The whole #nomakeup conversation has kicked off whilst I’ve been away and while I don’t have a strong opinion about it, there is something I would like to discuss. Women and men have a different set of “rules” when it comes to the workplace however, rarely, this is dictated by real rules set by the place of work.
I know, another girl writing / moaning about how women are treated different to men in the workplace blah blah blah. Let me stop you there, I’m different, I promise, carry on….
I rarely wear make up, I didn’t even bring any on holiday. It’s a personal choice and whilst I used to have minus zero self confidence and not great skin I am now quite happy to be without make up day to day and believe I look OK without it and do not need it. However, when I am off to a meeting, networking event I sometimes feel like I would like some mascara on (that’s as “done” as it gets normally!) again this is personal choice and how it makes me feel when I’m going out for business.
Having my own business and what my service is means that I am my brand, people are buying me so it’s massively important that I am happy and comfortable when meeting potential new clients as I will come across so much better.
In previous jobs I have done similar but, being much younger and having not much confidence it meant that I didn’t really understand my own style so I muddled through. This was when the “rules” came into place. I have been advised to wear certain things including more make up at work. Now, let me get this clear. I followed the dress code, looked smart but not suited and booted which I was told I should think about doing as it would help me feel better coming to work, more confident apparently. I was following the company rules but it wasn’t right somehow.
This is where it can be different for men, they are either smart or not. Suit, shirt, tie or no tie, that’s the choice. It’s not great on their part as the choice isn’t very wide and the rules can be stricter as that can be almost like a uniform for them – different colours but same outfit. Women get skirts, dresses, trousers, blouses, tops in a variety of styles as well as colours plus are happy to judge each other on it – where the problem lies.
Unfortunately this didn’t help my confidence so I went and purchased some suits and slap and looked different and very uncomfortable for a while. Did it help? Not really as the clothes and make up were not the root issue and were not “me”.
Now, having learnt from this, grown up, grown confidence and found a wardrobe which I’m comfortable in and suits my style I no longer have that problem. I wear what I believe is suitable for me and the situation or day ahead. We all do different things to make ourselves feel better but it is the comments and judging which do not help. If we were all the same the world would be boring. Some people like to wear a lot of make up, this is fine as long as they are comfortable and happy as their body language will show this much brighter than they can say.
If someone doesn’t hire me on my outfit or make up then we are probably not going to work well together anyway so it’s probably for the best but, as long as my body language shows and I come across as trusted, friendly, reliable and positive then I know I’ve done my best.