(NEW YORK) — The average American woman spends thousands of dollars each year on beauty and salon treatments. That’s about 160 hours of grooming and primping.
Phoebe Baker Hyde decided to explore what would happen if she gave up makeup for an entire year.
“I did what a man would do. Put on deodorant. Put on a little gel and head out the door. Maybe I can approximate that. The makeup would go, the jewelry would go,” Baker Hyde, the author of the new book, The Beauty Experiment, told Katie Couric on her ABC talk show Katie.
The result? Baker Hyde said she felt more beautiful than ever without all the makeup.
While she found the experiment a success, experts say society may be less open to the idea.
“Studies indicate that we do tend to see attractive people, conventionally attractive people, we see them as happier, we see them as warmer, in fact, a few studies have shown that they even get lower prison sentences or don’t get convicted at all,” said Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College who specializes in gender studies.
Couric’s show decided to do its own social experiment to see what would happen. Katie sent out a camera crew with Maureen, who was all dolled up and in need of help on the streets of New York.
People stopped to help her, and they even offered to take her where she needed to go.
But when Maureen dressed down, put on glasses and left off her makeup, the results were quite different. Hardly anyone stopped to help her, and those who did had reservations.
“I was definitely surprised because I don’t normally wear makeup when I go out, and I don’t really look at the reactions that people are giving me. And when I did this experiment I really saw how differently I was treated because of how I looked,” she said, speaking on Katie.
Hyde also stopped shaving her legs during her makeup-less year.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio