Geek Feminism Wiki

Beauty duty refers to the systematic pressure on women to fulfill conventional standards of attractiveness.

Forms of the concept in action
  • assumption that beauty and fashion are relevant topics of interest to all women
  • assumption that not meeting certain standards implies a serious lack of self-care
  • assumption that individual women's appearances is an appropriate topic whenever and wherever
  • entitlement of employers to demand higher standards of personal appearance from female employees than male employees
  • looks being a standard topic covered in articles about female professionals, experts, and celebrities, whether or not the main topic is supposed to be their professional life
  • less than ideal looks being points of criticism aimed at female politicians
Consequential issues
  • female employees use far more time, money, and effort to maintain an expected level of appearance than male employees simply to fulfil the minimum standards, yet cannot expect to have this compensated in their pay
  • immense and systematic pressure on women and girls, of whom many grow up never questioning this "duty"
  • wherefrom follows problematic or even unhealthy behaviour in ever younger teens, even children
  • double bind, where a woman can either be dismissed as a "failed woman" (by not fulfilling beauty standards), or be labelled "sexually free game" (by fulfilling beauty standards)