What has happened to personal grooming? 417



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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?

Originally published here

Guest Contributor

  1. And there is this!

    9 REPLY
    • Oh dear – these replies are depressing! What happened to dressing for the occasion, and paying your partner the compliment of dressing up nicely? I see so many young women dressed to the 9s, accompanied by young men who apparently couldn’t care less.

    • Damaris Wilson Could not agree more. The young men appear not to have any idea of the niceness of good grooming and manners.

    • I believe males are becoming more feminine (not all mind you) and the females are having to step up and do things the males should be doing.

  2. Yes I do agree with you and like you, I think that I should mind my own business. However, we can’t help who we are and if we notice, we notice.
    I have been particular about what I wear, especially when I go out. Not trying to impress anyone, its just how I am and have always been. Always wear make up to go out and if my hair is not good, I wear a hat.
    We are all different.

    1 REPLY
  3. I think we`ve become much more casual in our clothing choices. Really elegant outfits are usually seen only at “formal” events. Personally, I don`t mind, as long as the person is clean & their hair is brushed! 😉 Can`t stand the “grunge look”. :p

  4. I think if u have been invited to a party or dinner of course u should dress up whether it be a dress or smart tailored pants

  5. I have never plucked my eyebrows in my life I was fortunate enough to be given nice shaped eyebrows but I will not go out without hair done and lipstick on. Due to medical condition I am large but my clothes are ironed and neat. I may not be glamorous. What I really can’t stand is heavy perfumes that some people over 60 slap on. Being an asthmatic that is very sensitive to smells I don’t wear it myself.

  6. I have not worn makeup for over 40 years, I don’t like it on my skin, but do dress up for formal occasions but certainly prefer the casual style. I never care about other people’s appearance as long as they are clean and have a pleasant manner.

    21 REPLY
    • I have found Nutrimetics BB creme is great, very light and just evens out skin tone. I can’t feel it on and it doesn’t look as though I am wearing makeup, lovely natural look

    • I’m the same as you no makeup for 40yrs and I love that people dress how they want to

      1 REPLY
      • Totally agree with you Judie. Quite frankly I don’t go anywhere to impress anyone at all. I am who I am, and if we get on, that’s fine, if not – I’m not interested. I’ll be 72 in June, and I wear long black skirts, and amazing wild-coloured tops that float in the wind. Or black tops as well, in my “Greek Widow” moments. I’m not Greek, I’m a Pom, lol lol. When I’m all in black I wear piles of silver jewellery, all good, and all very beautiful. Makeup? I have quite nice skin, and NEVER wear makeup. My hair is long, and the only thing I do for my looks is keep it a soft brown (The dark ones are looking a bit much at my age, and my hair is my one vanity. lol) I pile it on top of my head, and have it trimmed once every 6 months, since it grows very quickly. When I go out with friends, I spend my time enjoying their company, and certainly don’t spend it looking to see if everyone has the right polyester dress on, lol. I grew up as a crazy hippie and all that went with it – marvellous clothes and jewellery. Exactly the same as my friends – except the colours were all different, and all gorgeous. I don’t dress to that extreme, but long dresses and loose clothes have felt marvellous from the second they came on the market – and I love to feel comfortable. I now live in a small country Town, and many people look a bit startled by me . . . .. . Perhaps some of you women here, lol lol. I’m not going to get old with an inch of chemicals on my face for anyone – that really IS “mutton dressed up as lamb”. And mostly looks bloody awful ! ! Let’s all dress as we please, just like your daughter’s friends do, and leave others alone. Life is short, and should be lived to be comfortable and happy, not worrying about if other people think they look OK.

    • I don’t wear makeup either I gave up years ago when totally skint and never bothered with it again. As for what people wear, as long as it is clean it’s fine.

    • I guess it is up to every individual whether they wear makeup or not, I try not to judgemental on what a person wears or does not wear, it is what a person is like inside that matters.

    • Even if you don’t wear makeup..come on ladies. .show some respect for yourselves. ..brush your hair..leave the baggy tracks and faded pilled sweat shirts at home..in the gardening shed…show yourself …and others some love..

    • I do my hair, it is short so very easy to manage, still wearing some of my work clothes out, only retired 2 years ago so shirts and pants that are neat are my day time outfits. Tracks for the gym.

    • Same here. I hate the feel of makeup, and only put a very tiny bit of foundation on the end of my nose……I read somewhere that it gives the nose a shorter appearance!! Lol. I do wear lipstick to brighten me up. Just do what suits you best…..financially or personally.
      My stock in trade is pants with a nice coloured top for day wear, and black pants and a lacy top and jacket for evening.

    • Christa Yes me too (apart from the foundation). I no longer own any skirts. I do wear a little lippy going out though. Have an allergy to mascara (red itchy eyes) and hate the feeling of foundation clogging up my pores.

    • Chrissie you’ve got it in one. It’s what’s on the inside that matters most. As long as a person is clean and tidy, who cares whether she wears make up or not. I certainly don’t. One of my acquaintances is always perfectly groomed; however, she is very judgmental of others and quite disliked because of this. Mind you, we all laughed our heads off secretly when she told us her grand daughter was going out with a “barrister” and it turned out that he was a “barista”. Yes, there is a God up there!!

    • Anne Connolly Finnegan I wear tinted sunblock every day a little shadow for the eyes and cheeks and mascara . Works for me.

    • I dislike makeupon my skin, seldom wear it, sometimes wear lipstick, but more often I don’t. I like to look neat and clean, though have short hair that does it’s own thing, so sometimes a “messy look” that suits. Don’t like colour in it, and at my now senior age, am happy (for the first time in my life) with the colour and it’s naturally sparkly highlights.

    • I put some
      light make up on every day before leaving the bathroom; makes me feel better about myself as I get older.

  7. Totally agree. I love to look my best and when I go out for dinner I dress up, even if everyone else is in denim jeans!

  8. You are so right and the girls with tattoos , horrendous, the next generation of sixty plus woman , oh I dread to think.

  9. My husband and I were sitting at the airport recently and made the same observation.

    1 REPLY
    • I don’t believe in dressing up to fly. You are going to be stuck in a tin can for hours. Be comfortable!

  10. I do like to see a little makeup and neatly dressed but some people just do not care or they have not got a mirror??no matter what shape or size u are there is always nice clothes that fit !!

  11. My wife likes to look good when she goes out, even if it’s just a quick trip to the shop for eggs or whatever (Clean, tidy and ironed clothes).

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