#12 – The Financial Impact of Beauty Double Standards

We’re going deep into the girliest of topics: beauty. And we’re tackling it all: makeup, clothes, hair, weight, class, and the different standards for people of color. But most of all, how all those things affect our money, both our ability to earn it, and how much we can actually earn in the end.

With our guests Sanetra, a model and owner of Unravel Co, and Amanda Holden, who writes the Dumpster Dog Blog, we look into the – no joke – HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS that beauty will cost many women in the course of their careers, both from the direct cost of looking a certain way, and from the lost earnings we get as a reward for all that effort.

7 thoughts on “#12 – The Financial Impact of Beauty Double Standards

  1. I just listened to most of this episode and had mixed feelings. I appreciate that you’re pointing out a lot of issues people rarely think about (especially men), but I ended up feeling like a mixed message was being sent. One of you pointed out how unfair it was that appearance has so much influence on how women are treated, but in the same breath admit that she would never be able to embrace gray hair until she had a certain amount of wrinkles. Or that curly hair was devalued by society yet in the same breath admit that she felt compelled to blowdry and straighten her hair to have a neat appearance. It seemed like you were saying that society sets unfair standards for women but that you two still felt compelled to observe those standards on some level.

    It would be great to hear more women say publicly: “Yeah, I know frizzy hair is frowned upon in the workplace, but that’s my true self and if they don’t like it too bad.” Imagine if 50% of women took on this attitude!

    How about having some guests on who have crossed over to the other side of the beauty myth and lived to tell the tale? I know there are women of all ages who are bravely doing their own thing.

    Ask them about their experiences going gray/frizzy/make-up-free. Show us HOW to do it and still be successful in our jobs and personal lives. The more we band together and speak up, the easier it will be for the young girls who will be in our shoes in 30 years. You have a public forum–I think it would be great to use it this way.

    Maybe a part 2 to this podcast?

    1. That is a great point and I agree, it would be great to hear from people who are successful and don’t feel compelled to do things because they feel society demands they do. On the flip side, it’s okay to want to feel put together and on top of our game and I think if someone wants to use make up and hair choices to EXPRESS themselves, please do.

    2. Hi Tabitha — Thanks for listening! I wonder if you heard the parts where Kara talked about making peace with her curly hair, and where we both said we no longer wear makeup. More than anything, we focus on being real and not sugarcoating things, and while sure, I could have left out that I am not okay with gray hair for myself, I think it’s more important to be honest. We’re not perfect. We’re humans doing our best and trying to evolve, but sometimes getting stuck in societal expectations just like others do. I’d much rather share that vulnerability than project some image that’s not the whole story. As for other stories, we’ll always keep trying to bring other perspectives to all of these issues. 🙂 – Tanja

  2. I’m just listening to this podcast now and I agree on lots of points. I just wanted to chime in about the Acutain (sp?) and how you felt like it was destroying your liver. Your skin is a reflection of your internal health, oftentimes the liver and kidney’s ability to process hormones and detoxify, so I find it sad that our society drives people to use a harsh product to cover symptoms of something that needs to be treated holistically. I really wish our society was educated better on topics like self-care and taking our health into our own hands, and seeing it as a right and privilege instead of “uncool” or too much of a hassle.

    1. Oh gosh, yeah, Accutane is the worst! But it also worked for me, and I’m grateful for that, because no amount of healthy eating or exercise did. Though acne can be triggered by a poor diet, it’s also largely genetic for plenty of folks, and I think it’s important to talk about that side of it, too. Otherwise we’re blaming people for their acne when they aren’t always to blame. (Especially women and hormones — try controlling that!) But absolutely +1 on doing a better job prioritizing health as a society! -Tanja

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