Recently, Procter & Gamble conducted a study in which they claim to have proved that women wearing makeup in the workplace are perceived as more respectable and competent.
While Procter & Gamble is indeed one of the most successful cosmetic corporations for women, selling makeup brands like CoverGirl and Dolce & Gabbana to millions of women worldwide, their study is hard to be validated from the mere opinion of others.
There are many who think that makeup on women makes them more beautiful, but there are scores of other people who believe cosmetics don’t make beauty.
To claim that cosmetic beauty on a woman makes her more respectable and trustworthy in her job performance is one of the most misogynistic claims I’ve ever heard in my life.
I understand that makeup is a confidence booster for a lot of women, but it’s a placebo, and if they have to put on scores of it just to go into a job interview or their workplace and be taken seriously, that’s an inherent problem that needs to be recognized.
The study was conducted through a collaborative effort from Boston University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which executed it on the behalf of Procter & Gamble.
There was a total of 25 American female subjects of mixed demographic and ethnicity between the ages of 20 and 50 who were asked to take photographs without makeup on and in three different looks researchers called natural, professional or glamorous.
Then, 149 adults that included 61 men were asked to judge the pictures after viewing each of them for 250 milliseconds apiece, which is considered the appropriate time for people to make snap judgments.
Next, 119 completely different adults (30 men) were given unlimited time to look at the pictures and asked to judge each of the female subjects.
The participants judged the women in various levels of luminance contrast as more competent than the women who took barefaced pictures.
The problem with these results is that in no possible way does fairer skin or a symmetrical face make you smarter or more capable than someone else even though this has always been the standard of beauty for western society.
From the other side of the spectrum, the study results would suggest that women who don’t wear makeup have less of an advantage than women who do.
It’s understandable that for a job where you have to be on television, one should have a camera-friendly face, but if merit in the workplace today is based on beauty, then consider what that means for our society as a whole.
Has beauty simply become its own reward, or have things always been that way because we condoned it by being an accessory to crimes against vanity?
It’s not like women should be subject to keeping a cap on their level of self-esteem, but they should also not be placed on a pedestal just because their beauty is measured in a professional setting.
Women are getting degrees, graduating college faster than men and even going on to have higher employment rates, but there is still a wage-gap that exists between the two genders.
The higher employment rates of women in today’s job market has nothing to do with their sexual appeal, at least one would hope it doesn’t. So why is the Procter & Gamble corporation basically assuming that this is the case?
They are trying to encourage women to buy and use their products so that they can be respected and more likeable in the workplace, but I’m not buying that hogwash, and neither should the feminine half of western society.
Respect of women in a workplace should be earned by the actual characteristics of that person and not how attractive she is. If you love makeup and feel like you absolutely need it to matter to someone else or to feel important, you don’t.
If you make a personal choice to wear makeup because it intrinsically makes you feel good and confident, there’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t allow someone else to determine how respectable you are because of how your face looks.