Women's Empowerment in the Workplace: Changing Perceptions over Time with Makeup

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:00
Oral Presentation
Kezia MOROS-ACHONG, Broward College, USA
Kaya HAMER-SMALL, Broward College, USA
In the early 1900s, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden created careers for themselves that redefined how makeup and women were perceived in society during a time when the women’s movement made strides in earning more rights for women. Before Arden and Rubenstein’s work, makeup was seen as inappropriate because it was commonly worn by sex workers. However, Arden and Rubinstein believed that makeup was for all women. This study analyzes the history and society of the 1900s regarding women and makeup, as well as the efforts of Rubinstein and Arden and why they are still effective to this day. This study also uses the theory of social comparison to examine how the increasing visibility and marketing of makeup by makeup gurus and makeup tutorials on YouTube and Instagram have influenced young women’s self-perception as they pursue careers and how it empowers them in the workplace today. The results will be drawn from two focus groups in which makeup as a tool of empowerment will be discussed. Preliminary results suggest that makeup is more accepted by the younger generation because of access and diversity in its marketing from peers through social media. Theoretical implications for future research are discussed, such as applications to racial and ethnic, social class differences and occupational variations.