In a study recently published in the Journal of Social Stratification and Mobility, researchers Jaclyn Wong of the University of Chicago and Andrew Penner of the University of California at Irvine tested the “attractiveness-income relationship” to see whether a person’s attractiveness is a factor in how much money they earn at work. The test took into consideration what constitutes attractiveness, as well as time spent on makeup and grooming.
The research revealed that people (men and women) who fall on the “attractive” side of the spectrum are paid 20 percent more, on average, than their counterparts. For women especially, their “attractiveness factor,” which relied heavily on their makeup and grooming habits, had a big impact on their income.
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Now I don’t know about you, but I wear makeup to work. Not so I can get paid more, but because it makes me feel more confident and put-together. When I feel like I look better, I believe it translates to better work. Celebrity makeup artist Mary Wiles agrees. “Makeup can make you look and feel more polished and confident, and then you exude that self-confidence, which makes others believe in you too,” she says. “Well-applied makeup says to your coworkers, ‘I take care of myself and do things well!’ A red lip can say, ‘I believe in myself and my choices!’”
But should putting on makeup really have anything to do with your salary objectively speaking? Considering women already only make 77 cents on the dollar in the workplace compared to men, this is just one more hurdle we have to conquer. So whether you’re like me and love a pop of pink blush in the morning to look more awake, or you prefer to go the bare-faced, au naturel route, you should be rewarded for your hard work either way.
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