I need feminism because…
As a cashier, customers need to treat me with respect, REGARDLESS of IF I choose to wear make up!
As a cashier, you are dealing with customers who have been waiting in line. If you want to bring out the worst in people you put them in a queue for a few minutes and all hell brakes loose. They start furiously tapping their feet, letting off a few audible huffs, making passive aggressive comments to no one in particular… By the time they get to the register their mouths are foaming and their heads are permanently tilted from death staring you. In their mind, it is entirely your fault that the previous two customers bought a lot of groceries.
The last thing they care about is how much makeup you are or aren’t wearing.
I worked in hospitality for three years and I don’t mean to brag, but I was good. I didn’t get a Customer Service Excellence Award for nothing. Now I don’t wear makeup, but during that time I suffered one of the worst bouts of acne I’ve had in my life. I speak from personal experience when I say that the customer’s behavior did not change from when I had nice clear skin to when I had red bulbous blotchy skin. However, my attitude or behavior at work did not change either. Can you see the correlation there?
In terms of human behavior, makeup can trigger a placebo-like effect for certain individuals. I know of girls who can’t leave the house without dolling up, or else they have small panic attacks. I know some girls who will point out “omg, I’m not wearing makeup right now” because they are so consumed by looking flawless all the time that they have to share their frustrations when they don’t. The girl in this picture undoubtedly shares a similar mindset. Low self-esteem is a problem in itself, but it isn’t the point I’m making here. My point is this: In their mind, makeup makes everything better. However, there is a consequence for thinking like that…
Because you believe people will treat you better if you wear makeup, your confidence in yourself when you do wear make up is inevitably going to increase. When your confidence increases, so does your mood, when your mood increases, you become more pleasant, when you become more pleasant, customers will show their appreciation by treating you with more respect.
The thing is, customers aren’t responding to your makeup, they are responding to you. The makeup may have increased your mood, but it was your mood. It was you. It is so easy to blame your problems on your insecurities, but believing that someone else’s behavior is directly related your appearance (or lack of makeup), will always set you up for disappointment. It is basically victim blaming yourself. People can be jerks.
However, if I finally made it to the register after waiting in line, only to be met by a grumpy cashier, could you fully blame me for being disrespectful by being a little stroppy? I mean, it’s their job and they are getting paid to interact with me after all. Customer should come first, right? It isn’t exactly the customer’s fault for responding to your behavior, and if you are the one letting makeup dictate your mood, how are they to tell?
When you say that you need feminism because of the customers behavior being affected by your makeup, can you see how that isn’t exactly addressing the real problem? Employees have an amazing ability to turn someone’s day around, and there is very little effort on their behalf. All it takes is a happy smile, nice words, good service, and absolutely nothing to do with appearance. If you are being disrespected by customers, it is either because the customers are jerks by nature, or you are not doing your job right.
P.S. I’m not talking about the effect makeup has between you and your work colleagues, school friends, acquaintances or anyone else for that matter. Those are all people who you will know on a personal level to some degree. To a customer you are an anonymous human in uniform who is being paid to take their money. Completely different situation. Don’t take it out of context.