Someone once made a comment to me about how there must be a lot more attractive men than attractive women in the world, since women are always having to fuss over their appearances. And in a certain sense, he was right. The way society has defined “attractive” limits the term to almost no woman in her natural state. As a result, a woman’s natural appearance is likened to a deformity unfit for the public eye. This is especially true depending on the situation. For instance, a guest speaker at my college stated that she would not hire a woman who did not wear makeup and high heels to the interview. To her, that indicated a blatant disregard for professional polish. Without those beatification techniques, there was no proof that she even cared about her appearance.
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look nice or putting effort into one’s appearance, it becomes a problem when it no longer feels like a choice, when a woman feels inadequate without a complicated beauty regimen. At that point, it begins to detract from her life, preventing her from feeling confident or being spontaneous. The most ridiculous part of all of this is that this stress is not about feeling beautiful. It’s only about feeling normal.