Mirror, Mirror on the wall … or the car window, or your smartphone? According to a new study, women check their reflections around eight times a day, and use any number of surfaces to do so, reported the Daily Mail.
The study, conducted by UK-based company Simple Skincare, surveyed 2,000 British women about their daily mirror-using habits. The results indicated that the majority of women feel compelled to consistently check their appearance throughout the day. Fifty percent of women reported that they wouldn’t leave their homes without some sort of mirror, and 10 percent of participants said that they use their compacts at least 10 times a day. The most common reasons listed for looking in the mirror were applying touch-ups to hair or makeup.
These results line up with findings from another UK survey released in March, which discovered that two-thirds of women found the prospect of going to work without makeup on to be more stressful than a job interview or a first date. Seventy percent of women reported that they wouldn’t go to the office without makeup on, while 31 percent wouldn’t even show up for a workout bare-faced.
The new survey also found that although women dedicate significant time to keeping up their appearances, they don't necessarily enjoy the process. About 75 percent of the women who participated told Simple Skincare that they “hate” looking in the mirror, while 39 percent reported that it negatively impacted their self-confidence.
So why continue these time-consuming beauty routines if they’re not even making us feel good? The answer, unsurprisingly, may be social pressure. “There is so much more attention on how women look compared with how men look, and women who constantly check their appearance are more likely to be self-conscious than vain,” Dr. Christine Bundy, a Senior Lecturer in Health and Medical Psychology at the University of Manchester told the Daily Mail.
This to female appearance extends to the workplace, according to a number of studies released in the last few years, and can impact perceptions of a female worker's traits and abilities. A survey commissioned by Proctor & Gamble last October found that the amount of makeup a woman wears impacts her perceived attractiveness, likeability, competence and trustworthiness, but the same survey found that women who wore “too much” makeup were perceived as less trustworthy (though still more competent and attractive than their fresh-faced colleagues). And another survey released in November 2011 found that 1/3 of British bosses thought that female workers looked too done up. When it comes to attractiveness -- especially in the workplace -- it may be hard for some women to feel like they’ve ever got it right. It's enough to make you double-check your reflection all day long.