Does Appearance Really Matter?

Jun 17, 2013 | The Beautiful



I’ve always joked that when you live in Hollywood, you sign a sort of contract with an unseen devil that says it’s totally normal to be judged based on artifice and superficial standards, and that the weather here makes up for the unfairness.  Apparently, while not as over-the-top as Hollywood, around the world many people judge others by appearance in very real ways.  Some of the simple statistics are wildly intriguing. 



For years, my mother would harass me about why I didn’t wear makeup every day. “Don’t you want to look better?” she’d ask, innocently, as though it wasn’t like telling me I looked bad without it.  My sister always said my mother was nicer wearing makeup.  I always felt that makeup was for going out, not for everyday life.  Now that makeup is less toxic and more treatment oriented (Beauty Balms, tinted sunscreens, etc) I am more of a daily believer, but still not extreme. There’s nothing wrong with it- I just have better things to do in the morning.

What do the statistics say about wearing makeup, getting dressed up and even standing straight?

Makeup makes you seem more competent. Well, the New York Times sites a study that flashed pictures of the same woman wearing varying degrees of makeup. The most made up faces were judged as most competent.

Also, women who wear makeup make up to 30% more money on average. Can you believe this one? It’s among the fascinating statistic in this piece about how, indeed, we are judged to a degree by our appearance.  Statistically speaking, even people who exercise more are paid more.  Forbes breaks it down HERE. 

Successful people stand straighter.  One of the ways you can see success walking toward you in through posture.  This does make sense to be.  People with straight posture tend to have more energy, confidence, and “space in their body” as my most favorite yogi & genius Tara Stiles would say.  That is powerful. Actually, when you stand straight you trigger a feeling of confidence in your mind, neurologically.  THIS article in Psychology Today can break it down for you!

You can dress for success.  This is a very old and time-worn concept, and to a great degree it holds true.  It doesn’t matter if your clothes are thrift or couture, but it does matter that you are pulled together and have your style intact.  Color actually has a massive impact on you as well as others, so you should pick colors that help you communicate further through your style.  HERE is a fashion feng shui article I love that breaks down what colors to wear to make certain types of impressions!

None of this is to say that you should stand in a mirror and pull yourself to pieces.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  Embrace good posture and your confidence will soar.  Wear a little non-toxic makeup if you feel up to it and see if that livens you up when you aren’t feeling great about yourself (there’s a whole section on the blog dedicated to non-toxic beauty for this reason!).  Maybe makeover your closet and purge some of the clothes that no longer suit your style (I can think of 10 things to donate off the top of my head).  Becoming a bit more stylish is artistic, it’s not superficial.  It is going to be an interesting experiment to see if I wear makeup every day if I make 30% more money, though!

Do you believe that appearance and style influences how you are perceived as a person or at your job?


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