Of the people who read my journal and answered my poll, the males spend (or at least claim to spend - based on both genders' self-reported times) more than twice as much time on their personal appearance as the females. The males spend equal or more time compared to what females spend on every single aspect of their personal appearance except makeup - and only one third of the females who answered my poll even wear makeup anyway. The two genders spend an approximately equal amount of time (though the males' time is larger to a statistically insignificant degree) on hair washing, hair styling, putting on clothes, and purchasing clothes and other personal appearance items. The males spend approximately twice as much time as females on miscellaneous personal appearance activities, and way over twice as much time shaving and earning the money they need to purchase all their expensive personal appearance paraphernalia. (Only about half the females who answered the poll shave at all, and those females who do shave spend only the amount of time that the very fastest males who shave only their faces spend. Every single male who has answered my poll spends at least fifteen minutes shaving per week.)
jezbian wins the prize for least time spent on personal appearance. She's followed by transientdyke, lilituc, lacorneille, donutgirl, exterra and piman, in that order (approximately). Stand in awe of their minimalism! These are people who can get out of bed and into the car in two minutes flat every morning!
But boyfunk wins the prize for most time spent on personal appearance - mostly by apparently buying very expensive clothes, which he also spends considerable time shopping for and deciding which of to wear each morning. Stand in awe of his exquisite wardrobe! He's followed by rhekarid, noplacelikehome, chisparoja, spreadsothin, heron61 and celestialfire. Each of them spends at least 11 hours per week decorating their bodies to perfection - never a single hair out of place.
Nearly half the people who answered my poll would like to strike the entire human race blind. Wow, you people are scary! But c_est_moi is the only one of you who claims to currently be suing an employer for beauty labor money.
sankta points out: "BUT GAYLE, HEALTH DOES REQUIRE US TO CHANGE OUR CLOTHES EVERY DAY IF WE HAVE A SEVERE DUST MITE ALLERGY! DUST MITES EAT FLAKES OF HUMAN SKIN! IF THEY MOVE INTO MY CLOTHES, THE END IS AT HAND!!!$!@1" Yes, okay. Also, for people like me who have very severe chronic dandruff that requires continual dousing with state-of-the-art unbelievably expensive extra-strength Nizoral dandruff killing potion to prevent our heads from bleeding profusely all over, hair washing is really more of a health issue than a personal appearance issue too. I mean, I doubt that anybody's ever died of dandruff, but bleeding profusely from all over one's scalp day after day certainly can't be considered "healthy." And several people mentioned skin care products which I don't necessarily consider to be a "beauty" issue either. I mean, acne hurts, and if you don't make some effort to keep it under control, it can develop into massive carbuncles (clusters of boils), and after that if it gets even worse, the bacteria leak out into the whole general area and you wake up with the entire left side of your face swollen up like a football. (This happened to me once in college. I know what I'm talking about here.) That's a pretty tangible ill health effect if you ask me. So there are a lot of blurry boundaries between what's done for "beauty" and what's done for "health." But if you're doing something to cure physical pain, I'd count that as "health."
jezbian comments: "isn't tooth straightening like a twenty-four hour a day for three year ordeal? did you mean whitening?" Whitening would also count, but I meant tooth straightening. Not all 24 hours a day, because obviously you're free to do other things during most of it - but I meant the time spent in an orthodontist's office where you can't do anything else. (And what's this about a mere three years??? I'll have you know that I underwent various orthodontic appliances continuously from the ages of seven to twenty.)