The Vagenda

Why You Not Having A Job Has Nothing to do With the Recession

I tend ignore the Daily Mail as much as possible. I know I should probably join in the chorus of disapproval at its faux-family values, its women-baiting and its newly-tattooed, über-troll columnist Liz Jones. But I tend to think that’s just what the Mail wants. Attention of any kind. And maybe, just maybe, if we didn’t click on the links, inevitably feel our blood boil and give in to the overwhelming urge to tweet the latest awfulness then maybe, just maybe, fewer people would be pulled into its sidebar of cellulite and drunken TOWIE stars. Then perhaps it wouldn’t be the most read website in the world.
But sod it, I am only human. I was tired at the end of a long Monday and someone tweeted a link to a Mail article, one thing led to another and I found myself clicking. What I read made my blood boil and now I feel the overwhelming need to vent my spleen. So sue me. 
The article in question dishes out job tips specifically to women. We are in a recession and the job market appears to be contracting at a startling rate, so any advice on beating the odds sounds very welcome. But which sage is dishing out interview-related pearls of wisdom? Why, it’s Debenhams’ Beauty Hall, of course. As might be expected the advice is not so much about swatting up on the interviewing organisation, carefully reading the job description and making sure you can explain your CV. Because, according to Debenhams, where women are concerned “no matter how impressive their educational achievements or how extensive their work experience”, it’s those “silly mistakes in their beauty regime” that are costing them jobs. Silly women.
Debenhams has conducted a survey of 2,000 customers who boast the qualification of having “previously interviewed someone for a job”. So, you know, this is proper research. Summing up the results, Debenhams’ Beauty Director, and HR guru manqué, Sara Stern reveals that “your beauty regime holds the key to that dream job.” So when the eleventy-millionth rejection email pings into your inbox, know that it’s not because there were eighty other people going for that role, half of whom had a PHD; it’s because you messed up your make-up. Silly woman. 
To make it easy for candidates of a female persuasion, here’s a list of the beauty bads that will put that dream job right out of reach, regardless of how many degrees you might have.
First up are chipped nails, the most heinous of beauty crimes. A chip in your varnish is “a certain sign” that you’re nervous and unprepared. Why a modicum of nervousness is a bad thing is unclear. Any job interview is bound to be a nerve-racking experience. And might not chipped nails suggest that the candidate spent rather more time preparing and rather less time wrestling with a bottle of Chanel Particulière? 
Next up are split ends, which will instantly raise any interviewer’s hackles. These reveal a fundamental weakness in a woman’s personality. Laziness. Get off your backside, women, and down to a salon sharpish because when an interviewer sits you down and inspect the ends of your hair, they are going to see you for the idler you are. 
Smudged mascara apparently gives the impression of a party girl, whilst fake tan suggests a woman will be “taking too many holidays”. It is not specified how someone can take too many holidays, given most employees will have a set number of days during which they can escape to sunnier climes and presumably most women will be sporting fake tan precisely because they haven’t been on holiday. But onwards, women, there are more beauty tips to take on-board.
Too much make-up (red lipstick, heavy brows, excessive perfume) indicates a woman is “power crazy”, but not enough make-up and she is an emotional wreck who doesn’t bother with slap because it “will inevitable be cried off within hours.” Be aware that a drawn on fake beauty spot (does anyone other than Dita Von Teese actually do this?) shows that a candidate cannot be trusted. After all, if a woman’s prepared to fake a beauty spot what other acts of brazen dishonesty might she entertain?
And for anyone jumping to the conclusion that all a woman needs to triumph at an interview is immaculate make-up, you would be wrong, wrong, wrong. Because, and try to keep up with this women, make-up that is 100% immaculate (whatever that means) is a sign that you are over-ambitious and “gunning for the bosses’ job”. 
Confused? I am. 
It is undeniably that appearance counts to an extent. Turning up to an interview at Goldman Sachs, for example, with “haters gon’ hate” etched into your buzzcut and black lipstick on, is not likely to yield a job offer. But I would hazard that generally it tends to be what comes out of someone’s mouth that counts.

This kind of bat-shit crazy “research” is not really going to help anyone, other than perhaps Debenhams and dudes, honestly, it’s not true that all publicity is good publicity. Still, I look forward with anticipation to an article on how men’s nose hair, dandruff and shaving preferences are sabotaging their hopes of landing a job. Silly men.
- LP

3 thoughts on “Why You Not Having A Job Has Nothing to do With the Recession

  1. I’m so utterly confused too…

    I mean, WTF?? No makeup can’t possibly mean that a woman is comfortable with her looks, or has better things to do, or just plain doesn’t care- it’s *obviously* because she’s going to burst into tears spontaneously at every opportunity.


    On the other hand, thanks for another fab article and a reminder as to why I avoid the Fail like the plague…

  2. I wonder what a pimple means. Perhaps it demonstrates an inherent lack of control over your sebaceous glands, which would suggest ill-discipline and an inconsistent work ethic. Or perhaps it indicates that you are a REAL person not a WAX DUMMY who pins their job prospects on a shopping trip to the Debenhams Beauty Hall. So transparent.