The decision about whether or not to wear makeup to work is yours — and yours alone. But a new study suggests that there may be wide-ranging consequences of the decision, and the conclusion is pretty interesting.
Analysis presented in the June 2016 journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility by Jaclyn S. Wong and Andrew M. Penner, picked up by Allure, looked at both how overall attractiveness — as well as grooming — factored into one’s income.
The duo’s conclusion buttressed existing research that contends beautiful people earn more, but it’s Wong and Penner’s exploration of “the role that grooming plays in the attractiveness-income relationship” that stands out. They concluded that the established wage gap between beautiful and unattractive people can be reduced when good grooming is in evidence. As Wong and Penner wrote in their piece’s abstract, “the beauty premium can be actively cultivated.” That means: by wearing makeup and demonstrating good grooming, the attractiveness wage gap can be erased.
This is sad, in a way. The choice to wear makeup should be one that empowers you, not one that directly affects your salary — and in turn, your quality of life. And of course, Wong and Penner found the effect of good grooming on income to be more pronounced in women than men. This is further evidence that society has a long way to go in regard to challenging traditional beauty standards.