Competence: an informal makeup experiment

If you think women don’t need to wear makeup, ask yourself one question: where would Oprah Winfrey be today without makeup?

A Harvard study came out last year showing that makeup made a woman appear more competent at work.

I decided to throw on some cherry red lipstick before work two days ago, mostly to balance out my nerdy brown glasses, and I was pleasantly rewarded with lots of smiles from the event’s patrons and the largest tip payout of the year so far. I hadn’t made the link until a fellow female valet pointed out a study that showed waitresses received higher tips when wearing red lipstick.

So I thought i’d keep it up another night. Studies have also shown that women in clubs wear more makeup during ovulation, presumably due to its attractive properties (come hither and multiply!). So being past ovulation for the month, I put on the lipstick anyway and some eyeliner/mascara for good measure and went to work.

I did get an extra long stare from the company owner, who I smiled at upon arrival. I interpreted his look as saying “I’m not sure red lipstick is the professional look I want for my valets, but fuck it I’m too busy to deal with that right now.”

I was greeted by the manager, who gave me additional responsibilities upon arrival: “you know how to work a walkie-talkie, right?” Yes, sir! And was given a cushy garage attendant job. Later, another manager indicated that I would be one of three valets (out of 30) responsible for returning the highest-luxury cars to the patrons at the end of the night, and would I have any problems with those responsibilities? “No, sir. I’m a very safe driver, sir.” And later, “how long have you worked at this company?” I was hired a year ago in June. “I thought you’d been around much longer than that. “Thank you, sir.”

Lipstick, baby.