Aug 19, 2016 · 3 minutes

Look, no one is a tremendous fan of Elizabeth Holmes in Silicon Valley right now. Well, except, say, Tim Draper who claims there is absolutely nothing wrong the blood testing former-corn that’s currently under federal investigation.

It’s hard enough for a woman-run company to get funded. Female CEOs make up just 3% of venture funded startups. You can count the unicorns with female CEOs on your fingers, despite some 150 unicorns having been created in recent years. And even fewer female CEOs valued at $1 billion run scientific companies, not ecommerce companies or companies geared towards female consumers.

Holmes was a role model to many girls. And, of course, because she’s a woman, her looks came into it too.

It’s frustrating, no doubt. But it’s part of being a high profile women. Even celebrities are sick of being asked only about what they are wearing, hence the “Ask her more!” movement.

But a short, bitter post in New York Magazine “The Cut” takes this objectification a step further and it’s straight out of the playbook of the now defunct Valleywag: ie takes a cheap shot for no real reason. In a weird media ouroboros, it criticizes Holmes for being able to attend a party, despite her current troubles, by implying she only got to go because of how she looks, while at the same time, criticising everyone for always writing about her looks even when she was doing well.

I can’t quite make heads or tails of it. The writer appears to be pissed that she was invited to a Glamour party.

On the one hand, there’s this:

The fashion world was quick to embrace the svelte and stunning Holmes, who embodied the Devil Wears Prada archetype of the "slim, lovely female paratrooper" to a T. (Remember the scene where Miranda Priestly requests more model-esque military personnel for a fashion shoot?) With her feet in the male-dominated worlds of science and tech, she made an attractive candidate for her STEM cred and ability to pull off a slim black turtleneck. Pre-scandal, she gave career advice in Glamour, which also selected her as a Woman of the Year. T magazine put her on the cover as one of its Greats, along with Rihanna and Jonathan Franzen, in its print edition, then quietly excised her from the online version of the story. Even her Henry Kissinger–penned Time profile focused on her looks, calling her "striking, somewhat ethereal." In their haste to find the archetypal woman who fit both fashion magazines' impossible ideals and Silicon Valley's impossible ideals, none of these publications looked too closely at her work. 

Couple things: Her VCs didn’t find holes in her work either. Nor did partners like Walgreens. Publications like Vanity Fair didn’t. It took a particularly enterprising Wall Street Journal reporter to bring the entire thing crashing down. And for what it’s worth, I didn’t see “The Cut” leading the investigation either. Let’s not fault Glamour too much here, for missing what professional VCs also apparently missed.

Still, the point about the fixation over her looks as Theranos was doing well-- WTF, Kissinger?-- is creepy, no doubt. So why then the fixation on her outfit, her looks, and the fact that she attended a party hosted by a fashion magazine on the way down? How do you know why or why not she was invited to a private party. The headline “Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter” makes the same assumption of her “value” that the magazine is ostensibly arguing shouldn’t matter.

Why the point of this story if you are so horrified by the industry’s obsession with her as a style icon? The Cut seems similarly obsessed.

How about this: Let’s just stop talking about Elizabeth Holmes looks period. Whether she likes it or not, there are going to be far more interesting topics.