We all know judgy women. They are often self-important and self-righteous and want you to know when they think you’re not living your life right. Ugh, what a drag and the antithesis of the aging boldly idea.
Judgy women can be especially harsh when it comes to the looks of other women, and it seems a new survey has uncovered what really gets their feathers ruffled.
Researchers at Swansea University in the U.K. studied the reactions of 306 participants to different scenarios in which middle-aged women had anti-aging treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers.
For example, participants were told: “Beth is a middle-aged woman who wants to maintain a more youthful appearance to look for a romantic partner.” Or that a woman was using Botox to avoid age discrimination on the job.
Women were most judgmental when it came to why the hypothetical subjects were getting treatments.
The Office or the Bedroom?
The study, published in the journal Evolutionary Behavoiral Sciences, concluded that women evaluated other women “most positively when age concealment was motivated by self-esteem, followed by employment and least positively for romantic purposes.” Men, however, did not differ on their evaluations based on the motivation for the work.
Some women see Botox the same way our ancestors might have viewed too much female adornment.
‘This finding highlights the idea that personal wellbeing as motivation for appearance enhancement is more accepted than other motivations,” says lead author Michael Jeanne Childs.
Childs sees evolution at work for this harsh judgment. “From an evolutionary perspective,” she says, “women are judged more negatively by other women when they use treatments to attract a partner because they may be viewed as a potential competitor.”
It appears that some women see Botox the same way our ancestors might have viewed too much female adornment. Maybe they see smoothing out the wrinkles as providing an unfair advantage on Bumble or OK Cupid. The researchers were surprised that even though Botox and other fillers are becoming more commonly used, attitudes aren’t looser.
At NextTribe, we believe every woman should age boldly in her own way—with cosmetic help or not, with hair color or not. We hope that women can be more accepting and embracing of each other’s choices.