Major manufacturer Kao is providing mass lessons to young women who are seeking post-college jobs. Is make-up about “expressing your personality,” displaying “your intellect or enthusiasm,” or maing “a good impression on a job interviewer who is about your father’s age”? One girl learned to take off her false eyelashes and thick eyeliner to land a job. Reading this “news story” is like some weird pre-feminist Time Warp.
Seriously, who wears false eyelashes to a job interview in the first place? I can see the point of it because, in my opinion, most girls in Japan tend to wear either too much makeup or not enough. Also would you want to employ someone who looks like she’d spend most of her day reapplying her makeup?
Well, it’s not like we can ever get it right anyway. Look bright, sharp, and pretty and you get more friendly faces but less respect when it counts. Try to be plain and simple and then you seem tired or unapproachable. Even “natural” makeup is subjective and can be difficult to master if you’ve never done it regularly before.
Of course the OL uniform in Japan is a bit more regular (black/grey suits seem like a safe bet in offices here) and some women seem to find no trouble dressing and making up for work anywhere. But not everyone’s the same — imagine if you’re blond and young-looking working with a bunch of middle-aged men. It takes some figuring out, and luck, to get it right. Or in my case, I look young, and I’ve got an hourglass shape, hips and D-cups — I have an extreeeemely difficult time finding outfits for work that don’t overtly “call attention to” my figure. A pencil skirt and a button down make me look like I’m remaking the hot for teacher video, whereas anything that hides my curves makes me feel frumpy and under-dressed. And the difference between nice, minimal makeup and foundation-only or no makeup is absolutely apparent in the way I’m approached by men at work. So I just give up. Sorry to rant, but the point is, if false eyelashes made me feel fierce and ready to work, might as well — nothing much to lose.
If only it were as simple as picking out a decent suit and making sure to shower and check the hair. The men at work never have to worry about whether their new tailored suit might be “flaunting” their broad shoulders a little too much. You know?
I agree with pre-feminism time warp assessment — unfortunately it’s the same everywhere.