Study Reveals that Women Wearing Heavy Makeup Are “Less Likely to Be Thought of as Good Leaders”


    According to a study that was published today by Abertay University, the amount of makeup that a woman is wearing can negatively affect the perceptions of her leadership ability.

    It appears that people are actually persuaded in their opinions of the leadership credentials of an individual based on the amount of lipstick that they have on.

    The research was published in Perception journal. It discovered that women who are wearing heavy makeup were “less likely to be thought of as good leaders.” The participants of the study were asked to observe a series of images that feature the same woman – with and without cosmetics, and with makeup that is applied for a social night out.

    Computer software was utilised to manipulate the faces, and the amount of makeup that is visible, and every participant completed a task on face perception scrutinising16 pairs of faces. The participants were asked to say how good a leader they believed the chosen face would be compared to the other one.

    Both women and men rated the leadership capabilities of the female faces more negatively if they had more makeup on.

    Last month, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England,  set out three things that he thinks good leaders should do. And somehow, he did not think of including “putting down the eyeliner” to the said list.

    In case you were wondering, he instead opted for setting priorities, catalysing action, and finding and developing the right people.

    The leader of the study, Dr. Christopher Watkins, stated: “This research follows previous work in this area, which suggests that wearing makeup enhances how dominant a woman looks.

    “While the previous findings suggest that we are inclined to show some deference to a woman with a good looking face, our new research suggests that makeup does not enhance a woman’s dominance by benefitting how we evaluate her in a leadership role.”