Quick! Hand Me That Eyeliner, I'm Feeling Competent

Which one looks more competent? Click for larger view.
Which one looks more competent? Click for larger view.

A little lip-liner here, a little eye shadow there and voile! You are more likeable and trustworthy. Right? Or do you think that’s wrong? Well according to a study made up of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston University and Proctor & Gamble you can add one more word to those adjectives, competent. The study states that when participants looked at a woman’s face with and without makeup for 250 milliseconds it was concluded that the face with cosmetics appeared to be the more competent one.

The use of makeup has been long used by women for years. It dates back to the Egyptians and who knows how much farther back. Some feel pretty by caking it on thick enough where you need a knife to get it off or some use a light application for a natural look to have a fresh appearance. Some go to the extreme and get it permanently tattooed on. But why? That question has been answered and has been proven time and time again that applying makeup helps women not only improve their appearance but it also can make women feel better about themselves as well. You’ve seen it all the time in those makeover shows. The woman comes out all smiles and glowing. The family takes off their blindfolds jumping up and down with the excitement to see their moms or wives looking beautiful and glamorous. And there’s nothing wrong with it. But to go as far as to say that they look more intelligent and competent is that too far? And if so, can it be helped? I mean, the eye sees what it sees right? You can’t tell your eye what is or isn’t pleasing. It knows what it likes and sees.

And why should it matter if a woman wears lip gloss and mascara? Is it something that society has trained our eyes and brains to accept more? Will a bare faced applicant be turned down for a job just because she chose not to apply makeup? Plenty will say yes. Those that say no have fought for years to turn that way of thinking around. I don’t choose to wear makeup because I have had the fortune of being born from a gene pool that allows me to do without it. I may occasionally don mascara and lipstick if I’m having a night out with the girls. But that's about it. And yes, it does enhance my features but I don’t know if it makes me look smarter. Only an outsider could tell me that one. I choose to believe that my intelligence shines through more in my conversation and thoughts.

Click on image and choose which you think looks more competent.

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Comments 7 comments

wrinklestudent profile image

wrinklestudent 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

Do you think this could be extrapolated further to suggest that younger-looking people are more competent? Or do older looking people look more competent because of perceived wisdom?


NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Oooh! Good one. That's hard. If I were to see someone younger. Even my own age. I would choose the older "more experienced" person. But this day and age things have changed around so that the younger, I think, get picked more. There's an assumption, I think, that the younger person has fresher ideas and different perspectives. Especially if they are just out of school.


Giselle Maine 5 years ago

Beautifully written! I love this hub. It is both witty and well thought out. Great original angle on the issue of make-up.


NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Thanks so much Giselle! I just can't imagine being judged by my makeup versus what I have to say when I go on an interview. Apparently, beauty isn't really just skin deep. It obviously does a whole lot more and it's unfair if it does play a huge factor. Hopefully it doesn't. Thanks for dropping a comment. Have a good one!


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Great hub! I like what you have to say here. It is very interesting what makeup can do to a woman (young or older). And it's not just makeup that can give certain signals, is it. Hair cut/style, clothes, attitude, whole presentation!

Thanks Nia! excellent article.


NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Thank you so much Maralexa! Yep. The whole presentation. And I completely understand if someone comes in off the street looking like a wet cat but if someone is presentable and has the intellect they should have the same opportunities as anyone else. In the end intellect is what truly sells. Thanks for dropping a comment! Have a good one!


learner365 profile image

learner365 5 years ago

Nice Hub..appearances do matter to certain extent but these days people are focusing unfortunately more on that rather than the intelligence and the competence which a person can offer.One must learn the person from within...its like a gift box all wrapped up,but the real thing lies in that box...:)

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