Desperately needing a blog idea, I thought I’d try to replicate the experiment. Would it make a difference if it was a 40-something woman who never wears makeup? If it took place at work instead of on campus? If I crammed it all in to three consecutive days instead of three days spread throughout the week? The results were shocking.
As this look was par for the course, I didn’t get any comments on this day. Sure, the guy at the gas station called me “ma’am,” but that’s nothing new. I finally asked one of the women I worked with to honestly critique my look.
“Um, I guess you look exhausted, but you always do. I just assumed you had eight kids or something.”
I was not pleased. “What am I, a Kennedy? I have no kids. This is my natural beauty.”
She smiled, kind of like she was gritting her teeth. “Sure, okay. Looks like you’ve got a fresh new zit on your chin. Might want to put some cover-up on that.”
Day One Conclusion: I look like a tired-looking old hag with acne.
Sadly, I found that people were a lot chattier today. One co-worker who has always snubbed me asked me what my weekend plans were. Another told me I looked “different . . . but it’s nice.” Instead of giving me a boost, this made me feel a little crummy about how I normally look. Later in the day, I accidentally rubbed my eyes without thinking, leaving a trail of dried mascara crumbs along the side of my face that I didn’t know was there until I got home.
Day Two Conclusion: People seem to like the makeup, but not enough to tell me when it’s smeared across my face.
And that was just the president and vice president of the company, respectively. As I passed coworkers in the hallway, they all started talking, either to me or about me. I couldn't believe it! Did wearing a lot of makeup really make that much of a difference? How shallow was our society?
When I got to my cubicle, a crowd formed. Everybody wanted to see my glamorous makeup job. I'll admit it: it felt good. All the attention made me feel like a total rock star!
Day Three Conclusion: The reaction I got from my coworkers and random strangers pumped me so full of energy, all I wanted to do was rock and roll all night.
Conclusion: I hate to admit it, but wearing makeup really does matter. Yet I do still value sleep above all else, so I'll continue to wear the 'no makeup' look for a long time to come. However, I do think I'll be breaking out the "full makeup" look for the next wedding or funeral I attend.