Tag Archives: Salary

Makeup is not Freedom

As I go into the final stretch of my undergraduate education here at Radford University, I’m preparing to enter into the adult world of employment. I, like many of my peers, am searching online sites and talking to different professors about potential job opportunities in my field. For the first time I’m looking at jobs that offer an annual salary and health benefits, wondering which ones I qualify for, and what to do to ensure I get the job I want. What to wear to an interview, and what to put in my resume. That’s what I’m focusing on in the last four weeks of the semester, not, for the first time in years, on my finals.

As a woman, I have a whole slew of things I have to consider when it comes to presenting myself to future employers. How high my heels are, how short my skirt, how to style my hair and most importantly what is the exact right amount of makeup. These questions are debated over and over until I finally perfect my interview outfit.

I’ve been told by many people that makeup is a tool. It’s a form of self-expression and it’s freeing. Strong women wear makeup, and they use it to show off their inner beauty. These same people were also trying to sell me thick concealers and foundations so maybe they were a little biased.

Here’s the thing. I love makeup. I’m the kind of girl that owns bright purple lipstick that I will wear around the house just for fun. But makeup isn’t freedom. It’s not strength. It’s definitely not a sign of great feminism. Women are expected to wear makeup in the professional world. Women who do are paid more and are more likely to be given promotions. Women who don’t are told they aren’t dressed appropriately. There are real-life consequences for me if I don’t put this gunk on my face.

No matter how people want to spin makeup to me, it still doesn’t change that fact. Girls can love makeup. They can become amazing artists and even make careers out of the field. But this one fact remains. Makeup isn’t freedom. It’s another way that society has made women feel like they are not enough. That we need to cover up our very skin in order to look appropriate to work in a cubicle. That’s damaging. Don’t buy into the idea that makeup is for strong women because that only deludes you into believing that you are benefiting from a system that preys on your insecurities and weaknesses.

Pay inequality between men and women in Hollywood

jennifer lawrence
“In her usual witty way Lawrence pointed out the glaring inequality, so frequently overlooked in Hollywood, garnering a huge response from the public.”

In 2015, we would all like to think that issues such as gender inequality don’t exist anymore. Unfortunately, this shielded belief is very far from the truth. Oscar winning actress, Jennifer Lawrence recently released an essay (published in actress and writer Lena Dunham’s newsletter) about finding out that she was paid less than her male costars for the movie American Hustle due to the infamous Sony hack that occurred at the end of last year.

“In her usual witty way Lawrence pointed out the glaring inequality, so frequently overlooked in Hollywood, garnering a huge response from the public.”

Lawrence wrote, “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony, I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.”

In her usual witty way Lawrence pointed out the glaring inequality, so frequently overlooked in Hollywood, garnering a huge response from the public. The response was so big that her American Hustle male costars, such as Bradley Cooper, are now speaking on her behalf. Cooper went on the record, commending Lawrence for standing up for herself and other professional women facing the same injustices.

On average, women only make 79% of what their male counterparts make. The pay gap gets even wider where colored women are concerned.

These frightening statistics need to change and it’s brave celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, who’re willing to voice the uncomfortable truth, that will make that change happen.

Relatable as ever, Lawrence admits that not everyone will be sympathetic to her specific situation. After all, despite the pay inequality she has faced, Lawrence remains one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, worth an estimated $60 million.

It seems as though Lawrence’s angry letter has fueled her negotiating skills as she will be paid a whopping $20 million for her upcoming film, Passengers. That’s $8 million more than what her male costar, Chris Pratt, will be receiving.

As more and more prominent Hollywood women speak up on behalf of women’s rights and sexism in the entertainment industry, hopefully we’ll soon begin to see a shift in how women are treated.