Dressing sexy for school or the office will garner snide remarks by female peers — behind your back, of course.
Women turn hostile when a young, attractive female dresses provocatively, a new study finds.
Led by University of Ottawa psychology professor Tracy Vaillancourt and McMaster University’s Aanchal Sharma, researchers examined intrasexual competition on campus, finding “very strong support for women’s intolerance of sexy peers.”
The paper was recently published in the journal Aggressive Behaviour.
In the study, female students were invited to come in and discuss relationships.
They were then interrupted by a random attractive woman.
Virtually all participants reacted in a negative manner when she was dressed provocatively.
The same woman, though, donning pants and a basic shirt, yielded no backlash.
“Results of this experiment were striking — with the exception of two women, all of the participants who were coded as engaging in indirect aggression were assigned to the sexy condition,” reads the report.
Participants, making derogatory remarks about the woman’s outfit, character, and sexual morals after she left, were secretly videotaped.
Just one was bold enough to call her out to her face.
Participants were secretly videotaped, making derogatory remarks about the woman’s outfit, character, and sexual morals after she left.
“They also did not want to be friends with the sexy confederate,” reads the report.
This mean girls mentality follows females into adulthood, and eventually the workplace.
That’s when getting ready for work in the morning can get tricky.
While women should be dressed professionally and comfortably in an office, “I think that definition of professional attire gets looser and looser, because we’re not all suit-and-tie kind of people,” said human resources expert Sari Cantor from Recruiting in Motion.
“Unless you’re working in a bar,” she recommended leaving skintight outfits at home.
Cleavage also gets the red light.
“Too much of anything is excessive,” said Cantor.
Scandalous attire may get you promoted, but it’s short-lived and “doesn’t mean everybody likes you,” Cantor said.
“When you’re using it to propel yourself as a crutch, it’s really hard to be taken seriously.”
Drawing attention by wearing clothing that’s too sexy detracts from “what’s coming out of my mouth,” said Cantor.
Projecting the right image comes from “understanding what that culture is and dressing to the culture,” she continued.
“And if that doesn’t fit you, then that’s not the job for you.”