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Is There a Social Penalty for Wearing Makeup?

Danielle J. DelPriore

Danielle DelPriore of the University of Utah and her colleagues at Texas Christian University  wondered whether appearance enhancement might come with a social penalty. Are women who make efforts to enhance their appearance punished by their peers?

DelPriore and her team had around 120 women read a short story about a young woman who is preparing for a job interview with a male manager. Half of the volunteers read a story in which Melissa prepared for her interview by applying make-up; the other half read the same story, except this time Melissa was described as not wearing any make-up.

Those who read the “make-up” story, when compared with those who read the “no make-up” story, thought that Melissa was more deceptive, fake, manipulative, selfish, and trying to get ahead at all costs. 

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Last Updated: 6/4/21