Wearing Makeup In Your Dating Profile Could Be Giving The Wrong Impression, Says A New Study

Everyone seems to have advice on how to create the perfect dating profile photo. Conventional (patriarchal) wisdom suggests a little extra eyeliner or lipstick would up your potential for action, but a new study found that men don't trust women in makeup on dating sites, so going au naturale could actually work out in your favor. The research, titled "Too Hot to Trust: Examining the Relationship Between Attractiveness, Trustworthiness, and Desire to Date in Online Dating," used a sample of 153 straight men and 152 women between the ages of 17 and 36 and measured their responses to one enhanced or unenhanced photo of a person of the opposite sex.

According to social scientists at the University of Connecticut who designed the study, an enhanced photo means "an individual has 'beautified' herself/himself by using make-up and/or styling their hair, and the picture uses a flattering light/filter and angle." (So, basically, what we all do on Instagram.) After being exposed to either an enhanced or unenhanced photo, each participant answered questions regarding physical attractiveness, similarity, trustworthiness, and desire to date the person pictured. While women found guys with enhanced photos to be more attractive and more trustworthy, men found women with enhanced photos more attractive but less trustworthy.


This is good news for Amy Schumer and the no makeup selfie trend, but also reveals a fundamental (yet often subconscious) distrust of femininity. One of the study authors, Rory McGloin, told Today that: "Males are so used to seeing women who have been Photoshopped and edited [in society] and they are just skeptical" that made up women could actually look like their profile pictures in real life. Although people of both sexes can catfish, somehow the idea that women are the ones out to trick men persists.

So let's go over our options here: either you're a sexy, lying harlot if you wear makeup, or you're plain, unfuckable, wife material if you don't? What this research really points to is that we can't get rid of latent misogyny, but we can game it. Lady online daters take note: if you're searching for something serious and long-term, don't brush your hair, and if you're into something one-night-only, go crazy with that bronzer, girl! Or, maybe, just look however the hell you feel most comfortable, and the right person won't be hung up on judging your trustworthiness before even meeting you. Yeah, maybe that one.

Images: Giphy