The Mail takes on make-up (and fails).

// 2 February 2009

I must admit it came as rather a shock to the system to read the headline for Liz Jones’s latest piece in the Mail:

The bare-faced truth: If confidence comes from within, why do so many emancipated women still need war paint?

Good question! Unfortunately, the article itself does very little to address it. Jones devotes an inordinate amount of words to name dropping her favourite products and detailing her beauty routines, while the few points of substance she does make, such as:

We might laugh at hobble skirts and corsets, but isn’t our dependency on the cosmetics industry disempowering and, at the same time, just as ridiculous?


I’m starting to come to terms with why I have always worn so much make-up – shyness, insecurity; but that so many young women today, with so many opportunities, so many years of feminism behind them, still feel the need to look like a Hollywood star of the Thirties is disappointing, to say the least…

are thoroughly undermined by the accompanying ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of female celebrities complete with mocking captions:

Don’t scream: Courteney Cox Arquette’s bare-faced horror (L) is in contrast to her normally classy appearance

Gwyneth Paltrow looks a bit of a mess (L), but is gorgeous after a spruce-up

Is it any wonder Jones feels insecure without make-up when these are the kind of messages she has been fed by mainstream media from day one? Needless to say, the make-up free photos have been chosen to ensure the stars look as bad as possible (though they appear to have failed when it comes to Renee Zellwegger).

At the end of the article, Jones finally details her own experience of spending a day without make-up:

I had to go for a meeting with a fashion PR in London, get my hair cut and finally have dinner with a girlfriend. While I’d love to tell you how liberated I felt, it was the worst day of my life.

I felt – and looked – tired. I couldn’t meet anyone’s gaze. My clothes looked odd: I wore a smart Miu Miu dress, while my face cried out for a Waynetta Slob-style shell suit.

My hairdresser positively recoiled; he couldn’t bear to look at me in the mirror. The fashion PR kept staring at me.

The worst thing, though, was when I met my best friend for dinner. ‘Oh Lizzie,’ she cried. ‘What’s wrong? Has the cat died? Oh, dear!’

Nice. But to be honest I’m not surprise it felt like the worst day of her life. I think she’s right when she describes make-up – when used on a daily basis, a morning ritual as essential as cleaning your teeth or putting on fresh underwear – as war paint. I used to refuse to leave the house – even just to pop to the shop down the road – without wearing make-up. I would rather arrive late to lectures (OK, even later, I’m always late) than go without at least foundation, mascara and a bit of eyeliner. I’d get up in the morning before my boyfriend awoke to fix my face so he didn’t have to see me au naturel.

I came to realise that this need for make-up was both debilitating and harmful to my self esteem. Why should I feel such revulsion for my own, natural face? Why should I restrict the time I spend having fun, or doing something productive, in order to cover it up before leaving the house?

I shouldn’t.

So I challenged myself to go without. Like LIz Jones I found it bloody hard at first. I felt exposed, worried everyone was looking at me, judging me (much like the Mail’s picture editor). When I went out at night I compared my face to the faces of women in make-up and felt myself to be lacking. It sounds pathetic, but I’d hazard a guess that I’m not the only woman who’s felt this at some point.

Yet it wasn’t long before I got used to living without make-up. I enjoyed being able to grab my wallet and go for a quick pint with a friend without going through the rigmarole of sorting out my face. I got used to seeing my make-up free face in the mirror, and I started to accept and love that face as my own, rather than rushing to cover it up. What’s more, I spent a hell of a lot less time looking in the mirror and obsessing over my “flaws” – it’s amazing how little you worry about what you look like when you cut this out of your life.

After a few months, I felt I was able to make the free choice to use make-up again on occasion, this time in a creative, fun and expressive way, rather than as a crutch. I don’t touch foundation or concealer, because I know that would lead me to worrying about my skin, instead using glitter, colours, eyeliner, mascaras to change the way I look according to my mood. Most of the time, however, I can’t be bothered, and I’m pleased to say that I feel just as confident with or without make-up. However, I recognise that as a student I’m lucky in that I don’t have to deal with the expectations placed on women in many work environments: it will be interesting to see how my make-up free face survives once I get a job.

So while Liz Jones may have had the worst day of her life when she gave up make-up, I’d encourage her to examine why that was and to persevere, because liberation from expensive, time consuming beauty rituals based on the premise that women’s natural bodies are not socially acceptable really is worth striving for.

Comments From You

Ruth Moss // Posted 2 February 2009 at 3:21 pm

Exactly the same as you: I used to wear makeup constantly as a “mask”, but nowadays I don’t wear it unless I want to do something expressive and fun like get gothed up or go glittery.

When I stopped wearing makeup my boss at the time said she was concerned that I might be ill!

Shazbat // Posted 2 February 2009 at 4:39 pm

I guess I’m lucky – I never wore foundation or pancake makeup as I had dry skin, and I didn’t want to irritate it (except during a brief goth phase). I adore eyeliner (see above), and wear plenty of it when I wear it – but frequently forget, or don’t care. As for lipstick, it has to be a pretty special occasion for me to remember, such as going out at a queer night, or a graduation or soemthing, even though I do enjoy the bright reds and pinks that I go with (when I do wear make-up, I want people to NOTICE, damnit!). I was never able to relate to stories of how people feel naked without make-up, as it just seemed like such a hassle that I never got into the routine application. In fact, the one time I felt like I needed to put on loads (I was about 14, and going to the cinema with friends), I looked, rather predictably, like a clown (as one of my male friends was gracious enough to tell me). Ever since, I’ve never bothered with routine makeup application, and as far as I can tell, neither do most of the women in my office.

I identify as a queer femme, which means that feminine presentation is something that I do identify with and enjoy – but I engage with it critically, meaning that I pick and choose which bits of the beauty myth to go along with day to day. This is incredibly enjoyable, and means that when I do paint my face, I feel like an exotic artwork, rather than like I’m hiding my real face.

Catherine Martell // Posted 2 February 2009 at 4:42 pm

If not wearing makeup constitutes the worst day of your life, you are one lucky woman.

Samantha // Posted 2 February 2009 at 4:54 pm

wow… worst day of her life?

…. wish I had her life, where ‘the worst day’ consists of her face not matching her dress, and her hair dresser couldn’t look at her.

Her article just goes to show we are our own worst enemy! …

However if my friends response to my make-up less face was ‘Oh Lizzie What’s wrong? Has the cat died? Oh, dear!’ …. I would be concerned to say the least….

It must be a very glamorous and superficial planet that these people inhabit… and although I find it infuriating … I’m jealous :-)

Abi // Posted 2 February 2009 at 5:05 pm

I am 22, and almost never wear makeup. The only exception is if I am going out to dinner or to a club, at which point I might wear a bit of mascara or some glitter (but I am more likely not to remember!)

I am happy with my face, and so far I have not had any comments about it – I am hoping that when I finish my degree and move into full time work it doesn’t become an issue…

Kate // Posted 2 February 2009 at 6:36 pm

I’m 32, make-up free and working (though in an environment where pretty much nobody wears makeup) and I’ve never had it remarked on. Nobody remarked on it when I didn’t wear makeup to my own wedding, actually. I’m in a fortunate situation, but there is also a element of “get a grip” here. “Worst day of her life”? Wow.

I’m a queer femme too, Shazbat, but I’m very, very low femme :)

depresso // Posted 2 February 2009 at 7:32 pm

Used to wear mascara all the time, but about a year ago, I started a job that started at 7am so stopped bothering about it! I recall feeling a bit under-dressed in a way, but now I don’t give it a second thought. I sometimes wear a little make up if I’m going out or something, but sure as fate, it makes my eye itch a little so I end up rubbing it!

It’s a complex one; feminism and make up. For me, I like to wear it when I want to and the way I want to (so mad coloured eyeliner to match my mad coloured tights, that kind of thing) and I don’t think any woman should ever feel obligated to wear it.

As for the celebrity photos the Male chose for the befores; Cameron Diaz had just come out the gym, Kate Moss has stepped off a long flight. Who looks stereotypically ‘great’ after that?

Laura // Posted 2 February 2009 at 7:45 pm

I took the ‘worst day of my life’ comment as typical Liz Jones overblown rhetoric, much like:

“I think the reason I never had children was because I worried (quite seriously) about how on earth I could retouch my eyes and lips during the chaos of labour.”

Just to make it clear: I certainly don’t agree that not wearing make-up could constitute the worst day of anyone’s life!

Lizzie // Posted 2 February 2009 at 8:08 pm

Is it just me, or does Liz Jones actually look nicer in the make-up-less shot than in the made-up one?

(As do the majority of the celebrities pictured, except for those caught pulling funny faces)

I never really wore a lot of make-up but I didn’t used to like to got out without it nonetheless – probably because I’m rather spot-prone.

Since I’ve stopped wearing make-up so often and started spending time with other women who are happy “au natural” I’ve really started to aesthetically prefer a lack of makeup. I really like the way skin looks when it looks like skin and not like a plastic smooth veneer.

Also, did anyone else notice that Jones tells us that she was as young as eleven when she couldn’t look at herself in the mirror until she started wearing make-up. That makes me very sad for the message society must be sending to young girls to make them think that they aren’t good enough as they are before they’ve even started high school.

Very sad.

Kez // Posted 2 February 2009 at 9:31 pm

Doesn’t Liz Jones have horrendous body image issues anyway, though? I’m sure I remember reading something about her very extreme loathing of her breasts.

Melly // Posted 2 February 2009 at 9:50 pm

I am so not into makeup anymore. NOT. Recently, someone I know told me that she believes a woman should never leave the house without makeup..and that it must shame my husband when I don’t wear it. She went on to tell me how bad I looked at a BBQ we hosted last summer…”you wore a simple dress and no makeup!”

Ugh. Enough with the makeup and pantyhose and feminine hygiene products already.

Great Post!

Hannah // Posted 2 February 2009 at 11:07 pm

I’m 24 and almost never wear make-up and certainly not on a daily basis. My mother has started to worry me, saying that I should at least learn how to put it on because as I work in media she’s worried that I’ll constantly be judged on my appearance and that not wearing makeup will be to my disadvantage.

This saddens me because my mother is a wonderfully strong woman and one of the best adverts for feminism I know. I’m trying desperately hard not to let her anxiety rub off on me, but I’m terribly worried that one day I’ll crack and wake up to find that not only do I wear make-up but I’ve had a breast enlargement and buttock reduction as well!

Fingers crossed it’ll never happen…

Laura // Posted 3 February 2009 at 1:27 am

I never used to wear makeup, but in the last month or so have started doing so simply because I worked out that spending 20 seconds putting a bit of eyeliner on made me look way, way better (disproportionately better) – but if I forget or I’m in a rush it doesn’t matter. I can’t imagine spending the amount of time some people do on makeup. I remember once sitting on a tube and a really beautiful woman sat down in front of me, and spent about 20 minutes putting on makeup – by the end, she looked like everyone else, and far worse for it. I remember thinking it was one of the saddest things I’d ever seen, and summarised so much of the beauty myth and the harm it does us. The woman was beautiful as she was, but obviously lacked confidence, and had been told that without makeup she wasn’t fit to face the day – so dutifully putting ‘her face’ on, and in the process hiding herself. Utterly depressing.

lucy // Posted 3 February 2009 at 8:39 am

The kind of makeup this article seems concerned with comes from the Trinny and Susanna school of thought on appearance: that clothes and makeup are there to make you look more acceptable, rather than express your personality. It seems like this is something most F word readers are already pretty uncomfortable with…

Having said that, i’ve begun to think about this as my mother aged. Although I abhor street harassment, or being judged on my looks, the day when i stop being considered “conventionally pretty”, is probably going to come as a bit of a shock. That would be the point where i might fall back on this kind of grooming. i hope i have the strength to resist and ignore all the “how to look good naked” and “10 years younger”-style advice when the time comes.

Lindsey // Posted 3 February 2009 at 9:11 am

Liz Jones’s friends probably thought she was having a bad day because she looked so miserable and uncomfortable – not because of her lack of make-up.

I also like how the celeb pics start off with a rather nice looking Gwyneth and gradually get worse; it’s like they see you thinking you don’t look too bad but step-by-step seek to convince you of the true horror of your naked face.

JenniferRuth // Posted 3 February 2009 at 9:31 am

When I was a young teenager, the tought of going anywhere without make-up on was terrifying. Wouldn’t everyone stare when they saw what a hideous beast I was? Becoming a goth made it even easier to hide beneath make-up, which was kinda fun (people move out of your way very fast when you have black lipstick on). But then, in my early twenties, I did a lot of travelling and back-packing, and make-up just sort of ceased to matter when you were hithchiking in Syria and hadn’t showered for 2 days. I thought – was I going to worry about what my face looked like without make-up for the rest of my life? It seemed like a lot of hassle.

I just stopped wearing it and stopped caring what people thought. Turned out that no-one really noticed. Who woulda thunk it?!

I’m 26 now and I do wear make-up nearly every day, but more so because I like matching eyeshadow to my clothes (greens, yellows, blues). It’s fun. But I think nothing of being seen without it.

Our self worth shouldn’t come from our outside appearance anyway, no matter how much the media tries to make us feel like it should.

Amy Clare // Posted 3 February 2009 at 10:54 am

Make-up isn’t just a self esteem issue, it’s a financial one too… make up is expensive, and women are bombarded with adverts to make us believe that we need to buy ever more new products to bring us closer to ‘perfection’. The most recent ad I’ve seen being played to death on TV is for a ‘crow’s feet corrector’ – crow’s feet being a derogatory term usually levelled at older women, however the ad features a twenty something model who has clearly never ‘suffered’ from this in her life. So obviously now, young women need worry about this too and thus buy the product to assuage said worry. I’d like to bet this ‘revolutionary’ product costs a tenner or more.

All the make up and associated products that women are expected and pressured to buy puts quite a hole in her salary, widening the gender pay gap even more. Any company which expects its female staff to wear make up should stump up the cash for it, not expect the women to buy it out of their own wages.

There’s also an environmental issue, in that most make up is made from by products of the oil industry, is laced with chemical additives and comes in fiddly plastic tubes/compartments made of composite materials which cannot be recycled easily if at all. It encourages the use of cotton pads or disposable wipes to remove it, which then join the make up packaging in landfill. And so women are encouraged to keep environmentally damaging industries afloat.

Personally I don’t wear make up except for those rare occasions where I want to look ‘fancy’, i.e. birthday and Christmas, etc! I feel that my skin is healthier for it and I’m not wasting money or chucking as much stuff into landfill. And I actually feel much better about myself than when I did wear make up every day.

Sabre // Posted 3 February 2009 at 11:16 am

One day I went to work and forgot to wear any eye make-up. NOBODY NOTICED. That’s when I stopped trying so hard.

One day last summer I was on a horrifically hot crowded train and couldn’t even wipe the sweat off my face because of my foundation. That’s when I stopped wearing foundation.

Now I usually wear a bit of eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss. Concealer if I’ve had a late night, brighter make-up if I’m going out. But I know I don’t need to, and sometimes I don’t bother at all. I know my boyfriend likes to touch and kiss my face, not layers of grease and powder.

Liz Jones jokes (I think) about wearing make-up during labour etc, but there is grain of truth there. I know women who won’t try camping, festivals, travelling, swimming etc because of the need to look good at all times. It’s sad to deny yourself an experience for the sake of appearance.

People only notice a lack of make-up if I hang my head in embarassment. It sounds cheesy but confidence and a smile brightens a face more than blusher ever will.

For anyone reading this thinking of giving up/cutting back on make-up: do it! If you usually wear heavy make-up, people will notice it at first, but they get used to it quickly and you will too. Do it with confidence and keep smiling. You’ll also save a lot of money and time and be much happier with your own face. I always make sure I have at least one totally make-up free day a week, that’s a good way to start!

Rebecca // Posted 3 February 2009 at 12:12 pm

I’m 29 and occasionally wear make-up but not often, basically because I feel I don’t need it. I’m interested in why some women feel the need and others don’t. I grew up without a mum and so I didn’t have make-up to ‘play’ with when I was younger and I guess I just didn’t learn the habit. I also work in a university where many of my female colleagues don’t where make-up.

When I see women who wear lots of concealer/foundation, I don’t think, ‘Wow, she’s got great skin’, I think ‘She’s got a lot of make-up on.’ In a way, it just sends the message, ‘I think I haven’t got very good skin so I’m covering it up.’

Also, I really agree with Sabre’s comment – surely clean skin must be much nicer to kiss and touch than skin that is covered in foundation?

Men don’t feel social pressure to ‘hide their imperfections’ (and pay money to do so), so why should women?

sianmarie // Posted 3 February 2009 at 1:30 pm

liz jones has terrifying body image issues and had that horribly public divorce – she is a very troubled woman indeed from what i recall.

i guess maybe that was part of the mail strategy?

i wear make up becuase i like playing dress up, i love wearing vintage fifties and twenties clothes and i like the make up that goes with it, lots of eye black and red lipstick! that said, i often go out shopping or around abouts with no make up on. this was a big step for me as i never left the house without make up when i was younger, even to post a letter! i was so self conscious and concerned about how i looked. now i am happy with how i look and so i wear make up as i say, to “play”. i don’t wear make up to hide or conceal or cover up perceived flaws.

i think the pressure for women to wear make up is immense. i hate those stars with no make up articles. they are justified by saying “it’s to prove that celebrities look normal too” – rubbish! it is to make women feel bad about how they look with no make up on.

i think because my brother wore more make up than me i started to see make up as an aid to draw on a persona, face paint rather than war paint.

maggie // Posted 3 February 2009 at 4:09 pm

I never wore foundation as a young woman in my twenties but I did like my eye makeup and used a good moisturiser. I also used lip gloss.

Now in my late Forties I’m finding the need to put on tinted moisturiser and a bit of blusher and the lip moisturiser. I’ve all but abandoned the eye makeup, unless I’m going out to a special date. But I couldn’t care less about what anyone thinks about it, least of all my husband

I personally see it as loathing of aging women. How very dare they get crows feet, saggy jaws and laughter lines.

Sabre // Posted 3 February 2009 at 4:29 pm

My mum never wore anything but red lipstick and eyeliner. When I was a teenager I got spots, that’s when I got interested in make-up. My make-up weakness was always foundation, concealer and anything to make my skin look better. Of course all that stuff just made it worse really!

Even now I haven’t fully let go of the ‘I have bad skin, cover up, cover up!’ mentality and still reach for the concealer. But it is nicer having touchable skin, being able to hug people without leaving a clown print on their clothes and sweating without the dreaded ‘melting’ effect.

Last year, the foundation I use was discontinued. I went to almost every department store in central London panic-searching for the last bottles until I took a look at myself – what a waste of time! I think if a person has a parcticular insecurity about their face/body, it can be hard to give up certain crutches. For me, it was foundation.

Giving up make-up has had the unexpected effect of allowing me to enjoy it more when I do wear make-up. 60’s black eyeliner, red lipstick, glitter and bright eyeshadow (not all together though!) are now much more fun. To ‘play’, as sianmarie said above.

Paulette // Posted 3 February 2009 at 5:18 pm

I have problem skin so I do have a propensity to ‘cake’ on the foundation, concealer, powder. I don’t think my colleagues should be subjected to my hideous whiteheads. Make up makes you look like a moomin so then I have to add lips and eyes. I do love a clear skin day – or when summer comes – and I can just brush a bit of mineral foundation on. That is liberating!

Ellie // Posted 3 February 2009 at 5:21 pm

Man, I’m 25 and I’ve worn makeup twice in my life, once when I was in Guides and the other girls put makeup on me that I went home and scrubebd off straight away, and the other time when I went to a burlesque party at uni and wore eyeliner for the first and last time (ow).

I never understood why the girls at school wore it when they had to get up really early to apply it and were then trapped by the constraints of having to continue wearing it once they started. And they didn’t even look more attractive either. As a queer woman I find make-up and shaved armpits kind of a turn-off.

I’m lucky enough to not be very appearance focussed though, I’ve got away with being a tomboy for a long time.

Shellyanne // Posted 3 February 2009 at 6:11 pm

I am one of those women who only wear makeup sometimes. Although, I will admit that I sometimes wear it because I think that I look tired. Even then, I never wear foundation or powder or anything like that as to be honest, I don’t have a clue about them!

Like a lot of the others above, I tend to wear bright colours (blues, greens, oranges and oddly enough, even yellow of late!) rather than go for the “natural look” as that’s how I look pretty much every day. In fact, people tend to pass comment if I DO wear makeup! :o)

I think that part of the reason that I am not so fussed about wearing makeup is that when I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to wear it. My mother said that I shouldn’t do things just because my friends were and also that it would ruin my skin. She lightened up when I turned 14/15 but by then, I couldn’t be bothered with it… I’m glad that I didn’t rebel because as a result, at 27, I don’t have to spend hours putting stuff on (when I could be sleeping!) and I also have lovely smooth skin. Thanks Mum! :o)

Seriously though, it saddens me that so many beautiful women are so dependent on wearing makeup and feel that they need it to validate themselves. I see lots of my friends who refuse to leave the house unless they look “perfect” and I find it infuriating sometimes as they always look wonderful to me… We shouldn’t have to feel that just because we don’t always look like the images of women that we are constantly bombarded with that we are any less beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wearing makeup everyday if that’s what you want to do but it’s when you HAVE to wear it that I think things are a little worrying.

Kuja // Posted 3 February 2009 at 8:21 pm

Hmm, I read this article online a few nights ago and was hoping you’d write about it. I wear make up maybe once every fortnight. And by that I mean a coat of mascara when I’m especially tired. Other than that, I like eyeshadow to add colour, but I like make up as a decoration and not as a way to mask your own face. I don’t have TIME to do it in the mornings – I’d rather have extra sleep!

And far from being unable to look at myself in the mirror… I do it all too much! I always look at my reflection and think “this looks good” before “that looks bad” – unfortunately, with people like this writing in this way, of course women are bound to be hypercritical. I’m not sure how we break that habit.

Anne Onne // Posted 4 February 2009 at 12:23 am

I think the ‘worst day of my life’ comment has a very real significance. Whilst not many women would be so affected to count it as to see it as literally the worst day, it’s a measure of how much society screws us up that many women would feel very uneasy about going out without makeup. Beyond feeling a little self-conscious because they might be a bit messy, many of us are taught that we should be ashamed of our bare faces, that there’s something hideous about them that we’re not supposed to show.

What matters is confidence, I think. If someone doesn’t wear make-up or is generally ‘un-feminine’ but doesn’t feel distrought doing it, then people will see someone who is at ease. I suspect that people reacted that way to her (when she wasn’t exaggerating because of her feelings or for the sake of the article) because she may be someone usually very made-up. Most people I know would probably wonder what happened if someone who is normally very made-up comes in looking uneasy and very different, whilst not batting an eyelid about someone who does that every day. If someone’s self-conscious, it tends to show, and unfortunately just makes whatever people want to hide more obvious.

Of course there are those who will be judgemental, but they tend to judge regardless of what people are actually like. It’s impossible to avoid them, so we can only confront them and try to grow a thicker skin for self-preservation.

Also, she only followed her ‘make-up less’ life for a day. Ask anyone giving up an addiction or a comfort habit what they feel like for the first day, and they’re gonna say it was rubbish!

Is it me or do papers like the Mail do this sort of story every month? Seriously, what’s so shocking about getting someone who loves make-up to give it up for a day? It’s not long enough for them to really feel at ease with their own skin. I think that with any of these badly thought-out stories (female journalist questions X standard, tries something for a day/week) it just ends up re-inforcing standards, because the conclusion to such a short experiment is ‘Well, I tried something different for a day and it felt weird. Evidently girls are just made to do X’. The article thinks it questions the beauty standards and the pressures women face, but it pretty much celebrates them by encouraging the reader to judge women, and going on about how horrifying not wearing make up is.

Now, get them to give it up for a month or two, and then I’d be interested in reading the results.

I remember reading another such article about some make-up loving journalist giving up make-up for a day a while back that left an impression, but not for a good reason. She was explaining why she dislikes women who don’t wear make up, because they seem to be claiming something, such as being more beautiful, or are proud or sanctimonious or think they are really serious. (I’m paraphrasing here, since it was ages ago I read this.) I found this really annoying, because the idea that women don’t wear make up to tear other women down is offensive by itself, let alone the implication we do it because we think we’re better than everyone else, and somehow really obscene. It says so much about how messed up our society is that a woman simply walking around with a bare, natural face is seen as being arrogant and rude because she’s not putting in the time to hide her face and comply with beauty rituals. Women who don’t go through the hoops are seen by some people as being slightly disconcerting, because they question the rules everyone else plays by. It reinforces the fact that the patriarchy gets women to comply by making us work against each other, as well as men.

ros // Posted 4 February 2009 at 1:06 pm

Just wanted to flag on Amy Clare’s post – while the financial point is absolutely true and women are constantly being pressured into spending money on cosmetics, that’s not something that’s ‘widening the gender pay gap’ – the gender pay gap is the difference in salary that’s being paid out by employers, so nothing to do with what women or men choose (or feel pressured) to spend their salaries on.

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