In today’s world, more is expected of women than ever before. Women must be nurturing yet independent. They must be homemakers and breadwinners. They must be warm yet purposeful. They must be scientists, artists, teachers, and CEOs.
Where does beautification fit into these competing demands? New research published in the journal PLoS ONE found that appearance adjustments — in the form of wearing desired clothing, makeup, and accessories — helped women approach the world with an increased sense of strength, vim, and assertiveness.
“Some women report that beautification is an agentic and assertive act, whereas others find beautification to be oppressive and disempowering,” state the researchers, led by Khandis Blake of the University of New South Wales in Australia. “We found that women demonstrated higher psychological assertiveness after beautifying their appearance.”