New research published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology found
that people’s perceptions of what men and women find attractive are
off. And even though many women decide to wear makeup to make themselves
“more” attractive, they may be overdoing it.
Researchers at Bangor University and Aberdeen University gave 44
women different types of foundation, lipstick, blush and mascara and
then told them to put on makeup like they were going on a night out. The
women were photographed before and after they put on any makeup. The
researchers then altered the photographs so they had a range of 21
images of the women wearing various amounts of makeup.
The images were then shown to 44 Bangor
University students, who were told to pick the photo that they thought
was the most attractive, the photo they thought women would prefer and
the photo men would prefer.
The image below is an example of the before and after makeup images.
The image below is an example of the series of images from less to more makeup.
Interestingly, the women liked images of the models wearing a bit
more makeup than the men did. All of the participants assumed men would
like the models with more makeup on than the women would, but that
turned out to be untrue. Men and women both preferred the images of the
models wearing 40% less makeup than they initially put on.
researchers conclude that women are putting on makeup for a perceived
standard of beauty that may not actually exist. “Taken together, these
results suggest that women are likely wearing cosmetics to appeal to the
mistaken preferences of others. These mistaken preferences seem more
tied to the perceived expectancies of men, and, to a lesser degree, of
women,” the authors wrote.
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