she would miss working during maternity leave. Part of the reason girly-girl Rancic gets away with her comments is because she’s not taken seriously, like Mayer, as a feminist role model (which is itself a form of sexism). Her every move isn’t scrutinized for its effect on women’s progress.
Another reason Rancic may get more leeway though, is because she allows the public to know her, whether through her obviously revelatory reality TV show, or via interviews. Rancic gets out in front of the story, gives her side, and let’s people feel like they know her. Part of this is her job, but part is just smart P.R.
Mayer, as a CEO obviously must keep her public persona professional and her private life, well, private. Unfortunately, as a public figure of note, her family life is going to draw interest either way. There might be less hate out there if Mayer reminded the internet that she’s a person too, and not just a totem. It’s much harder to trash someone (you think) you know.