Spotlight Series Issue 4 | Bethany McLean

Spotlight Series Issue 4 | Bethany McLean


Welcome to M2057’s Spotlight Series: In Her Own Words, which features dynamic, stylish and powerful women who inspire us. This month, we chatted with journalist Bethany McLean.

If Bethany McLean’s name sounds familiar it’s for good reason: She’s been a contributing editor at “Vanity Fair” for over a decade and she has also written a few bestselling books, including “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” and “All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis.” An avid reader—“There’s nothing like a new idea when you’re feeling down,” she says—Bethany credits her 20-plus year yoga practice and spending time with her two daughters as bringing her joy.


YOUR PERSONAL STYLE I probably wear too much black! I prefer things with clean lines and fitted silhouettes. I'm far more likely to wear biker boots and a maxi skirt than I am to wear a pencil skirt with heels.

CLOTHES-BUYING CRITERIA Quality is really important. I think it matters more and more as you get older. But I try to be cognizant of comfort as well, because no matter how much I might like how something looks, I won't wear it if it's not comfortable.

WORK STYLE VERSUS GOING-OUT STYLE They all blend together for me, but I suppose my footwear is what changes the most. If I'm being casual, I'll probably wear relatively low-heeled boots. If I'm giving a talk for work, I'll wear shoes that are more dramatic.

STYLE ICONS Maria, obviously! Cate Blanchett. Angelina Jolie.

FAVORITE M2057 PIECES I wear the black leather dress, Tabitha, all the time. I have a full grey dress from the very first collection that is always perfect. I also have the black leather pencil skirt. And I have the Kathryn Jacket in constant rotation.

CHALLENGES I constantly face the challenge of self-doubt. I just re-watched "The Empire Strikes Back" with my daughter, and there's that great line from Yoda: “There is no try, only do. So, you have to do in the face of doubt, and then you move through it.”

CREATING WORK-LIFE BALANCE I'm not sure I believe in day-to-day balance. I hope that over time, a life can achieve a good mixture of work and play and personal time. But there are times when one has to take precedence, and you need to be passionate and all-in on that aspect of your life.

WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT BEING A WOMAN l love the warmth and support of other women. I really do think the world is changing. When I see a woman who is unkind to other women, I think, I'm so sorry for you. You're trapped in an old paradigm. This is an interesting time in the world, and some of the old structures that hold women back reappear when you're not expecting them.

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