Dollaring Yourself Up

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano connects “our tendency to overvalue fruits of our own labor,” known as the Ikea effect, to beauty routines:

It’s crossed my mind that the Ikea effect might even be part of the larger reason most women wear makeup: The more labor we pour into our “product”—that is, ourselves—the more we value we assign to it. I’m not so cynical as to believe that we think of ourselves as products that can be bought and sold; regardless, our culture certainly shapes women’s value as lying in our appearance, even if we don’t literally translate that into dollars. Put somewhat less cynically, the self-care of beauty work is part of how we physically enact our self-assigned value.