Female looks reformed for 2014 Winter Olympics city

Millions of dollars are being poured into the Russian city of Sochi to get it ready to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. For the event, the city mayor’s office has introduced a beauty class for its female staff.

For three summer months each year the city of Sochi turns into one of Russia’s most popular beach resorts. Locals and visitors alike share a passion for the tropical paradise.

However, according to Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov, the city’s laidback resort attitude may have become an obstacle to its development as a future Olympic capital.

Shortly after his election, Pakhomov introduced a strict dress code for everyone in his administration. It turns out, however, that it was not enough, so now everyone in the mayor’s office is getting a makeover.

To demonstrate the mayor is a man of his word, makeup artists have been brought in to help give women a more business-like appearance.

“I have been trying for a year to make one of my clients apply blusher. It turns out that when she was young she tried it once, and everybody was laughing at her, so she has been afraid to apply it ever since,” said an invited makeup specialist at one of the sessions. 

While the course is primarily aimed at younger women, everyone is free to visit the classes during their lunch breaks. And even though attendance is not mandatory, it is hoped it could eventually lead to a single executive style for all the office girls.

While some might claim the mayor's makeup reforms are sexist, others say it is necessary to give the right image.

“Sometimes very light and very dark lipstick does not make a good image in a business dress code. So they want to be creative, to make something new in the appearance, to make them feel like a real business lady,” said Tatyana Pustovit, one of the employees.

The classes have been met with mixed feelings. Some employees, like Nastya, say it is just a waste of time:

“To be honest, I didn’t like it at all. It had no substance. They were just creating an appearance,” she said.

Nevertheless, if the mayor’s plan works well, by next summer both Sochi itself and its female workforce will see a complete makeover.