Women, Power & Appearance

Make-Up Issue

Do people like you more when you wear makeup?

A study released this month, by researchers at Harvard and Boston University, supposedly says yes. And people will see you as more trustworthy and competent too.

What a sham—and a shame. Yes, the study was conducted by researchers at top universities, but it was paid for by Procter & Gamble, which manufactures CoverGirl makeup, among other products.

A footnote asserts that P&G “had no role in study design, data collection, and analysis…”, but that doesn’t mean it had no influence.

After all, who stands to gain if women are convinced to spend more on their appearance? You know that this is a long-term financial issue for women. A 2009 study by the non-profit YWCA calculated that women spend $7 billion a year on beauty: an average of $100 per month.

But a new documentary makes a powerful case that what you spend on beauty isn’t about money—but capital, your personal capital.

Tomorrow night, don’t miss the television premiere of Miss Representation on the OWN network. (And if you’re saving money by cutting out cable—many of us are!—look for a screening in your area here.)

Strip down. How do you view your spending on beauty? Necessity? Frivolity? Investment?