Societal Pressure for Women to Obsess Over Looks
By: Oberon Le Fay
If spending time carefully picking out the perfect outfit, then meticulously doing your makeup brings you true joy and you can’t wait to roll out of bed EVERY MORNING to do this routine, all the power to you! If, on the other hand, waking up every morning and “putting your face on” feels a bit tedious to you but you do it any way because that’s what your “supposed” to do, I suggest you keep reading.
Roll out of bed, grope your way into the bathroom, cut your legs up on your shaving razor, aimlessly tweeze your eyebrows with your eyes still shut, stumble back into your room and feel around in your closet for your new high-heeled boots…
Does this sound like your morning routine? Roll out of bed, grope your way into the bathroom, cut your legs up on your shaving razor, aimlessly tweeze your eyebrows with your eyes still shut, stumble back into your room and feel around in your closet for your new high-heeled boots. Oh yes, and we can’t forget about the makeup! Do you ever ask yourself why you feel you need to do this?
On T.V. You often hear conversations between women where a girl will be asked “Who are you wearing that for?” or “All dolled up? Do you have a hot date?” Social conditioning often makes women feel like it is their job to satisfy the male gaze. Even queer women feel the need to dress up and wear makeup to get that good job they really want, or to be perceived as a more valuable employee.
Research shows that women who wear makeup actually do better on employee reviews, and get higher raises. Women who buck the system are seen as radical, and often draw negative attention. How do we fight this pressure?
In one respect, you can look at the makeup you wear, or the type of clothing you choose, as a “job requirement” but on your own time you can choose what to wear or how much makeup to put on. You can throw a girls night with your friends but instead of finding the sexiest dress in your closet or wearing a ton of makeup, you and your friends could dress comfortably and go out bare faced, make people take you at “face value.”
I’m not saying you should NEVER wear makeup, or put effort into how you dress, but when you do, it should feel comfortable. I personally wear jeans and a t-shirt most days, and don’t often spend a great deal of time on my makeup, but sometimes I want to wear something exciting or I’ll spend some extra time on a fabulous makeup look. I never do it to impress anyone, I do it because it’s something I enjoy.
These social constructs affect all females regardless of age, identity, culture, or status.
These social constructs affect all females regardless of age, identity, culture, or status. No matter what kind of woman you are, chances are you have felt this pressure at some time in your life. It’s fine if you truly love spending a lot of time on your appearance because it makes you feel confident, but keep in mind that it shouldn’t be about anyone but you! Remember, clothes and makeup can be beautiful, but true beauty comes from the person underneath it all!