The no make-up movement is gaining traction, and celebs like Nicole Richie and most notably Alicia Keys are leading the charge. While this is an inspiring movement for us to not put so much emphasis on looks, it might not exactly make sense for the women who aren’t celebrities. Hear me out: For the average person who do not have celebrity status, the research I found suggests that looks do, unfortunately, matter when it comes to job hunting and salary.
While it would be awesome if everyone could not be judged by our appearance, it’s a lofty goal, and the everyday reality of having a job and making money is a stiff competitor. There are several studies that suggest the way you look has a big impact on your salary. One suggests that women who wear makeup earn as much as 20 percent more than women who don’t wear makeup. Pretty disappointing to read. Another found that blondes could see up to a 7 percent boost in pay.
However, there is research that argues it might not be such a big deal: “Although subjects in these studies ascribed more favorable personality traits and more successful life outcomes to attractive than unattractive targets, the average magnitude of this beauty-is-good effect was moderate, and the strength of the effect varied considerably from study to study.”
What does this all mean in terms of physical looks and finding a job, getting a high salary, and maybe even finding a date or relationship? It means that the jury is still out on whether we can forgo our beauty routines without societal repercussions. Still, I believe there are important things you can do to succeed beyond appearance. For example, focus on self-confidence and self-worth. Focus on what is good about you on the inside and be kind to others. Value your skills and education; be proud of your work experience or school work. Trust in yourself that you are valuable not for what you look like or how much makeup you wear. But, if you want to wear make-up or a polished outfit to a job interview, that’s OK too. Let’s work to not judge ourselves or others.