Women who wear makeup are thought of as ‘prestigious’ by men and as ‘dominant’ by fellow females, say researchers.
The research is the first to report on how males and females differently perceive women who wear make-up.
Researchers found that make-up changes perceptions of status depending on who is making the judgement — males or females.
“While both sexes agree that women with make-up look more attractive when it comes to “high status”, it really depends on who is looking,” said Viktoria Mileva from University of Stirling in the UK.
“Men think women with make-up are more ‘prestigious’, while women think women with make-up are more dominant,” said Mileva.
Researchers suggest that ‘high status’ can be obtained through two main routes. Either you are dominant, which means you are happy using forcefulness or manipulation to make people follow you.
Alternatively, you can gain high status by prestige; by having positive merits and qualities that make other want to follow you, they said.
The study also found that women held rather negative views of other women who wear make-up.
“We did some follow-up studies as to why women might feel that women with make-up are perceived as more dominant, and it looks like it might be related to jealousy and threat potential — women rating women with make-up said they would be more jealous of them, thought they were more promiscuous, and would be more attractive to men than their non-make-up wearing counterparts,” said Mileva.
“For example, at a job interview, knowing whether the hiring committee will consist of men or women might influence a female candidate’s decision about wearing make-up,” Mileva said.
“Whether the interviewers will view her as attractive, dominant, and/or prestigious can affect her and the interviewers’ actions and perhaps the outcome of the interview itself,” she added.
The findings were published in the journal Perception.
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