Is hair and make-up really a ‘tax’ on women’s time?

Is hair and make-up really a ‘tax’ on women’s time?

24 July 2015

It seems fair to say women take longer than men to get ready in the morning. While you take the time to style your hair and apply (even minimal) make-up, a man could have long since zipped out of the door, giving him a head start on the day.

So are we putting the fairer sex at a disadvantage? Could we call the social expectation for women to wear make-up a tax on female time?

In a recent Facebook Q&A session Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton commented on the subject. She was asked by a respondent, “Every morning, as my boyfriend zips out the door and I spend 30+ minutes getting ready, I wonder about how the ‘hair and makeup tax’ affects other women — especially ones I admire in high-pressure, public-facing jobs…I know these questions can seem fluffy, but as a young professional woman, I'd genuinely love to hear about how you manage getting ready each morning (especially during your time travelling as Secretary of State and now on the campaign trail) while staying focused on the ‘real’ work ahead of you that day?”

To which she replied, “Amen, sister - you're preaching to the choir. It's a daily challenge. I do the best I can - and as you may have noticed, some days are better than others! –H”

It’s an interesting point, many women confess to feeling a pressure to look their best every day, and no doubt feel daily beautifying is something of a chore. Though for others, hair and make-up is a passion, something they love to do and a part of how they construct their identity. 

The question sparked further discussion in the Q&A, “Agreed! It's hard to understand the balance of wanting to spend my time on other things, but wanting people to take me seriously in professional meetings.” “I tell my female students to look professional and comfortable, but to never sacrifice the sleep or prep time their male colleagues are getting in favour of getting ready.”

Do you find putting make-up on in the morning a chore, or is it something you really enjoy? Tell us today on Facebook.


Image credit: JStone/ Shutterstock