Women who wear ‘heavy’ make-up are less likely to be viewed as a good leader, according to new research.
The research, conducted by Abertay University, revealed that the amount of make-up a woman is wearing can have a negative impact on perceptions of her leadership ability.
Participants in the study were asked to view a series of images featuring the same woman without cosmetics and with make-up applied for a “social night out”.
Computer software was used to manipulate the faces and the amount of makeup was also manipulated in the face images.
Each participant completed a face perception task where they judged sixteen face-pairs, indicating how much better a leader they felt their chosen face to be compared to the other face.
It was found that both men and women evaluated women more negatively as a leader if the image suggested she was wearing a lot of makeup.
Dr Christopher Watkins, leader of the study said, “This research follows previous work in this area, which suggests that wearing make-up 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 make-up does not enhance a woman’s dominance by benefitting how we evaluate her in a leadership role.”