Have we lost pride in our personal grooming?

Take a wander through the shops and you’ll be asking yourself, have we lost pride in our personal grooming? I
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Take a wander through the shops and you’ll be asking yourself, have we lost pride in our 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.

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? 

  1. Mrs. Puddles  

    A trip to any shopping centre today is a feast for sore eyes – I agree. I love to compliment women young and old who obviously have taken care with their appearance. The surprised smiles I get are worth the effort.

    • Many over 50 people have illness that stops them making up wearing jewelry even putting a bra on let’s not judge people by the way they are dressed let’s be thankful they made it to the celebration thank you

      • Maureen  

        I disagree . I have friends in their 80s and 90 with major health problems and they all dress smartly, men and women. People who are not at all interested in their appearance or who are unhygienic may have depression, which can be helped.
        I am in my 60s.
        I dress casually but tidily, especially when going to work, and while I don’t wear a lot of make up I’d never go out without lipstick on. My mum is 86, in aged care, hardly goes out but is careful how she dresses.
        i also think a lot of affordable clothes are now made in Asia, don’t fit properly, are made of cheap fabric, and make people look daggy.

  2. Eileen  

    My late, wonderful Mother taught me that when you leave your house, you should look the best you can, because you never know who you might meet!
    I’ve found that to be a real ‘truism’!

    I’m not saying ‘tiara & fur’ to go grocery shopping, but to be showered, hair washed, use deodorant, & powder, & a dab of perfume go a long way, in being ‘presentable’.
    Comfortable, washed, & ironed clothes’, & cleaned shoes complete the ‘look’.

    One time, I was in a queue to go into an Auditorium, to listen to a Concert Performance by the State Orchestra.
    There were four old women in front of me. They all stank. Their hair was not only uncombed, ie ‘bed hair’, but it hadn’t been washed for a long time. As they were shorter than I, who is 5’9″ tall, I had to move backwards about a metre, as the various wafting ‘smells’ were starting to make me not only nauseous, but ‘gagging’.

    WHY?
    Are they SO poor they can’t afford the water, & soap to clean themselves?
    Or are they just lazy in their ‘old age’?
    Please God I’ll never reach to those depths!

    • I’m 59, and feel so tired and burnt out from my life that sometimes I’m grateful to get out of bed, I’m working on my health issues but ironingvis out and trackiedaks get me through the day. I need a holiday notca lecture on appearance

      • Eileen  

        I wasn’t ‘lecturing’ you! Your situation is not excuse for rudeness!
        I was stating facts.

        If you have to live the way you do at home, due ill health, fine, but I would imagine you wouldn’t go out of the house, when you do, as ill-kempt as the women I described above.

        And please, re-read what you’ve written before posting comment.
        It has both bad Spelling, & poor Grammar!

        • Dina  

          You are lecturing, Eileen, and judging. Mairi’s post had a couple of typos, where a letter has crept in where a space should be. Other than that, it’s fine. I am appalled at the level of self-congratulation in these comments. You might not like how others present themselves, but it really is none of your business, and no excuse for mutual back-slapping because you see things differently!

          • Eileen  

            I’m entitled to write my comment, as much as you are!

            I’m pleased I dress well, & don’t stink, whenever I leave my home!
            What’s wrong with that? It’s really refreshing to ‘see things differently’!

            Are you in a rut, or maybe just jealous?
            How dare you try, & pull me down to your low level!
            As I said previously, I was stating facts.
            If you can’t accept that, I could give you an excellent suggestion what you could do!

            I’ve high standards taught to me by my Parents’, Teachers’, various Employers’, & the Austn Army.
            And, I’m NOT going to lower them for you, or anyone else!

            BTW, it IS my business, as their dirtiness was making me feel ill!.
            So don’t say that it wasn’t.

            They could afford the Concert Ticket, so they’ve money for that, but they can’t afford soap, deodorant, & shampoo?

            Get off your bee high-horse, & realise they’re people in this world who couldn’t care less what they look like when out & about.

            This is just one of the things wrong today, people just couldn’t be bothered.
            It’s called laziness, disinterest, & lacking in respect for yourself firstly, & others’ with whom you’re required to come into contac!

            Maybe you know all about it, but I certainly don’t!

          • Katie  

            Yeesh Eileen…you’re the one who’s on a high horse 🙂 Please dismount and learn a little kindness.

          • Eileen  

            To Katie……
            I usually ride an 18hh horse, if you know what that means, & I’m ALWAYS kind to him, after I dismount, after an enjoyable ride through the bush land.

      • Shona Fenn  

        Well Eileen! For all your nastiness regarding some else’s grammar, yours is woeful! “Teachers”, “Parents” etc should all be lowercase not upper case letters! And you have made other mistakes as well! Those in glass houses……………..

  3. bernadette  

    i recently visited my eldest and when i asked for an iron to freshen my clothes after travelling a long way to see them , they had no iron so i went and bought one. They were not interested in keeping it, not even for future visitors. My other child has the iron but no ironing board. no one likes ironing any more so crushed clothes are in.

  4. Susan Bell  

    Such trite rubbish. Some people like me, have never worn make up, no lipstick, no mascara, no stuff plastered on your face clogging the pores. Wearing make up, to me, is like putting on a mask to hide your real persona. As for wrinkles, they show how much I have laughed in my life, the more the better. I do not own an iron, ironing wastes time and electricity. It is more important to me to read than iron. I buy beautiful clothing that does not require ironing. I wear flat comfortable shoes as my arthritic feet cannot cope with any other kind. I wear trousers, practical, modest and suit my shoes. I never go to a hairdresser and wear my hair very long. It is either out or plaited. I never use hair dryers (electricity) or hair spray (environment) or colouring or perming. My personal grooming is excellent, I shower, wash my hair, clean and floss my teeth, wash my clothes. That is personal grooming not painting your face etc.,

    • Katie  

      Right on Susan Bell! Good for you 🙂 Be who you are. Personally I find snobby judgmental people far more offensive than people who don’t care what they look like on the outside. It’s what’s in the heart that counts. I think I always look “put together” when I go out in the world, but I couldn’t care less what other people do or don’t do with their appearance. It’s absolutely none of my business!

  5. I certainly agree that personal appearance is being forgotten. I don’t wear a lot of makeup but I make sure I have lipstick on and my hair is clean and combed. I would like to have people look in the mirror ,front and back, before they leave the house and see what others have to see. We don’t have to wear up to the minute styles but for goodness sake, a little pride in ones appearance would be nice.

  6. Elspeth Tunney  

    I rarely leave the house without my lipstick on and a bit of blusher i feel beautiful and thats all that matters ,, my hair is cut in a modern style and i really dont feel 61 and many people like my style ,, to love one self is the greatest love of all and looking good is about self respect my grandmother taught me that and its held me in good stead ,, i shall teach my grandaughter the same values as i di my daughter ,, my children like me to look a certain way they are proud of me for that we should all do whats comfortable and what feels right and not judge others we are all here to enjoy our lives and be happy

  7. Margaret Topp  

    I agree we should be clean and tidy, so as not to offend others.I also stopped wearing makeup at a young age, as my husband did not like it.Now at 60 I cannot pluck my eyebrows because of loss of sight and having to wear glasses.Maybe that’s why some don’t bother & can’t afford to get a professional to do it.I do not know how to apply foundation, and look ridiculous if I try.So the natural look with a bit of lipstick is all I can hope for.

    • Glad  

      …….’as my husband did not like it’……
      Wow, he had you well & truly under his thumb!
      Did he say this to you BEFORE you were married?
      You should’ve replied, ‘& I don’t like your shaving’. That would’ve shut him up!

      If a male had said that to me, I would’ve told him off, in no uncertain terms!

  8. Mary  

    I agree. My husband and I go to a club twice a week. Most of the “older” women are well groomed and slim. The young 20’s and 30’s are fat and I mean obese, look like they are wearing their pajamas, unwashed, unbrushed hair and slovenly. They don’t care what they look like. I often wonder do they own a mirror?.
    It’s not hard to take pride in your appearance. Good habits will stay with you all you life.
    Perhaps they are too busy on their phones to care

  9. Shona Fenn  

    Wow Eileen! You are the sort of person that serves to remind me of why I prefer animals to most human beings!

  10. Clean and tidy is good grooming. That is all that is necessary. Comfortable clothing and footwear. When I was younger, I wore high heels, , I always wore cosmetics, set my hair etc, I never needed to wear cosmetics as I had good skin, but Idid what was fashionable. As a very busy mother, I let the cosmetics slide, and it and perfume and hair products were too costly. Hair trimmed when needed. My children were always clean, neat and tidy and I used to iron just about everything. Now I selfom we are anything other than moisturiser and lipstick for special occasions. My hair has natural silver streaks and I seldom iron anything. Most don’t need it and others if dried on hangers, the wrinkles fall out. I wear flat shoes because they are comfortable.
    Nice manners, friendliness, honesty and loving relationships are more important than nothing if an item of clothing needs ironing.
    I love the fact that people are less formal these days, people are more relaxed than they were fifty years ago. Children and parents are happy and less stressed and that is a good thing.
    I can’t recall the last time Imwore stockings. Who a person is and their personality is more important than what they wear.
    Pointing out that people are not well groomed to a particular standard IS BEING JUDGEMENTAL!
    Individuals, please themselves how they dress, and I find it unkind to be picky about how others dress as they go about their busy lives. Each to their own and live and let live.

    • Lisa Gould  

      Christine I agree totally. Judging people on their dress standards is really small minded, we don’t know other peoples stories and should live & let live.

      • Silvia Ford  

        She said they smelt. People who smell make me feel sick and there’s plenty of them around.

  11. Denise  

    Clean clothes and good personal hygiene is perfect grooming
    I have never worn make up, I didn’t like the feel of it on my skin- does that mean that now I am over 60 I need to.
    I have never plucked my eyebrows as I wear glasses and can’t see them
    Does this mean I take no pride in myself- Have I lost the art of grooming?? A rather superficial assumption on the author’s part.
    I held a senior executive position for a number of years and my lack of “grooming” never impacted on my intelligence or my ablity to do my job
    I try very hard not to judge a book by its cover

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