I know, don’t ask, but this was an idea that actually came to me whilst I was on the bus on my way to work. Doesn’t inspiration find us in the strangest of places? Of all topics to start thinking about, I started to wonder. Is our success, actually, partially attributable to whether we wear makeup or not?
This is a widely debated issue in the world already. I’ve watched a debate on morning TV over whether it does or not. Some people argue that wearing makeup does not affect an individuals ability to do their job, whereas others argue that wearing makeup is simply personal hygiene, can be likened to brushing our teeth and washing our hair, and therefore it should be worn. You can watch this video down below if you’re interested! 👇
My own personal opinion is that makeup is a tool that should be worn when it suits me. I’d like to think that I’m known for my pretty brain, not my pretty face. I don’t like to think that workplaces and other individuals judge us for whether we wear makeup or not, but I think they do. I wore makeup for three years at University, before stopping in my final year because, well, I was lazy. I did actually feel as if I was treated differently. The difference was so subtle that it would be incredibly difficult for an observer to see, but I could feel a difference. Whether it was people looking at me less (which, in my opinion is actually a good thing), whether I wasn’t picked to have my photo taken, or whether people underestimated my knowledge. Whether these things would have still happened whilst I was wearing makeup is unknown – and I will probably never know.
In the blogging world, whether I’m wearing makeup or not would definitely affect my success. I’m sure of it. To clarify, I don’t mean that you guys would judge me consciously for not wearing any makeup. Because, I know how lovely you all are and that that isn’t the case! But, I feel as if I wouldn’t be taken as seriously if I were to go out and take my outfit photos without makeup on. But then again, would I get less comments because I was less pretty – or because I promoted the post less because I didn’t have the confidence to? It’s difficult to know the definite answer as you can’t create two different outcomes to the same event, without there being many extraneous variables!
But, these thoughts come from the fact that my face is essentially part of my branding, so in some respects I do understand this. But, why should it be the same when its’ an office based role, where your face has no importance whatsoever (for example). Here is where I really struggle to see why.
From a research perspective, it has been demonstrated that women who do wear makeup in the workplace are viewed as being more competent. Wong & Penner (2016) demonstrate that individuals who are considered ‘more attractive’, whether male or female, have a significantly higher income than those considered less attractive. Whilst there seems to be a breadth of research supporting the role between makeup and success, some others argue that wearing too much makeup can actually harm others perceptions, with those who wear more makeup exerting less perceived social dominance (James, Jenkins, & Watkins, 2018). Of course, we must consider that it is rare to find an area of research where there is no conflicting results, and so we need to look at the bigger picture.
In my opinion, this really is something that need to change. It isn’t fair that individuals have to wake up early every morning to spend time putting makeup on. If it’s for you, and you want to wear makeup, then by all means do. But, for those who are struggling and would really appreciate the extra hour in bed, it’s really not fair. I work hard to ensure that my work is recognized based on its’ credibility, rather than by my appearance. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments box!