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Influence of Cosmetics on the Confidence of College Women: An Exploratory Study Sarah Scott Hanover College.

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Presentation on theme: "Influence of Cosmetics on the Confidence of College Women: An Exploratory Study Sarah Scott Hanover College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Influence of Cosmetics on the Confidence of College Women: An Exploratory Study Sarah Scott Hanover College

2 Background Historically, research on women’s self-esteem has been focused on body image Historically, research on women’s self-esteem has been focused on body image “A number of experimental studies have found that exposure to images of physically attractive women may indeed have detrimental effects on self- evaluation.” (Trampe, Stapel, & Siero, 2007) “A number of experimental studies have found that exposure to images of physically attractive women may indeed have detrimental effects on self- evaluation.” (Trampe, Stapel, & Siero, 2007) Women’s confidence linked to their feelings about physical appearance Women’s confidence linked to their feelings about physical appearance

3 General issues Self is invoked through appearance practices (LaBelle, 1988) Self is invoked through appearance practices (LaBelle, 1988) Mark of womanhood and femininity (Beausoleil, 1992; Peiss, 1990) Mark of womanhood and femininity (Beausoleil, 1992; Peiss, 1990) Enhances social interactions (Miller & Cox, 1982) Enhances social interactions (Miller & Cox, 1982) Illusion; looks can be altered per situation Illusion; looks can be altered per situation Media influence and societal/cultural standards of beauty (Kelson, Kearney-Cooke, & Lansky, 1990) Media influence and societal/cultural standards of beauty (Kelson, Kearney-Cooke, & Lansky, 1990)

4 “Women who are beautiful or who achieve beauty according to the imposed standards are rewarded; those who cannot or choose not to be beautiful are punished, economically and socially.” –Naomi Wolf

5 How it makes them feel Wearing more makeup has been positively correlated with women’s public self- consciousness (Miller & Cox, 1982) Wearing more makeup has been positively correlated with women’s public self- consciousness (Miller & Cox, 1982) Cosmetics allow women to feel better about themselves (Cash, 1987, 1988) Cosmetics allow women to feel better about themselves (Cash, 1987, 1988) Self-esteem increases (Wright et al., 1970) Self-esteem increases (Wright et al., 1970)

6 Research Question Does the presence of makeup and the extent to which it is applied affect a woman’s confidence in a given situation? Does the presence of makeup and the extent to which it is applied affect a woman’s confidence in a given situation? Specifically, do women match their make-up to situations? Specifically, do women match their make-up to situations?

7 Participants 4 women attending a small Midwestern liberal arts college 4 women attending a small Midwestern liberal arts college 2 freshmen and 2 juniors 2 freshmen and 2 juniors Ages Ages All Caucasian All Caucasian

8 Materials Consent and debriefing form Consent and debriefing form Revised version of Cash Cosmetics use Inventory (CCUI) (Cash, 1985) Revised version of Cash Cosmetics use Inventory (CCUI) (Cash, 1985)

9 Materials Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety survey Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety survey I felt nervous. I felt nervous. - Not at all (+0) - Somewhat (+1) - Moderately so (+2) - Very much so (+3) 10 out of 20 were reverse-scored according to standard procedures 10 out of 20 were reverse-scored according to standard procedures Participants completed one after each situation Participants completed one after each situation

10 Materials Use survey developed by researcher Use survey developed by researcher Used to record the situation and style of makeup worn, as well as a series of before questions Used to record the situation and style of makeup worn, as well as a series of before questions e.g. “How do you think your makeup will make you feel today while (circle one) at class/out with friends?” e.g. “How do you think your makeup will make you feel today while (circle one) at class/out with friends?” and questions responded to after the situation and questions responded to after the situation e.g. “Did you receive any comments/reactions from others? If so, please list any you can recall.” e.g. “Did you receive any comments/reactions from others? If so, please list any you can recall.”

11 Procedure Participants wore makeup in 3 different ways in 2 actual situations Participants wore makeup in 3 different ways in 2 actual situations

12 Procedure At the beginning of each week, participants were given: At the beginning of each week, participants were given: 3 state-trait anxiety surveys 3 state-trait anxiety surveys 3 before/after surveys 3 before/after surveys Week 1=class Week 1=class Week 2=out with girlfriends Week 2=out with girlfriends

13 Influence on Anxiety

14 Results Participants felt the need to offset their makeup usage Participants felt the need to offset their makeup usage “I thought that I would feel overdone so I kind of dressed up to compensate.” “I thought that I would feel overdone so I kind of dressed up to compensate.” Anxiety levels may be due to awareness of action Anxiety levels may be due to awareness of action “I put eyeshadow on which I don’t usually waste my time with.” “I put eyeshadow on which I don’t usually waste my time with.”

15 Conclusions No significant relationship found between makeup and situation No significant relationship found between makeup and situation Anxiety levels may be due to extra thought given to makeup Anxiety levels may be due to extra thought given to makeup Participants were made self-aware of actions Participants were made self-aware of actions “Because I was wearing more makeup, I thought I would attract more attention considering I normally wear minimal makeup” “Because I was wearing more makeup, I thought I would attract more attention considering I normally wear minimal makeup”

16 Future Research This topic deserves further attention This topic deserves further attention Significant results may be obtained with: Significant results may be obtained with: Greater number of participants Greater number of participants Differing method, such as picture study or open- ended survey Differing method, such as picture study or open- ended survey More control over amount/type of cosmetics used More control over amount/type of cosmetics used Revised cosmetic survey – more specific Revised cosmetic survey – more specific

17 Any questions/comments?? Any questions/comments??


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