The ‘Lipstick Effect’: It Is About Professionalism, Really
In tough economic periods, most women are known to engage in what has been referred to as “lipstick effect,” which involves them stockpiling beauty products and cosmetics. It can be argued that they view this as a familiar and simple way of addressing the present economic situation.
During major recessions in the United States’ history, this phenomenon has often occurred and varying explanations about the concept has been proposed. However, it is the new research carried out by the Bocconi University and the University of Notre Dame, that for the very first time revealed that the motivation of women in economically challenging periods have transcended the instinctive need of women for male providers. According to McKenzie Rees and Ekaterina Netchaeva of Mendoza College of business and the Bocconi University respectively, makeup is being used by women to professionally get ahead.
In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, sales of lipsticks reportedly soared. Apart from this, in the economic meltdown of 2008 when the economy was in turmoil, and most other businesses recorded unprecedented decline in sales, the figures of cosmetic giants L’Oréal showed a 5.3 percent growth in sales. McKenzie Rees further noted that women were not exactly looking to attract financially buoyant partners, as indicated by the past research.
Although previous publications on the phenomenon of lipstick effect have suggested that most women only utilize beauty products as a tool to attract romantic partners, McKenzie Rees further argued that as their work suggested, women not only prefer makeup over seeking male partners for the monetary resources they need to stay afloat in the economically challenging periods, they also utilize it as an important tool in a professional setting. As well as achieving their romantic ambitions, she concluded that women also utilize makeup to guarantee that their professional ambitions are achieved.
Of the various researches carried out to comprehend the type of relationship that exists between economic hardship, romantic and professional goals, and the makeup preferences of women, majority of the outcome pointed to the fact that majority of the employed women who hold a concern for the ailing economy look to achieve their financial goals via a combination of favorable impressions at work, and a romantic partner. The experiment highlights the major goals women aim to achieve by using makeup.
Apart from this, other experiments which sampled the opinion of both employed and unemployed women on their concern over the economic recession revealed that most women would rather choose a beauty product that augments their professional image, over those that will make them more appealing to romantic partners. The result of the experiment reveals that both employed and unemployed women who are adequately concerned about the poor economy are no longer interested in seeking men to provide for them. Rather, the research demonstrates that these women are willing to take a proactive approach to improving their own economic situation.
Because women are aware of how achieving their goals can be aided by enhancing their appearance, they tend therefore to favor the improvement of their professional appearance as against their romantic attractiveness.