Bad news for bare-faced beauties: Women who wear makeup are viewed as more competent, likeable and trustworthy, according to new research from Procter & Gamble and Harvard University. In two studies, separate groups of people were shown images of 25 women four ways: without makeup, and wearing three different makeup looks (professional, natural, and glamorous), then asked to judge their competence, likability, trustworthiness and attractiveness after looking at them for 250 milliseconds and for an unlimited amount of time. After looking at the faces for 250 milliseconds, viewers gave women made up in all three styles higher marks for competence, likability, trustworthiness and attractiveness than those without makeup.
In the second study, when volunteers got to linger over the pictures for as long as they wanted, they gave the same higher ratings to women with the professional and natural makeup looks. But, interestingly, they perceived the women wearing the glamorous makeup look to be more attractive and competent than the bare-faced ladies, but equally as likeable and actually less trustworthy.
Tell us: If you wear makeup, do you wear it for yourself or to convey a certain image to others— or both?
There may be some merit behind the movie Mean Girls after all: Those who have more symmetrical facial features, regarded as universally attractive, are also more likely to focus on themselves and less likely to cooperate with others, according to a study presented at last week’s Nobel Laureate Meetings in Lindau, Germany. In the lab, people were given the choice of working together for the greater good or serving their own interests (with the chance of gaining more if the other person chose to work together), then their faces were analyzed. Those with symmetrical faces were more likely to choose the self-centered course.
Why? The researchers’ hypothesize that since people with symmetrical faces are less prone to congenital diseases and often viewed as attractive (as previous studies have found), others see them as better potential partners. This makes beautiful people have less of a need to depend on and cooperate with others, so they’re more self-serving.
Tell us: Do you think there’s a correlation between good looks and selfishness?