Women and Entrepreneurship: “I am not the colors I wear.

While most of the girls I knew already donned their fave tints as early as 12, I only learned to do so when I was 24. And that was just lipstick. At high school, girls were already wearing heeled shoes while I was strutting the campus with my flat bulky ones. In college, the ladies already wore dresses and looked golden. I was still in my t-shirts and jeans.

Looks didn’t matter, I said. I was wrong. The world judges you based on how you look. Skills came second. YMMV.

In my case, as a woman entrepreneur and professional, I had to step up. No one wants to see your eyebags at a sales meeting or see you in a t-shirt and jeans when you’re in the conference room. You may be a rebel but oftentimes, you’d better learn to fit in.

I never liked going with the norm, with what society dictated. I always questioned what ‘the usual’ looked like and always offered a ‘what if’. Being a born reklamador, I should have just hushed my voice. I should have kept quiet. Because the world sometimes just doesn’t want to be questioned.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I accepted that looks do matter. Yet, what we look like does not tell the whole story. The world should agree with us on that.

Society accepts you more and gives you its blessings and opportunities when you look better, when you’re easy on the eyes, when you invest in how you look. Agree?

Take a look at those who immediately got hired at companies despite being fresh grads. Yep, they’re the ones who dress better, suited up, and probably smelled better. Of course, on top of it are their skills and honors if available. Mmhmmm.

Also, I think men have it easy. All they have to do is take care of their health and the body will follow. Add a little skin care and fashion and they are splendid. No makeup needed.

But women? My dear, you better have cash.

From skincare to haircare to makeup to fashion to health to weekly/monthly maintenance stuff (hello, threadings and waxes) to gym subscriptions, you’d easily go broke! You better be resourceful, besh!

And, oh, what we’d give for a few more minutes in the morning to put on our makeup. It’s not just cash but also time!

No wonder our LGBTQIA brethren find it easier to just bulk up than go full female for their gender identity. It’s just expensive to be femme. ?

Despite that, we continue to feed the estimated PHP 140B cosmetics and personal care industry in the Philippines.

That’s about it. We’re slaves to the beauty, personal care, and fashion articles served to us via targeted ads on Facebook. We’re slaves to the sales and promos of Sephora, Lazada, BeautyMNL, Amazon and all the other curated Ecommerce sites that tell us, hey, you’re NEVER ENOUGH (cue: The Greatest Showman song).

But, ladies, let’s not allow the colors we wear define us. We are empowered. We are women of value. We need to show society that we also contribute #parasabayan.

Just don’t forget to replenish your fave lipstick shade and add to cart.

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