Employ us for our skills, not our lipstick

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Gone are the days when job applications requested a pretty photo alongside your CV. This had been in hope of ridding employers of those nasty judgmental vibes that discriminated between female candidates over how perfect their pout was. Yet, even with application styles such as this abolished, society still defines working women in terms of their appearance. Even social media labels women this way; Facebook pages flash images of ‘the most beautiful female soldiers’ or the ‘sexiest policewomen’. But we don’t want to be classified by how gorgeous we are; we want to be seen as the soldiers who battle for our country or the policewomen who catch the criminals. The question is why bother glugging Red Bulls to cram before an exam, why stress over commas in references and why work so hard for a degree when we are only judged by our newly highlighted hair?

Employers, both male and female, have always taken appearance into consideration. New York University discovered that an increase in women’s body weight resulted in a “decline in her occupational prestige” meaning the chunkier we are the less likely we will get that promotion. Further studies into the link between a female’s professional success and her glamorous looks were looked into by the New York Times in 2011. They stated that when a woman increases the make-up she wears, as long as not overdoing it, she also increases her likeability, trustworthiness and generally appears more competent within the workplace.

The NY Times went on to discuss how certain choices in make-up can help a woman to come across differently when at work. For example, a darker lip colour can give the intimidating big-boss impression while a softer, lighter look makes a woman more approachable, benefiting in roles such as a teacher or a psychiatrist. Basically, it stated that mastering beauty will get you what you want.

So, maybe we should accept it; we will only get where we want to be in life if we doll ourselves up, diet and perfect our hair style daily?

No, we will not. Make-up is brilliant; it allows us to try out different looks out and often boosts confidence. It can intensify our eyes or dye our lips; we can even make our self more tanned if we want to! But that by no means should establish make-up as necessary for women to succeed.

There are millions of successful women in the world, past, present and future. There was Margaret Thatcher, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa and so many more. Do you honestly think that Amelia Earhart was applying her lipstick just before getting into that plane? Nope, she was too concerned with making history! The fact is employers should not judge anyone by their appearance male or female. We don’t want to be awarded the job because our eyebrows are more precisely plucked than the other candidate. We are brilliant on the inside as well as out, and we are proud of our achievements. We are intelligent, passionate and quick thinking; if we are good looking on top of that it should be a bonus.

Some are born liking make-up, some reach for make-up and some have make-up thrust upon them. But this doesn’t matters; we should get the job because of our first class degree and not our first class lippy.

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