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Do Women Have To Wear Cosmetics To Be Socially Acceptable In The Workplace?
- Aug 20, 2018 -

Make-Up, Yes or No?

A woman who goes out without cosmetics on her face is viewed as "letting herself go" or "not taking care in her appearance" by many in our culture. If she goes to a job interview with a face free of makeup she may be seen as sloppy or unprofessional, even when it comes to jobs that don't involve dealing with or entertaining the public. Some women in America can legally be fired for failure to wear the stuff to work! 

While many supporters of mandatory make-up claim wearing it makes them feel good about themselves, I think they wouldn't feel bad about themselves when their faces are squeaky clean if our culture didn't pressure them to wear it in the first place. It's just a kind of ritual face-painting peculiar to our culture, at its roots it's intended to improve sexual appeal. 

I also think that it's mostly women who put pressure on women to use it rather than men preferring that they put on cosmetics. 

What do you think?

My Personal Experience with this Crazy Idea

Why should I wear make-up if I don't want to?

At one place of employment here in West Michigan I was approached by my employer and taken aside. She told me that I needed to take care of my appearance to fit with the shop's image.

I had no idea what she meant. I showered daily, ironed my clothes, brushed and flossed, and kept my hair neatly styled and groomed. I said as much to her. She seemed angry that she had to explain but she told me she meant make-up. She insisted on at least eyeliner and lipstick when I rebelled at the idea of foundation. No way was I going to use foundation! And at the time, I had the most lovely skin. It's still pretty nice, but back then it was (aside from two small scars, one by my eye and one in my eyebrow) flawless. I can't imagine why she even suggested it! Why should I wear make-up if I don't even feel I need it and don't like what it does to my skin? But the fact is, my boss told me that putting on face paint was required to look professional.

This occurred back in the nineties, but apparently that sort of pressure and discrimination still exists in the 21st century.

I've never since had anyone tell me I had to put on make-up to keep a job but I've had some pretty heavy handed hints come my way at two other places of employment since. Not too long ago, I read a news story in which a woman took her employer to court for being required to use make-up on the job and her employer won the suit. So I decided to write a page about this unpleasant side of something that should just be a personal choice and not a mandate.