How Has the Pandemic Changed Beauty Expectations?

It’s common knowledge that in a workplace, appearance is pretty important. From a casual office to a professional business space, there will always be some standard of how people should present themselves. On top of that, women are often held to higher expectations, with studies showing that women who are perceived as “attractive” earn 20% more than women who aren’t. This was also correlated to women who wore makeup or had styled hair compared to women who didn’t.

So, it’s evident that the beauty standard for women has both economic and societal consequences. However, the pandemic has put a wrench in traditional workplace expectations. With people working from home, many businesses being closed, and the stress of a pandemic surrounding the world, it makes sense that some standards of appearance have gone to the wayside. While some of these effects may be temporary, it’s possible they may have lasting impacts.

woman working from home laptop Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels According to an Opinium study, 25% of women surveyed reported wearing fewer color cosmetics, with 39% of women feeling happy to be more natural during the lockdown. This satisfaction could possibly lead to less overall makeup use down the road, especially as forms of work from home seem to be becoming more and more permanent. 

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean makeup will be gone for good. The same study found many women have turned to using makeup for self-care or entertainment, showing that makeup isn’t just an activity for societal approval. It’s possible that makeup and other cosmetic rituals may evolve more into fun activities instead of pressuring standards.

woman in robe and towel wiping face Photo by Alexey Sokolov from Icons8

The pandemic’s impacts on society are far from over, and signs show the beauty industry may be changing for good. Hopefully, makeup will be valued as a way to bring women joy and confidence and not a way to limit them in the workforce.

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