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WaPo news flash: Women who wear makeup & comb their hair earn more than those who don’t

May 24, 2016

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

So unfair that men don’t have to put on mascara to get ahead

 

News flash from the Washington Post:

Women wear makeup.

In an effort to appear polished and professional, many American women — not all, of course, but many — spend a huge amount of time and money on makeup and skincare products.

***

And since this is the Washington Post, there has to be a sexism problem somewhere in all of this. And there is:

“You might dismiss all this female primping and preening as vanity or silliness. Yet a fascinating new paper from two sociologists suggests that women do have good reason to spend so much time and money on their appearance: If they don’t, they risk losing a substantial amount of money.

***

“Like past studies, the research showed that attractive people tended to earn higher salaries. But that wasn’t all. Their research suggested that grooming – practices such as applying makeup and styling hair and clothing — was actually what accounted for nearly all of the salary differences for women of varying attractiveness. For men, grooming didn’t make as much of a difference….

“They find that, controlling for other differences such as age, race, class and education, individuals who were rated as more attractive by an interviewer earned about 20 percent more than people who were rated as having just average attractiveness….

“They found that a substantial amount of attractiveness was the result of grooming, and here’s where they found gender differences, Wong says. ‘For women, most of the attractiveness advantage comes from being well groomed. For men, only about half of the effect of attractiveness is due to grooming.’

“In other words, the study suggests that grooming is important for both men and women in the workplace, but particularly for women. Changes in grooming have a substantial effect on whether women are perceived as attractive, and their salaries. In fact, as the charts below show, less attractive but more well-groomed women earned significantly more, on average, than attractive or very attractive women who weren’t considered well-groomed.”

In other words, a little makeup always helps–just like your mother said. Oh, and comb your hair before that job interview. Did we actually need a sociological study to prove this?

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

 

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One Comment
  1. Did someone get a government grant to conduct this study?

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