Prejudice does not wear makeup. It is naked and well alive in our society. Prejudice does not need foundation to hide imperfections. Prejudice does not require mascara to enhance the darkness of obvious discrimination. Everybody holds various views regarding beauty and physical attractiveness that could be infinitely debatable. In leadership, there is no difference. Many views subsist concerning the importance of looks, or should I say the importance of race regarding a pretty face or shapely body.
Even some research today shows that attractive people have more of a chance at success in life than less attractive people. Whether it is at the workplace, home, or even in the street, your physical attractiveness might serve you. Sadly, we all know that women are judged more on appearance than men. This is a crucial fact, not an assumption. The ugliest truth is that how people look has a lot to do with the way they are treated.
Physical attractiveness is usually socially constructed and seems more complex than what we might believe at first. As a matter of fact, the perception of attractiveness is a combination of your physical attractiveness and its dynamic.
To wear makeup or not to wear makeup is indeed an eternal debate. Could makeup sometimes be the foundation for attractiveness? This is obviously an interesting aspect to explore. The beautiful reality is that natural and bare beauty is incomparable and uniquely authentic. Unfortunately, let’s face it and be honest with ourselves too: we all sometimes need to conceal and erase our bare imperfections through various camouflages.
We all have to dissipate our flaws in order to avoid the unavoidable comments from so-called “considerate” people around us. This does not stop us from fiercely defending that it is a woman’s right to wear makeup or not to wear it. We all proudly scream that it is a woman’s choice. In other words, we all remind ourselves that women do not wear makeup for others, and more importantly that women do not wear makeup for men. Men have been given more opportunities to be in leadership positions than women…
A billion dollar industry built of off making women ashamed of their God given beauty
The U.S. beauty industry generated a total revenue of 56.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. Well, considering all these billions, it is difficult to naively say that makeup is a woman’s choice because it is surely an understatement. There is no real choice under society’s pressure, just a tiny hope of choice. Today there is no other choice than to look good, “good” as is defined by fabricated societal norms. Good as is decided by these beauty standards that dangerously crush people’s confidence and slowly poison their uniqueness. Good as is defined by others, and more importantly, good as is perceived attractive by men.
We could all easily assume that wearing makeup is a woman’s right, but not necessarily a woman’s choice. There is no shame in admitting that most women wear makeup to look attractive to others and more specifically to look attractive to men. Everybody loves being around radiant people who believe that they can make something wonderful happen. Makeup can reinforce women’s natural radiance and propel their uniqueness as well. Let’s also drop that hypocritical lie that it is wrong or degrading to look good for others. In addition, we all know that there are societal benefits to being attractive. We all know that being attractive often means more social capital. All human beings need social capital, as do women in particular…
In fact, there is no shame in revealing that most women do not wear makeup for themselves or to feel good about themselves as we all like to tell ourselves (as we are delusional narcissists!).
Let’s face it: most women do not wear makeup to feel good about themselves. Women should not need powder, eyeshadow, or red lips to love themselves. Makeup is a mask and women should not need a mask to feel more confident or reassured about themselves. Unless it is a permanent type of makeup like tattoo eyebrows or eyeliner which brings another set of issues…we all know the ultimate truth with make up is that at some point it has to be taken off. Women should love themselves simply because they should all know how imperfect they are. All women have imperfect stories, bodies, eyebrows… Let’s acknowledge that their unique beauty lies in those exceptional imperfections.
We should all agree that women do not need to put makeup on to feel good about themselves. Women should not need makeup to know how they feel about their inner self. Frankly, since it is time-consuming, unless you are a makeup artist or just trying out new looks for fun, who will put on a full face of makeup if they are staying home and not seeing anyone all day? Not many women…
More importantly, it is fundamental to comprehend that there is a societal pressure that influences the wearing of the makeup. Indeed, women themselves are part of this societal pressure by not only wearing makeup themselves, but also pressuring other women to wear it in so many ways too. We all communicate to others that if they try to look as if they value themselves, maybe someone else will value them, too. Sadly we all are prejudicial…
We are all trapped by our mental conditioning even if we appear to be free…
Indeed, most women do not wear makeup for themselves. This may raise some eyebrows, but let’s say it clearly: we mostly wear makeup for power and competition. We wear it for power over men and for competition with other women. This is a prejudicial truth to swallow, but it seems pretty close to the reality to me.
Made-up faces are everywhere, even at the gym where we can witness several faces full of sweaty mascara. Makeup is becoming a part of the order of production; that is to say that makeup is becoming the norm, the “new normal”. Even the spirit of creativity in makeup seems to slowly disappear, killed by harsh societal norms to look “normal”. Creative makeup and “bad” makeup is unfortunately considered an antisocial behavior in most societal spheres. The pressure to look “normal” is strongly marketed and forced onto people. The idea of social empowerment through consumption is very well alive in society.
Makeup is one of the best examples of this forced-consumption trap. There is nothing surprising in acknowledging that looks matter and more importantly that faces matter, because this is the first thing we usually notice when we meet someone. Makeup is among those numerous non-verbal cues that strongly influence our subconscious and deeply affect the ways we treat and relate to people. Research has revealed that women wearing makeup are perceived as healthier, more assertive, and having greater earning potential than the same women wearing no makeup. It is no secret that makeup, when applied well, can raise your energy levels, giving you a feeling of self-confidence. Women use makeup to create favorable social perceptions. In other words, most of the time there is no random application of makeup: makeup is applied by women to strategic improve self-presentation.
The made-up women are well aware that they display flawless and fixed faces
Women know that they are perceived as more likable or more socially collaborative. They perfectly understand that they are impersonating someone else through the illusion of perfection. Makeup is used as a tool of self-creation and a strategy of self-presentation. It allows women to freely create their “self”. We should admit that we approach others differently and, more importantly, others treat us differently when we have makeup on. We all would love women at work to be judged on the basis of their competence, not makeup, but unfortunately, research has shown otherwise. We all have a cognitive bias and it affects the way we perceive people and make assumptions about them. People make the assumption that if a woman seems attractive, she may also have many other positive traits and characteristics.
I wish we could live in an unprejudiced world where fabricated beauty is not promoted and rewarded, but sadly it is. Indeed, makeup is a powerful strategic tool and it can make a huge difference in perceived attractiveness. Looks deeply matter. However, let’s hope that inner beauty will always prevail over exterior physical appearances.
More on the topic…
Stephen, I. D., & McKeegan, A. M. (2010). Lip colour affects perceived sex typicality and attractiveness of human faces. Perception, 39, 1104-1110
Nash, R., Fieldman, G., Hussey, T., Lévêque, J. L., & Pineau, P. (2006). Cosmetics: They influence more than Caucasian female facial attractiveness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 493-504.
Mulhern, R., Fieldman, G., Hussey, T., Lévêque, J. L., & Pineau, P. (2003). Do cosmetics enhance female Caucasian facial attractiveness?. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 25, 199-205…
We Always Have to Remember that We Are Unique and that Our Uniqueness is Worth Fighting for.
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