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Women Who Wear Less Makeup Are Better Leaders, Latest Study Says

Do you aspire to be a strong female leader or hope to be promoted to a prominent position at your office one day? Researchers say that you may want to put down your lipstick first in order to be taken seriously in a leadership role.

The role of Makeup in Leadership Perception

A recent survey conducted on 4,000 women found that there are 40 makeup products an average woman owns at all times

A new study spearheaded by a group of psychologists from Abertay University says that, apparently, women who put too much effort in putting on their makeup are taken less seriously in a leadership role. The new findings seem to contradict the popular belief in society that that beautiful, well-groomed and perfectly made-up women stand a higher chance of reaching the heights of success in their career. Thanks to this belief, women around the world spend hundreds of hours per year to look ‘presentable’ at the office – while they could be utilizing the time in developing real leadership skills.

Not only does the research debunks the common belief that all women need to paint their faces in order to be taken seriously, but it actually shows that wearing makeup can have the complete opposite effect on how people trust your ability and respond to your authority. The university released the details of the study on their website in which it was explained how researchers conducted the experiment in order to reach to the shocking conclusion.

Women who Wear Makeup Taken Less Seriously

Participants were given a number of images of the same woman which were altered by a computer software to create different illusions of makeup but only one of the photos contained the original face of the woman without any makeup on. 16 different sets of images were created for 16 different women and the participants were asked to evaluate all of them and rank each photograph in a specific set in the order of leadership perception. After the experiment was over, the researchers compiled the results from all the participants and discovered that most of the people, irrespective of their gender, saw women who wore more makeup more negatively in a leadership role.

Cr. Christopher Watkins, the head of the research, said that his experiment was a follow-up of the previous studies which have concluded that makeup doesn’t only enhance a woman’s features but also her dominance in any setting, whether professional or personal. Watkins agrees that due to strict beauty standards in the society which are only applicable to females, people are inclined to show a certain level of respect and admiration towards women who have beautiful features, but these feelings don’t translate to their professional role as leaders.

Makeup Increases Untrustworthiness

According to the study, participants revealed that they often associate women who wear makeup with the feelings of untrustworthiness or incompetence, whereas women who wore natural-looking makeup, or no makeup at all were considered smarter and more suitable for leadership roles. Since the new study gives the completely opposite conclusion than what experts had found out in previous researches, it’s hard to tell which one is telling the truth.

75% of women admit to not routinely finish their make up products before purchasing the next one

The only obvious conclusion from this new data is that there is no universal standard of leadership when it comes to women, and no matter what they do, they can’t really please everyone. Moreover, the gender inequality in workplace prevents women from a getting leadership role in the first place, and even when they do get it, it is extremely hard to gain the trust and respect of their colleagues, especially those who hold more powerful positions in relation to their own.

Is makeup Really the Culprit?

Previous studies show that people who have symmetrical faces are considered more attractive and mature – and makeup has the power to highlight the features of the face and modify to give the illusion of a sharper figure. The association between beauty and brains doesn’t only apply to women but also to men which is why it is quite common to assume that a good-looking man is probably smart as well. Moreover, experts say that women who wear makeup to work feel more confident about themselves, and hence, excel in their professional careers.

For women, it can often feel like their set up for failure in their professional careers from the get-go, but it is important to stay true to yourself in order to become successful. If you want to become a better leader, learn to make the right decisions, take others’ opinions on board and choose work environment where your skills and expertise are respected.

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