Attractive women who wear lipstick and mascara seem more 'aggressive'

Attractive women who wear lipstick and mascara seem more 'aggressive'

December 18, 2021

Attractive women who wear lipstick and mascara are deemed more ‘aggressive’, while plainer types are judged as ‘better leaders’ when made up, research finds

  • Dramatic make-up on ‘attractive women’ is more ‘aggressive’, a study has found
  • Female participants judged make-up on ‘plain’ and ‘attractive’ women differently
  • They were asked how the different women made them feel about themselves

A touch of eyeliner and blusher can do wonders for how we feel about ourselves.

But it can also affect how other women feel about us, a study suggests.

Psychologists asked female participants to look at pictures of women of varying attractiveness with and without make-up.

They found attractive women were deemed more aggressive when made up.

The team, from Charles Sturt University and Federation University in Australia, said make-up may serve as a form of ‘intrasexual competition’ in highly attractive women (pictured: file photo)

Make-up on plainer types, however, only made women judge them as ‘better leaders’.

In a second experiment, women were asked to view similar pictures, then report how desirable they thought they themselves were.

The more desirable participants who viewed the photos of attractive women in make-up experienced a slump in how they felt about their own looks.

Psychologists asked female participants to look at pictures of women of varying attractiveness with and without make-up (pictured: file photo)

But the less desirable women were not impacted.

The team, from Charles Sturt University and Federation University in Australia, said make-up may serve as a form of ‘intrasexual competition’ in highly attractive women, but performs a different social function among plainer women.

Co-author Dr Danielle Sulikowski said: ‘When highly attractive women wear make-up it’s like, “I’m here, I mean business”…Other highly attractive women seem to “get” this signal and respect it.’

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