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Can Make-Up Make You Seem More Competent?

putting on makeup

A recent study found that in some situations, wearing make-up can make women seem more competent, but is that the whole story?

The study, funded by Procter and Gamble, looked at our perception of beauty in two different scenarios. In the first group, 149 participants looked at 100 photos of women in different amounts of make-up for just 250 milliseconds. In the second group, 119 people looked at the same photos but were able to examine the photos for as long as they wanted.

The results showed that in the first group, which basically was looking at snap decisions, folks rated the women in make-up as more attractive, likeable, and competent. The second group had similar results, but women in a lot of dramatic ratings got results similar to the women in mo make-up.

So, what’s the take-away from this study?

I’m sure the folks at Procter and Gamble, who produces all manner of beauty products, wants us to feel that this proves that women should wear make-up, but I’m not 100% convinced that this is the case. I think that what this shows is that we’re conditioned to prefer women who look a certain way. We’re bombarded every day with images of “perfect” faces on television, in magazines, on billboards, and in movies.

True Beauty

I think studies like this sort of beg the question of what true beauty really means. Participants here just looked at these women in pictures, but I’m a firm believer that true beauty is in our actions and interactions. First impressions are important, but if a person is truly kind and competent, I think that those qualities will shine no matter what she looks like.

Of course, it’s fun to feel pretty, and if you enjoy wearing make-up, I’m not advocating that you stop. I just think it’s important to question studies like this one that tell us what it means to be beautiful.

What do you guys think? Do you wear make-up? Do you notice a difference in your interactions on days that you skip it? Tell us your experiences in the comments!

Source: ABC News

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by eflon

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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