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More Grooming Time Is Associated with Lower Earnings for White Women, Study Finds

Posted Sep 13, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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White women who spend a lot of time on personal grooming tend to make less money, according to a study by Elon University researchers.

The study found that nonminority women who increase their daily grooming from 45 minutes to 90 minutes a day earn an average of 3.4 percent less money than their less fastidious counterparts, according to the Careerist and the Wall Street Journal blog the Juggle.

For minority men, however, those who increased grooming from 40 to 80 minutes a day had earnings that were about 4 percent higher on average. There was no effect on the earnings of white men.

The drop in earnings for women may be due to “negative stereotypes associated with an ‘overly groomed’ woman in the workplace,” according to the researchers. The minority men may benefit, they theorize, because grooming can help counter negative stereotypes about agreeableness or conscientiousness.

Elon University researchers conducted the study using data from a Bureau of Labor Statistics time-use survey for the years 2003 to 2007. Grooming is defined as the time it takes to shower and dress, brush your teeth, shave, comb your hair, gargle and apply moisturizers.

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