#nomakeup Movement Does Not Stop the Use of Cosmetics
They found that the movement was associated with an overall increase, rather than a decrease, in sales of major cosmetic product categories.
Actually, the no-makeup movement exacerbated a key tension that women have to look attractive or maintain a set of beauty standards without makeup.
Researchers analyzed 784 selfies tagged with #nomakeup on Instagram and sorted them into two groups: “real natural beauty selfies” that seemed to be makeup-free and “constructed natural beauty” selfies where the person in the photograph appeared to be wearing makeup.
Later, they used a machine learning model to compare the number of likes and perceived attractiveness of 3,155 additional photos.
The artfully crafted “natural” look won out in this analysis suggesting that people are motivated to say they are not wearing makeup when they are to gain the benefit of having an attractive appearance without makeup.
Finally, researchers conducted a set of experiments to test more directly how others assess the attractiveness of an individual with the amount of effort needed to look that way.
In one study, the same selfie of a woman was shown to 633 participants with different captions: one with the claim of no makeup, one without any mention of makeup and one said that the woman was wearing makeup.
Participants who were shown the post with the no-makeup caption rated the woman as more attractive than the same woman in the other two posts.
These results are consistent with prior work showing that being aware that a woman is wearing makeup can lead the woman to be judged less positively.
The beauty industry emphasis on natural yet beautiful, glamorous with low effort looks won’t be letting up any time soon, with companies based on the natural but better concept.
If we have to be who we ‘naturally are,’ we often indirectly shame women who may use tools to manage certain aesthetics concerns such as cystic acne.
Only a few can wake up looking naturally beautiful at least by society’s standards. If we elevate natural beauty and implicitly shame beauty work, this will end up reinforcing inequality among beauty standards of women.
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