24. Lyndsey Scott: Beauty or Brains?
I sat on the set of a Good Morning America interview somewhere in Manhattan, watching as ABC correspondent Juju Chang interviewed my sister, Lyndsey Scott. It was one of the most memorable and surreal days of my life, to say the least, seeing the back of my hero Robin Roberts' head backstage and sharing air with political pundit James Carville. While the entire day left an impression on me, my mind goes back to Lyndsey in the interview chair being asked a fairly innocent question: "Brains or beauty?"
While her exact response escapes me, I remember her saying something to the effect of "why should I have to choose?".
Throughout human history, women have often been expected to choose, whether between parenthood or career, feminism or sexuality, brains or beauty. Lyndsey's message is that you don't need to choose. You can authentically be yourself, regardless of the restrictions others try to put on you.
In her own words, Lyndsey shed light on the reality of the modeling industry and why many models may look to keep their intellectual prowess under wraps:
"The industry makes an effort to reduce the model and, in a way, simplify things. The way they marketed me a lot of times was as younger than I am. They wouldn't talk about my education, they wouldn't talk about me... In a way I understand. Youth is valued more than a college education."
Whenever given the chance to get up in front of a crowd, Lyndsey underscores the importance of not just embracing all sides of herself but of speaking up. She wants men and women alike to recognize that we still have a long way to go to achieve equality along the sexes.
"It's still a shame that women in tech have to prove themselves if they aren't the stereotypical programmer," she told amNewYork. "If they aren't, then there is this automatic tendency that people have to question their abilities."
With her work, developing apps left and right while providing a 360 view of the nuances of her personality via social media -- posting an acting scene one day, a glamour shot the next day, and insights from a developer conference the day after that -- Lyndsey's making it clear that women like her are capable of leading lives that were previously considered unrealistic and unattainable.