Sometimes I look in the mirror mid-afternoon while working from home, still wearing the giant band T-shirt I slept in the night before, greasy hair in a bun, no makeup on and wonder when precisely I let quarantine turn me into a cousin of Oscar the Grouch. Other days, I shower, get dressed, brush my hair, maybe even put on a coat of mascara and basically feel no different. It’s about balance!
Basically, everyone’s grooming habits have changed over quarantine, whether those changes are merely aesthetic or of the gross variety. Beyond that, though, there’s a stark divide in our attitudes toward these changes.
In a survey of 1,000 people from the U.K. and U.S. distributed by QS Supplies, respondents reported a widespread decrease in personal care routines like showering, changing clothes, putting on makeup and combing their hair. Sixty-seven percent of people stated that they’d put less effort into their appearance since the pandemic began, while 33 percent stated their hygiene had been negatively impacted by this decrease in effort.
Women were far more likely to agree that these changes impacted their self-image and sense of life satisfaction than men. In fact, men whose hygiene decreased during quarantine reported the highest levels of life satisfaction, overall.
The survey ultimately shows that specific grooming and hygiene practices have a bigger impact than others. Though 57 percent of people stated they felt worse about themselves when they put less effort into their attire, that number jumps to 74 and 75 percent when it comes to bodily and oral hygiene, respectively.
Essentially, if you’re gonna put effort into anything appearance-wise while working from home, cleanliness counts first. Still, half of guys reported similar feelings of satisfaction as a result of a decrease in the effort they put into their clothing and aesthetic grooming habits, while 65 percent felt worse when they paid less attention to their hair.
Only 1 in 5 people reported a decline in deodorant use and pubic/body hair maintenance. Two out of 5 women reported that they continue to wear a bra while working from home, which really makes me think they need therapy. One in 5 people worked without any underwear at all. Cheeky!
Though the people who kept up appearances and took care of themselves during quarantine reported higher satisfaction with family, friendships and self-development, the stats are only slightly lower for those who let their grooming slide. Seventy-five percent of clean people felt satisfied with life overall, compared to 73 percent of grody people. Clean people did, however, report higher rates of focus and productivity.
It all really depends on the type of person you are, and whether you get some enjoyment from things like showering or styling your hair. I’m not here to judge. I will say, though, that you do have to brush your teeth. I really don’t want you getting any new cavities during the pandemic — it might be a while before you can go to the dentist.