'Men prefer women with less makeup' tweet gets smackdown it deserves

Mar 23, 2016 at 5:13 p.m. ET
Image: John Slater/DigitalVision/Getty Images

A seemingly harmless tweet from Google Facts (a parody account not affiliated with Google) has resulted in a huge backlash from women who didn't take kindly to being told, "Studies show that men like women who wear less makeup." 

More: Teen who posted half-makeup selfie is stunned by the nastiness of strangers


While it's not clear what "studies" the tweet is referring to, it would seem that it's referencing research carried out by a team from Bangor University and Aberdeen University in 2014, which found that men like women who wear less makeup, while women like women who wear more.

During the research, women were given different types of foundation, lipstick, blush and mascara and instructed to apply their makeup as if they were going on a night out.

Photographs of the women were altered to produce a range of 21 different images, with the women wearing varying amounts of makeup in each one. The men and women were asked to select the image they found most attractive.

While the women preferred a heavier application, the men chose the models with 40 percent less make up on their faces — a fact that women in 2016 are clearly finding just as interesting as they did back in 2014.

More: Men's perception of beauty isn't what you think

"So if I cake on my makeup stupid a** men will leave me alone?" one woman commented, while another retorted, "Studies show that women don't care."

"Whelp, time to put on more makeup," quipped someone else.

While Google Facts shouldn't be thought of as the fountain of knowledge — this is the account, after all, that provides Twitter followers with such gems as "A chicken named Mike lived for a year and a half without his head" and "All of the Rugrats were voiced by women" — it's easy to understand why this particular tweet has women so riled.

It's just another example, another little corner of the Internet, that puts women down by imposing ridiculous standards of beauty on them.

Quite simply, we can't win. On the one hand, the mainstream media and relentless army of vindictive social media trolls are at the ready to highlight lumps, bumps, wrinkles and blemishes should anyone — celebrity or non-celebrity — dare to "go bare," whether that's by way of a no-makeup selfie or a holiday snap of a bikini bod that doesn't have "perfect" curves and/or abs you could crack ice on.

Then, when women try to cover up what they have been convinced are flaws with makeup or fake tan, they're immediately criticised for caking it on. Because, remember — and this appears to be the most important thing — men don't like women who wear too much makeup.

The researchers behind the 2014 study concluded 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," the authors wrote. "These mistaken preferences seem more tied to the perceived expectancies of men, and, to a lesser degree, of women."

Sorry, but no. Whether women put makeup on to feel more confident, simply out of habit or because they love makeup, the response to the Google Facts tweet makes one thing perfectly clear.

Women wear make up for a wide range of reasons, and seeking the approval of men isn't one of them.

More: 11 things that happen when you go makeup-free in public