I would like to explore the following question: Does wearing a make-up have a positive impact on women’s career, improves her relationship with a partner and boosts her self-esteem?
In my following few blog posts, I will analyse several scientific papers that were published on his topic in reputable journals.
Article citation :Cosmetics: They Influence More Than Caucasian Female Facial Attractiveness, NASH, REBECCA; FIELDMAN, GEORGE; HUSSEY, TREVOR; LÉVÊQUE, JEAN-LUC; PINEAU, PATRICIA. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Feb2006, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p493-504.
Link to article: http://www.femininebeauty.info/f/makeup.pdf
The primary goal of the paper is to investigate the effect of makeup on the perception of health, confidence, earning potential, and professional class on Caucasian women in their 30’s. Four volunteers aged 31 to 38 were photographed with and without makeup. To make sure that all faces were as similar as possible from the outset, they each wore a white headband to keep their hair away from their face, removed all jewelry, and wore a black bib to mask their clothes. They were also asked to sustain a relaxed, neutral expression while being photographed. 152 men and 171 women were presented with the women’s facial photographs either with or without cosmetics. Women presented wearing cosmetics were perceived as healthier and more confident than when presented without. Participants also perceived women wearing cosmetics with a greater earning potential and with more prestigious jobs than the same women without cosmetics. The study concluded that women can employ cosmetics to manipulate their appearance and reap up possible benefits, such as being successful at a job interview or negotiating higher salary. By wearing makeup they may also benefit from a boost in positive self-perception and well-being that appears to be associated with wearing makeup.
For analysis, the professions allocated to each image were translated to their social class coding. High, Average, Low, and Unemployed. This converted the results into categorical data, and consequently the results were analyzed using chi-square. Analysis of data revealed that wearing makeup had a significant impact on the rating of a woman’s professional class, chi-square (3, N=1,292) 19.981, p=0.000. The percentage allocation of the four employment categories (Figure 1) revealed that women wearing cosmetics were more likely to be assigned a high- or average-status profession than women without makeup (high status: women With Cosmetics=21.1%, women Without Cosmetics=16.3%; average status: women With Cosmetics 54.69%, women Without Cosmetics=39.8%). By contrast, women without cosmetics were more likely to be assigned a low-status job or unemployed professional status than women with cosmetics (low-status: women Without Cosmetics=37.4%, women With Cosmetics=26.8%; unemployed:
women Without Cosmetics=6.5%, women With Cosmetics=5.2%). Splitting the results by participant sex revealed that the significant effect of cosmetics on the perception of Professional Class was generated by male participants, chi-square (3, N=608) 517.645, p=0.001, rather than female respondents, chi-square (3, N=5684) 53.133, p=0.060.
This nugget provides the statistical data from the experiment and informs the reader about the statistics that were employed to analyze the data. The authors also note that a woman wearing a makeup is more likely to be perceived as professional by men than by women.
In accordance with predictions, wearing cosmetics was found to have a significant impact upon participants’ ratings of female confidence. An intriguing question remains as to whether this effect is genuinely caused by the physical change brought about by the application of makeup or as a consequence
of the general increase in positive self-perception women experience when wearing cosmetics. The volunteers within this study did report feelings of enhanced well-being and improved self-worth when prepared by the beautician. It is possible that this change in self-perception is reflected in the photographs despite the retention of a neutral expression. This question could be resolved by using computer image manipulation to investigate whether makeup renders faces more confident while avoiding the potential confound caused by volunteers’ responses to the application of cosmetics by a beautician. Makeup could be applied digitally onto cosmetic-free female faces, rather than directly onto a volunteer.
In this nugget the authors note that the effect of makeup may also be enhanced by the following effect. A woman wearing make up looks more healthy and more attractive, therefore she feels better about herself. These positive feelings translate in her being more confident, which actually makes her healthier and more attractive.