A “natural” look doesn’t come naturally
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/28/2012 -- To be successful in a career, women today still must be conscious of how they look. But this concern for appearance comes at a cost, both for women and society.
Women who project a professional demeanor must be neatly groomed and stylish. To ignore this can draw attention and debate.
A Canadian politician sparked headlines for her campaign posters featuring casual dress and even hair on her upper lip. Manon Massé, a candidate for Quebec Solidaire, adopted a natural look, including a jean jacket and hair left down untidily.
The Canadian Press commented, “Wrinkles, stray grey hairs and whiskers above a woman’s upper lip aren’t usually seen on campaign posters whose subjects are more than often made-up, coiffed and photo-shopped to cinematic perfection.”
Massé has argued that she was intent on making a political statement. “We are politicians who are very different, we’re not here to fit into heterosexual norms,” she said.
Indeed, fashion authorities advise women that a “coiffed” look is the key to a professional appearance and, therefore, success. “Women who wear makeup in business generally get better jobs, get promoted more quickly and get paid more,” states Excelle, with the jobs website Monster.
This focus on fashion for success does not generally hold true for men. A conservative suit might be enough for a man to wear to an interview, the website eHow advises. But women are told to be careful of a variety of features from skirt length and shoes to makeup and accessories.
The cost to women to maintain appearances is significant. So far this year, women have spent $23 million more on clothing than men have, according to Statistics Canada.
But society also pays a price.
Cosmetic production often involves testing on animals, and eco-conscious products can cost two or three times as much as traditional ones. Custom Eyes Mascara, made by Revlon, which tests on animals, sells for $10.99. But Urban Decay’s cruelty-free Lush Lash mascara retails for $20.
For women to maintain a professional appearance is already expensive, but for them to do so in an eco-friendly way is even costlier.
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