Just as it comes as no surprise that I'm a feminist, it also comes as no surprise that society likes everyone to blend it and play their parts. I learned this early on: As a woman, if you wear make up and do your hair, you get treated better. Seriously!
When I was 19, I had just gotten married and gone into a fancy department store to return a wedding present. I was coming from work, so I was dressed nicely and my hair was done, but I wasn't wearing any make up. I stood there waiting for someone to help me for a long while. I said the polite, "Excuse me," to the sales clerk, but she told me that I'd need to wait my turn. After waiting for what seemed an eternity, I left.
I went back another day with my make up on. I was helped by a smiling sales clerk almost immediately.
Since then, I've tried the experiment time and again, and I will tell you that most of the time, I am treated better when I'm wearing make up.
My oldest daughter, Amber, always wore make up, but Emily, now nearly 18, will wear it about half the time.
Today, she was going in to apply for a job. Without even thinking, I told her that she was more likely to get the job if she was wearing make up. I've told her that before and she has always worn it. Today, she turned squarely toward me and said very simply, "I won't be sexualized like that." Good! Good for you, Em! I'm proud of you that you will be yourself no matter what!
I can guarantee that her comment will come back to me many, many times throughout my life. I hope that she remembers it too.