The catalyst for writing this post came in the form of a post on a friend’s Facebook page where she posted a link to this article. While the ‘extreme grooming’ that is described in the article is about a television presenter, it can be seen every day in our offices and shops.
Then just to top it off I found another link via Facebook about the ‘social experiment’ conducted by Karl Stefanovic. He wore the same suit every day for a year – and no-one noticed. This was his silent protest to highlight the way his female co-hosts were constantly judged and critiqued on what they wore and their hairstyles.
These articles in the media highlight the unreasonable pressures and expectations that society has on women in general and more specifically women who are constantly in the spotlight such as television presenters. It saddens me to realise how much of this pressure is on women in all walks of life.
There have been small, incremental steps to break down these ‘societal norms’ but we must all be a part of the solution if things are really to change. The Little Brown Dress project by Alexa Martin in 2005 – 2006 chronicled her anti-consumerism stance in which she wore the same dress every day for a year. Like Karl Stefanovic, no-one really noticed. Project 333, is loosely based on the same principle – have a small number of clothes that you wear and love and realise that the world mostly does not care what you wear. Anyway, none of us should be defined by the clothes we wear.
To return to the first link in this post, make-up and grooming are yet another facet of us feeling the expectation that we have to present ourselves to the world in a certain way.
I have never been a great fan of make-up and tend to keep my make-up to an absolute minimum. I no longer colour my hair and have a small but much-loved selection of clothes. My clothes fit my lifestyle and I feel good in them.
What about you? Do you feel pressured to present a certain face to the world? Does your workplace have an expectation of how you are groomed?