Makeup, a double-edged sword

My daughter who is not even 10 years old steals my eye concealer every morning, I don’t know why yet, but she does it before leaving for school. And yesterday, when we went to a concert, she appeared in my bedroom with makeup on her face. Eyeshadow, blusher, lip gloss and her precious eye concealer…so beautiful she is.

Men and women agree when they say that women with makeup on are more attractive, healthier and a lot more feminine. And yes, I know that what I just said has a lot of nuances, but when using makeup to highlight the eyes, lips, and a little more colour is brought to the skin the impression is that.

But it’s not just a matter of beauty. Make-up on women could even be linked to professional success and high social status. So the decision to wear makeup or not could be decisive on many occasions. And more so, if we take into account that here there is no agreement between the two genders because we appreciate differently the fact that a woman has makeup on or not.

You will see now what I’m talking.

In a scientific study on the perception of makeup, a group of men and women valued the attractiveness, dominance and prestige in front of a series of images of women’s faces with and without these types of cosmetics.

Dominance and prestige are two characteristics that are studied in human behaviour with its relationship with social status. Dominance has little acceptance among most of us when associated with arrogance, narcissism and even aggressiveness. On the contrary, prestige implies exceptional abilities and qualities in the individual and is linked with pride and self-confidence.

Well, the results of the research indicated that while men saw it as prestige and success when women wore makeup, women saw it as a reference to dominance.

Why do women judge our gender so harshly?

The answer is easy to understand, men in society do not usually compete directly with women. They will care very little if a woman is wearing makeup or not, in either case, she is not a rival. Besides, they think that makeup gives a woman a halo of attractiveness, which not only makes her look more beautiful but also to have a better sense of humour, be more extroverted and with greater self-esteem. All of these are qualities that tip the scales towards prestige.

However, women only see problems. The fact of being surrounded by beautiful women is a threat. Women wearing makeup look younger, which is a clear indicator of fertility. Even their attractiveness can lead us to think that they have more sexual relationships and to top it all up they are less restrictive during these encounters. In short, somewhat promiscuous.

Don’t you think its amazing what all these scientists can find out?

Jealousy leads women to punish those of their gender. So, this is how human nature tends to solve conflicts, men through physical force, and women through indirect aggressions such as exclusion or gossip.

The different perception that men and women have about makeup could have an impact on how women interact with other individuals, whatever their genre, and influence how they present themselves to others, especially in the professional field.

And now, I’m going get the nail varnish remover for my daughter. Her father is arriving tomorrow, and he’s not going to find it funny to see his little girl with those nails. Not at the moment anyway.

That hormones govern the lives of many women can sound somewhat dramatic and exaggerated. But whether they are related to us being more or less attractive is debatable.

However, the idyll between estrogens and beauty has long been a thing of the past. There are very curious studies concerning this, in which more than one of us would have liked to participate, but as a researcher, of course, no one offers to get rid of your defects.

Now you’ll see what I mean.

Have you ever come across a woman, and find yourself staring at her hands, neck, and her face and wondering how old she is?

Well, something similar was done by a group of scientists in a study on the estimation of age in women, and it turns out that those who calculated the most years, just by looking, had the fewer estrogens circulating in their bodies. In contrast, those who appeared to be younger had very high levels. The results were surprising, although criticizable because they did not take into account whether they were smokers or not. A detail that the skin rarely overlooks.

Then it was the turn of attractiveness. And not one, but several studies agree that the most attractive, most feminine, and healthiest looking women also have the highest estrogen levels. Even within the menstrual cycle itself, it turns out that the days when you’re at your prettiest are the days when you’re fertile, and therefore, with the estrogens at there peak.

But nothing lasts forever. After a period of full apogee around 20, estrogens decreases up until the age of about 50, when menopause arrives and the great hecatomb occurs.
As far as estrogens are concerned, of course, I don’t want to depress anyone.

So what happens to our skin? Well, everything. And whoever has already passed thirty will agree. To be exact and without wanting to sound like a cosmetic advert: flaccidity, sagging, spots, wrinkles…

Estrogens provide an adequate thickness to the dermis, which is the middle layer of the skin, increasing the amount of elastin and collagen, and preventing the latter from being destroyed. But in addition, they retain the water that is in this layer, so the skin is turgid and well hydrated.

So while they are there, they are wonderful!

In nature, nothing happens without meaning. The fact that a woman is TECHNICALLY more beautiful during the fertile time of her life has its logic. At least evolutionarily speaking.

The difference between a pre-menopausal woman and a post-menopausal woman is, without a doubt, the ability of the last one to bring babies into this world. That’s what it’s all about, sharing your precious genes with the other sex, so it is better to do it with the one who is younger and healthier and assures you long life for your offsprings.

But be careful, this isn’t up to men, women or even religions to decide. It’s for our genes, which are so goddamn difficult.

By the way, the picture above is of my grandmother, a couple of days before she died at 98. Without collagen, elastin and many wrinkles. But she was beautiful in every way.