You Gotta Do, What You Gotta Do

When I stepped into the corporate world, I was fortunate enough to have a pseudo-mentor. She didn’t do it on purpose, I think I was just one of the pawns that she happened to notice once or twice and decided to give advice. The rest I picked up through observation. I felt I was lucky to know her because I was clueless about makeup and dressing up and the like.   

Dexter (as in Poindexter but I don’t remember what her first name was—we peons never used it) and I ran into each other in the ladies restroom. I don’t remember how we got on the subject but she, rather tactfully I might add, suggested that I might want to consider wearing a “bit of color” on my face. I recall that she wasn’t actually smiling when she said it which meant I should pay attention. Believe it or not I didn’t get it at first since I didn’t wear makeup at all. She said something to the effect that wearing makeup in the corporate world is expected if you want people to take you seriously.  

Initially, I didn’t agree with her because I always looked at makeup as fake; a way to portray yourself as something you weren’t, like dying your hair blonde when it was really brown. But after asking a couple male acquaintances I realized that she was right. Makeup is considered “professional” like a guy wearing a tie. So, I learned how to wear it (lightly), and only do so when I go to work or a company function.

Katija Katija
51-55, F
4 Responses Jul 14, 2007

I never wore any make up, and I was working at a Hedge Fund (Derivatives) job. I only had male colleagues and they never showed me they didn't take me seriously. <br />
Perhaps it's different when working with other women...

I was told a woman's make up is like a man's tie... neither really wants to wear it but both know it's expected...

This can be very true.

Sad commentary on our society