Makeup and dress codes

For some reason, make up often features in dress codes, whether at school or at work. At school it is often simple; no make-up, but there is never any logical explanation behind this.

When told to dress smartly for sixth form we were informed that it was to prepare us for adult life, yet for some reason make up, which as far as I can tell is never banned in the workplace, is against school rules. Exactly what is it about decorating one’s face that is seen as quite so unsuitable for anyone in school? It’s on a par with not letting boys have long hair – it makes no sense. It almost seems another way of telling girls that their bodies will be sexualized by any male that passes by if given half a chance; no short skirts, no shoulders, no make-up.

One would think, then, that as you grow up and find your choices less policed, it would get better. NOPE. As soon as you hit working age, they change the rules. There are jobs that demand make-up, nail polish, styled hair – and guys who claim that this requirement is the same as asking guys to keep their face clean and their hair neat. These same guys are of course frequently the very same who, befuddled, wonder why it takes women so long to get ready to leave the house; women who have been told all ther lives that unless they follow the rules but at the same time look individual but also flawless because God forbid you have a hair out of place…. you see where I’m going with this?

I am done with seeing female friends ask on Facebook what they should do when told to wake up an hour earlier to look “presentable” (to catwalk standards of course). I am done with seeing guys insist that it’s the same as taking basic care of yourself. I am done with a world in which I have to be afraid that unless I learn to wear make-up I will not be respected, will not be able to progress in my career, will not be successful.

Because that’s bullshit.




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