Lean In to Lovely: Capitalists Co-Opt Working Women’s Watchword

by Audrey Cerchiara

Lean In to Lovely: Women, Work, and the Will to Wear Cozy Sweaters This Winter is the latest release by Anthropologie following this season’s (and every season’s) trend of corporations capitalizing on equal rights activism. The self-help catalogue will advise female readers on how to proactively buy their own sweaters.  

Just kidding, but this ad is not a joke.

Anthropologie snagged a great tagline from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s popular book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Released last year, the titular mantra resonated with women around the country as they “sat at the table” to ask for raises, negotiate shared parenting, and address sexual harassment. The book – now full-on movement –  offers facts, anecdotes, and advice for working women who want to realize and achieve their full potential instead of remaining underpaid, underrepresented, and underestimated. First and foremost, that means “leaning in.”


Similarly, Anthropologie wants women to lean in…to the cash register… to buy a lace top that will keep you “cozy-chic, no matter the mercury.” Guys, does “no matter the mercury” mean anything to you? Or did Anthropologie just discover the cure for mercury poisoning in cozy-chicness?


Don’t co-opt our progress. Leaning in is not about loveliness or lace v-necks. Leaning in is a rallying point for women workers who are hitting their lovely heads on a glass ceiling. And we’re not gonna wait around for karma to deliver what we deserve in the workplace. 


Images via Anthropologie, Katie Qué, Frijolita

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.