What happened to personal grooming?

I was out at dinner the other night with my daughter and her friends for her engagement and I noticed something that every woman had in common with each other: none of them had done their hair or make up (bar my daughter). You would think that they were going out for a coffee at 7am by the way they dressed but no, it was an engagement dinner. Gone were the frocks you would expect, instead replaced by dowdy pants and no jewellery. It made me think: what happened to personal grooming?

I personally like to look done up no matter where I go, but there are plenty of people in their 60s who wear the most unflattering, beige clothing they can find. Their faces are showing their age and their eyebrows haven’t been plucked for at least a decade. I’m not being judgemental – I actually feel sorry for these women I see who just gave up on themselves. It’s like a switch that you flick off when you have children…you just don’t care and let it all hang out.

I love putting my makeup on and getting dressed up in a new outfit, though sometimes I think I’m alone. Personal grooming can really freshen you up, so why is it that women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. feel less than their best? Just because you’ve had children and grandchildren doesn’t mean you aren’t able to look fabulous!

I might be from a different generation to those people pushing prams but I see both men and women dress so slovenly, even at important events. They’re covered in tattoos, piercings, don’t iron their clothes, don’t own a brush or comb, and have no idea what lipstick is. In my day, personal grooming meant a lot to everyone, boys or girls, as a means of social acceptance. You would never step outside without a bra and you sure as hell wouldn’t walk barefoot to the shops.

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And I can’t even say it comes down to bad breeding, because it doesn’t. Plenty of well-to-do people dress as if they’ve just rolled out of bed and it is so baffling for me. Don’t you want the world to see you at your best? Don’t you want to make a good impression? Or do you want to look like a slob?

Maybe I’m out of touch and maybe personal grooming doesn’t mean as much these days. It’s like we’ve all lowered our standards. Come hell or high water, I will continue to brush my hair and my teeth, wear polished shoes and pluck my wiry eyebrows – oh and put lippy on!


What do you think? Has personal grooming gone out the window? Is it good riddance – should we let it all hang out as our natural selves? Or is it good to look good?