Many moons ago, Chateau comptrollers presented their findings on the value of makeup as a sexual market value (SMV) boost for women. Conclusion: Makeup doesn’t add much to the typical woman’s looks. Worse, the value of makeup to women appeared to be declining as a result of massive cultural shifts in the dating market.
Many esteemed, and not so esteemed, guests of CH howled with indignation. Women insisted makeup turned them into beautiful princesses, so skilled was their application that men were utterly fooled by the cosmetic magic. Some men agreed, pointing to before and after photos of celebrities and fashion models as proof of the radical change in appearance that makeup could produce.
But, as CH explained to the disputants, the 0.5 point average SMV boost from makeup is a generalization that applies to the vast majority of women. The few weirdo outliers who experience 2 or more points of SMV increase from makeup are the exceptions who prove the rule.
Now, one is certainly free to disagree with a Heartiste opinion. But, more often than not, that would be a mistake. Right on cue, ð´SCIENCEð´ canters into the pen so that CH may ride her toward the sunset, victorious.
Cosmetics have little effect on attractiveness judgments compared with identity.
While at Bangor University’s School of Psychology, Dr Alex Jones, (now at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania, USA) and colleague, Dr. Robin Kramer of the University of York, recently investigated this question. To do this, they asked participants to rate the same faces with and without makeup, with the restriction that no one person saw the same woman made up and un made-up. If makeup is important for attractiveness, it should overcome the variation in attractiveness between faces easily. But if it contributes little, then the variation between faces could overshadow any benefits of makeup.
The good news was that faces with makeup were rated as more attractive – nothing new there. But when they examined all the variation in attractiveness judgments, they found an application of makeup explained only 2% of this variation. In comparison, the variation between faces accounted for 69%. This was very surprising. It’s perhaps unfeasible for makeup to completely overcome differences between individuals, but the size of its effect on attractiveness is remarkably small.
CH knob status: Polished.
If anything, CH overestimated the SMV boost of makeup. According to this research, the attractiveness enhancing effect of makeup was measly, and hugely overshadowed by the biomechanic, intrinsic differences in the facial bone substructure of women. Or, beauty is DNA deep, ladies, and men can tell the difference between a beautiful face and a plain face no matter how subtly you shade your blush.
What do these results mean? Dr. Kramer, of the Department of Psychology at York, said “These findings show that, while makeup increases attractiveness, it is a very small contributor to attractiveness judgments. […]
The take-home message here seems to be that, for better or worse, our attractiveness is mostly determined by our natural appearance, and wearing makeup will only have a small effect in comparison.”
Don’t misunderstand the message of this post. Makeup may not improve a woman’s looks much, but it does do something. Women should, and will, continue to put the penis on a pedestal and try-hard to please men by using makeup to increase their attractiveness, even when that attractiveness increase is miniscule.
A 2% improvement in one’s odds doesn’t matter much in any endeavor…. except one:
The endeavor to find the highest quality mate possible for oneself.
The sexual market is the ur-market. It is foundational. All other markets — including the venerated economics market — bend their knees to the Sex Market Overlord. We humans may not have the perception to clearly understand or believe that a sex market governs all our actions and behaviors, (as it is the wont of the cosmic force 10 amplifier that the functioning of the sex market should remain opaque to the neural antennae of daily human consciousness), but that doesn’t mean our natural self-deluded state is proof that the sex market is a phantom.
It’s not surprising, then, that men and women will breathlessly grasp at the slimmest advantages to tilt the sexual market playing field in their favor, where the only game that matters is played, and played for a zero sum outcome in a battle as pitched, if not quite as bloody, as any war for survival. It’s why women will color their faces, despite receiving little benefit and less still the morning-after when the ruse is smeared off, for an infinitesimally small leg up over their female competition.
The stakes are that high.
PS With each day, science lends its imprimatur to the CH Dating Market Value Tests. Ladies, head on over and take the test for yourselves. Like 23AndMe, the patented CH DMV test will give you a readout of your overall attractiveness to men, where you rank relative to other women, and what that all means for your romantic prospects and your happiness.