Forty-four percent of U.S. women wear makeup to hide flaws in skin, while 32% wear makeup because it makes them feel good, survey shows; 11% of female respondents say they wear makeup because it's societal norm
February 22, 2012
– The Renfrew Center Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing the education, prevention, research and treatment of eating disorders, today announced survey results which revealed that nearly half of all women have negative feelings about their image when not wearing makeup and associate a "bare face" with feeling unattractive and insecure. Additionally, one quarter of the women surveyed began wearing makeup at age 13 or earlier.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Renfrew Center Foundation, from December 20-22, 2011 -- among 1,292 women 18 years of age and older. Highlights from the survey include:
Almost Half of Women Have Negative Feelings When They Don't Wear Makeup
Forty-four percent of women have negative feelings when they are not wearing makeup, reporting feeling unattractive (16%), self-conscious (14%) and naked/as though something is missing (14%). Only three percent of women said going without makeup made them feel more attractive.
Women Wear Makeup for Both Physical and Psychological Reasons
Almost half (44%) of women wear makeup to hide flaws in their skin. They also cited emotional responses, with 48 percent noting that they wear makeup because they like the way they look with it and 32 percent agreeing that it makes them feel good. Eleven percent said they wear makeup because it is a societal norm.
Wearing Makeup is Not Just for Adults
Of women who wear makeup, almost half started wearing it between the ages of 14 and 16 (51%), yet more than a quarter of women began using it between the ages of 11 and 13 (27%).
"Wearing makeup to enhance one's appearance is normal in our society and often a right of passage for young women," said Adrienne Ressler, National Training Director for the Renfrew Center Foundation and a renowned body image expert. "There is concern, however, when makeup no longer becomes a tool for enhancement but, rather, a security blanket that conceals negative feelings about one's self-image and self-esteem. For many individuals, these feelings may set the stage for addictions or patterns of disordered eating to develop."
During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 26 - March 3), The Renfrew Center Foundation is sponsoring a national campaign, titled Barefaced & Beautiful, Without & Within (www.renfrew.org). Through the campaign, Renfrew will encourage women nationwide to go without makeup for a day in order to start a dialogue about healthy body image and inner beauty.
"In this age of toddler beauty pageants, digital retouching, celebrity worship, and other unrealistic cultural messages about beauty, there are definite challenges to developing a positive body image; challenges that put women at risk for eating disorders and other self destructive behaviors," said Ressler. "Our hope is that through Barefaced & Beautiful, Without & Within, we will promote greater understanding that real beauty and self-esteem truly begins from within."
To show your support for Barefaced & Beautiful, Without & Within, The Renfrew Center Foundation is asking for women to go without makeup on Monday, February 27th and promote their participation through their social media networks by tweeting a photo or changing their Facebook profile picture to one of their natural self. To learn about participating in Barefaced & Beautiful, Without & Within, please go to www.renfrew.org.
The Renfrew Center Foundation
The Renfrew Center Foundation, founded in 1990, is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to advancing the education, prevention, research and treatment of eating disorders. The Renfrew Center Foundation is supported financially by private donations and funding from The Renfrew Center, the nation's first and largest network of eating disorder treatment facilities. The Renfrew Center now operates eleven facilities in nine states. Through its programs, the Foundation aims to increase awareness of eating disorders as a public health issue and research the pathology and recovery patterns of people with eating disorders. The Foundation also seeks to educate professionals in the assessment, treatment and prevention of behavioral and emotional disorders by sponsoring an annual conference, as well as numerous seminars throughout the country. To date, the Foundation has trained nearly 25,000 professionals. For information about The Renfrew Center Foundation, please call toll-free 1-877-367-3383 or visit www.renfrew.org.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Renfrew Center Foundation from December 20-22, 2011 among 1,292 women ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Holly Dean at 215.875.4365.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.