lifestyle

This is why mornings are harder for women.

This is a truly serious matter.

Mornings are not fun for most of us. In fact, if you’re anything like me, when I wake up in the morning my hair closely resembles a bird’s nest, my breath is a bit funky and I struggle to communicate anything beyond the words, “skinny latte please.”

But I face an unspoken pressure that makes my mornings a little bit harder – because I’m a woman.

And, let’s be honest, the fact that a few physical differences are the reason why I lose a huge chunk of sleep every morning is not fair at all. It’s bullshit, in fact.

How to apply fake eyelashes and 10 other tips for winning at makeup.

Let me explain: Every weekday, my alarm goes off 45 minutes before my boyfriend’s, despite both of us starting work at the exact same time.

The reason I get up 45 minutes earlier? I use that time to apply two different layers of beige-coloured paint known as ‘foundation’ to my skin; to pat powders of various colours across my face and then I top it off with black goop on my eyelashes. Oh and don’t forgot the hot stick I use (that I regularly burn my ears with) to make my hair form into neat curls.

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Image via iStock.

Then I have to choose my outfit for the day – and while it’s not exactly a full-scale Cher Horowitz operation that involves an entire room for my wardrobe, I still feel compelled to take this decision pretty seriously.

I know, I know. You’re going to tell me that 45 minutes of grooming is my choice. That I live in a civilised, equal society where, thank God, I’m allowed to get a job at all.

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Yes, I accept that I have a choice to not do all of those things, but there is an unspoken pressure put upon me as a woman. Don’t you feel it too?

When I’m up at 7am applying my black goop, and my boyfriend is still fast asleep blissfully unaware that he is enjoying an extra few coveted minutes of shut eye simply because he is a man, I can’t help but get a little mad. Actually, really mad.

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Whatever you do, don’t clamp too hard. Image via iStock.

My boyfriend has a total of 3 suits, 10 shirts, 9 ties and 2 pairs of dress shoes. I can’t even begin to count the amount of work outfits I have in my wardrobe. My boyfriend spends a total of 5 minutes in the bathroom getting ready for work in the mornings; I spend 45 minutes.

I have complained to my half asleep boyfriend numerous times about how I think it’s unfair that whilst he is still lying in bed (attempting to sleep), I am up contouring and blow waving. And every time I mention do he responds with, “but you don’t HAVE to do that stuff.”

To study here, you must wear Spanx and have perfect eyebrows.

Bless his heart, he means well, but sometimes I want to shake him. He thinks I have a choice. I think he’s wrong.

According to a study conducted by Escentual, more than two thirds of employers admit they would be less likely to employ a female applicant if she did not wear makeup to the job interview, as reported by The Daily Telegraph. 

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Image via iStock.
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And if that study isn’t enough to make your blood boil, a study cited in the Daily Mail UK, conducted by the Harley St Clinic has found that women spend 474 days of their lives putting on cosmetics. This translates to 3 hours and 19 minutes each week in front of the mirror – because us women don’t have other important stuff to do in the mornings like, oh I don’t know… sleeping?

It is easy for my boyfriend to say I have a “choice” but he doesn’t have to worry about being judged at a job interview based on whether or not he decided to put beige paint on his face that morning. All he has to do is put on a professional outfit, shave, brush his teeth and put some deodorant on. Women do all these things too, but the clear difference here is that women have an extra expectation, an expectation that takes up 3 hours and 19 minutes of our week.

Fact: You’re probably not classically “beautiful”. But that’s okay.

Female beauty practices are such normalised part of our society, and so wide spread, that it is hard for women to make the choice to go without. A study by Superdrug, as sighted in the Daily Mail UK, found that a third of women wear make-up every time they go out – even if they’re only shopping for groceries, because god forbid we offend our fellow shoppers with our natural unpainted faces. The study also found that 6 out of 10 women wouldn’t consider going to work without it. So when 6 out of 10 of us make the pain staking choice to forsake coveted sleeping time for a foundation brush, do you really think there is still a true choice?

Women should be able to choose to wear their favorite red lipstick one day, and also choose to go completely al-natural the next. The operative word here being CHOOSE.

The pressure I feel to do my hair and “put my face on” every morning isn’t something I am making up. There is a double standard at play. And the more women (and men) who realise this, hopefully the more we will see make up and beauty rituals becoming a REAL choice for women.