What happened to personal grooming? 564



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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.

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? 

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  1. Absolutely agree I come from a family of 7girls and we all kept ourselves well groomed thanks to our amazing beautiful mother who at 83 could be taken for 63 she was ageless she also made most of her own clothes and looked very model like whenever she went out, we were so lucky to have such a great role model

  2. Agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s all part of dressing up, I would feel naked otherwise.

  3. Even when I am not feeling well make sure I dress up to go out instantly makes me feel better

  4. Freedom from ‘grooming’! So long as you are clean, who cares? Better things to do with my life than doing my nails.

    7 REPLY
  5. I go out to see the people and enjoy my time with them. Surely it’s a CHOICE whether ‘grooming’ means more than being clean and tidy. I certainly don’t ‘feel less’ about myself if my eyebrows aren’t plucked! Good grief.

    20 REPLY
    • Never needed to pluck my eyebrows and have never been into makeup either. A bit of lippy maybe. Happy with myself as I am.

    • Out of all that you picked up the eye brow plucking ?? It’s grooming ,!!! take a little time with the hair , perhaps clean the finger nails , lippy , dress up a little .what is wrong with a little grooming if your going for an outing ?? You can’t enjoy your friends company because you dolled up a little ?? That’s like an ‘I don’t care attitude ‘ is exactly right you don’t care , if you don’t care about yourself , well !! Will your children care about themselves. ?

    • I agree girls I’m not out to impress anyone & feel very comfortable in a pair of pants & top yes I do pluck the brows but that is just personal choice be who you are & lets make it easy

    • No it doesn’t show you don’t care, it shows you are happy with yourself & confident in the way you look. That is surely good for children especially girls.

    • Oh my you say you are not judgemental sure sounds like it to me. If people want to be themselves that’s good much better than trying to follow what some expect. I am who I am like it or lump it.

    • I enjoy my personal grooming sessions. They make you feel good about yourself.

    • The majority of ungroomed women are on this list.
      All over the world of different cultures women and men groom themselves, wether they are from a African tribe, Indians, Asians, the list is endless.
      It’s all about self respect.

    • I think the most beautiful groomed women are the Japanese they make it an art they don’t go out in trackies and thongs. Sad when you see the way some people dress to go on an aeroplane they could put some clothes on.

    • Judging someone by how they look is very shallow. I personally don’t see the point of wearing makeup, men don’t. I think that it is all about big profits for the companies that produce the products. What’s wrong with just being yourself naturally.

    • Cheryl, while I agree to a point, many younger people turn up at a restaurant or the pictures looking like something that the dog dragged in – literally!

      Recently, at the pictures, a group of 40-ish people sat along a bit in the row behind us. The person closest to me (a man), put his bare feet on the back of the empty seat in front of him. I have a keen sense of smell. Enough said! Furious and insulted!

    • whenever I think about it I thank my mother for saying no to makeup for me, until I could afford to buy it myself. I have always had other priorities and never bothered with makeup. Consequently, I have skin to be proud of and more money to spend on important things, such as a lunch with friends, etc. It works for me

    • even though l do have makeup l tend to not wear it cause l find that if one is a tad bit active when out it gets all messed..l always try to make myself look presentable dress wise, my hair always looks like it needs a comb/brush through it, but that is the problem with curly hair..l too think l have better skin for not coating myself in makeup, but l try to at least wear some lippy, when l remember..boyfriend always says l look nice, that is the important thing..

    • Well girls im a guy whose opposition leader insists my eyebrows are groomed. Frustrating when they are the bushy type. Oh well that’s life!

  6. People who neglect themselves frequently lack self respect.

    7 REPLY
    • You are right Kay, when I lose weight I try harder but when I am bigger I think ‘who’s going to look at me?’

    • There’s more to people lives than their weight issue. Self respect is not about your body size. It’s about lots of things, good manners included. I know plenty of morbidly obese people, who are perfectly groomed each day. And I know slender people who are not bothered. Each person deals with their outside persona differently.

      You could be magazine cover perfect, but have the manners and attitude of a buffalo!

    • Have you ever thought some of these people who “neglect” themselves may have a lot more going on in their life than you know about. Don’t judge. It’s none of your business unless you want to followup and see if they are to overwhelmed by what is happening in their life to worry about themselves. You may be able to offer some support instead of criticising.

      1 REPLY
      • I, for one, am visually impaired, I find it very difficult to put on make up without smearing lipstick all over the place and eyeliner in the wrong places. Makeup also irritates my eyes and hence my vision. All I am trying to say here is don’t judge someone until you know the whole story. 🙁 It’s not always a matter of not caring about yourself.

    • It depends on your interpretation of “neglect” Kay. People who aren’t into make up or aren’t fashion plates aren’t necessarily neglecting themselves. They just aren’t that interested in impressing others. I certainly don’t see that as a case of having no self respect, more a case of knowing who they are and being comfortable with it.

    • Clean hair. Clean skin. Clean clothes neatly pressed. Clean shoes. Clean nails. Good manners. Ready to smile and join in. All little things that tell the world that you think you are worthwhile. Nobody expects you to be a fashion plate. Especially nowadays when they are poor starved adolescents desperate for attention.

    • People who neglect themselves may also be sick physically or mentally. I thought we were talking about people in everyday circumstances. You are allowed to love yourself.

  7. Totally agree about taking care of ourselves. I luv dressing up when I hv to, I am very into fitness and exercise so wear sports clothes often – luv my Lorna Jane clothes. Lip gloss is my best friend lol. Perfume I luv and my trip to the hairdressers every 6 weeks is a great treat.

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