Body acceptance programs on college campuses indicated that collegiate women often report feeling pressure to dress in a sexualized manner, and use makeup to enhance beauty. Currently, no quantitative measures exist to assess attitudes and daily behaviors that may arise in response to perceived pressure to wear makeup or dress in a provocative manner. The goal of the current studies was to develop brief self-report questionnaires aimed at assessing makeup and sexualized clothing use and attitudes in young women.
An exploratory factor analysis in a sample of 403 undergraduate women was used in Study 1 to create items to measure the pressure women feel to wear makeup and sexualized clothing. A confirmatory factor analysis (N = 153) was used in Study 2 to confirm the factor structure found in Study 1. An incremental validity analysis was also conducted in Study 2. Across both studies, participants completed online questionnaires.
In Study 1, items were developed for two questionnaires to assess perceived pressure to wear makeup and discomfort when not wearing makeup, and perceived pressure to wear sexualized clothing, and body image concerns with regards to sexualized clothing. The exploratory factor analyses revealed Unconfident and Unease scales for the Makeup Questionnaire (MUQ) and Body Dissatisfaction and Pressure scales for the Sexualized Clothing Questionnaire (SCQ). In Study 2, the confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the factor structure for the MUQ and SCQ. The incremental validity analysis revealed that these measures can be used to predict self-objectification and shape and weight concern in women.
These studies provide preliminary support for the factor structure of two novel questionnaires aimed at assessing perceived pressure to wear makeup and sexualized clothing.