(Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

Makeup in the workplace: An accessory or a necessity for professional women?

Upon giving my resume to a manager of a retail store for a job, the employer told me to arrive to my interview looking my best, and to “definitely wear makeup.”

It didn’t occur to me that by not wearing makeup and letting my natural skin show, I didn’t look my best.

Although the manager probably didn’t intend to insult me in any way, I took it personally and a realization that wearing makeup while in an interview and on the job has set the bar for women to look presentable and professional.

(Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

Part-time jobs are a standard for students in college to be able to pay for their classes and other expenses and there is a reoccurring trend with women in the workplace where they are expected to wear makeup to maintain an acceptable appearance.

On the other hand, men are considered to be dressed appropriately without makeup. Women need to mask their natural skin to bring on a work-standard image.

According to a study done by the skin care company, SkinStore, women spend an average of $300,000 on face products in their lifetime, use an average of $8 worth of face products daily and use around 16 face products before they’re officially ready for the day.

As more female students at Cal Poly Pomona and campuses everywhere are entering the workforce, women are becoming more and more pressured to wear makeup at work.

April Toledo, a first-year hospitality management student applied for a job at a hotel and was told to wear makeup every day at the job.

Toledo stated she doesn’t normally wear makeup, however, she felt compelled to cover her face just to simply turn in her application.

All companies do possess the right to require their own standard dress code that applies to both men and women.

For instance, dress requirements such as casual attire, business attire, piercing restrictions and hair color can fall under the category of both men and women in the workplace.

If women are beginning to be required or expected to wear makeup to look professional on the job, why isn’t there an expectation for men to wear makeup for a professional look at work as well?

Makeup has become a form of art that both men and women use to express themselves in their own way.

Now with makeup as a standard symbol of professionalism in the workplace, we are stripping away the creativity that makeup is intended to give in the first place.

Makeup does not define who a woman is and should not define what an appropriate image for women is in the workplace.

As more and more female CPP students are getting part-time jobs to pay for college, or are finally getting the job they’ve always wanted after graduating, they are faced with the harsh reality. They now need to spend their work days caking their faces with makeup to be taken seriously and professional.

First-year English education student Rebecca Devoe acknowledges this reality.

Sh says that the expectation of for woemon to wear makeup to work is accepted as more normal than it should be.

If a college education isn’t enough to prove women are qualified for a job, according to today’s standards, a little winged eyeliner and rosy blushed cheeks ought to do it.

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