When I mulled whether to try life without the mask of cosmetics I felt the most anxiety when I thought about not wearing it to the office.
I feared people would ask if I was sick – tired or dealing with some emotional drama that left no time for lipstick and mascara in the morning.
My worries weren’t abnormal it turns out.
A study conducted by Procter & Gamble and published in PLOS One – the Public Library of Science’s journal – explored the way we perceive women who wear makeup.
Men and women were given four different photographs of 25 women: bare-faced and wearing three different makeup looks: natural – professional and glamorous.
Some participants only looked at the images for a millisecond – while others were given unlimited time to study them.
But regardless of the time spent on the images the results were the same: Women with no makeup were judged as the least competent and women with glamorous makeup as the most competent.
It got me thinking: Wouldn’t a woman who didn’t wear makeup be thought of as more competent because she cared more about her work than superficial things like blush and eyeliner?
Wouldn’t her disregard for how attractive she looked show she had more important priorities?