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Would You Unwillingly Wear Makeup to Save Your Job?

When's the last time you noticed if a waitress wasn't wearing makeup? Even as a beauty addict, I can't say I've ever noticed one way or another. I know I'd care about hair being away from her face (and my food!), but whether she was blushed, glossy, and polished, that's a different story.

Not for everyone, though. One San Diego-area waitress, Shenoa Vild, claims her bare face — and refusal to conform to mandatory makeup — led to her firing. Seems she was a good employee of Trophy's in Mission Valley, CA, for five years, until the small chain was sold. New management came in to switch things up into a more upscale spot, and that involved having the wait staff be all done up.

Vild, who doesn't wear makeup, stood her ground and was officially let go for being "unable to deal with the transition." She's since landed another job with no such rules, but I'm curious to know how you'd react in the same situation. Do you give her credit for not budging, or do you think she should have chosen a different battle? Side note: The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not discrimination for employers to make women wear makeup. This situation is legal, but is it fair?


Join The Conversation
pxpxcutie pxpxcutie 8 years
I love makeup, so I definitely would. I've worked at a place where women weren't allowed to wear pants/slacks, though. We had to wear dresses or skirts. In all honesty, it didn't bother me that much. But I guess I have a tendency to just go with the flow.
zuke zuke 8 years
If they wanted to pay for my makeup, I would wear it (actually, I wear it all the time anyway), but I think being polished a presentable is a much more realistic expectation.
ren_kr ren_kr 8 years
it's a bit of a touchy subject? I would have just stuck on some mascara and a tinted balm, but can anyone really see in a darkly lit restaurant? I had worked somewhere where makeup at first was necessary to look presentable, then rules changed to no makeup at all, then only store brand clothing dress code, to no jewelry at all. I find places like that is way annoying.
bellazmom bellazmom 8 years
As I am posting, the votes are 50/50, which is really interesting. I voted that I would cave and put on the makeup, even though I personally have extremely sensitive skin and rarely ever wear makeup. I would be so badly broken out eventually, that the makeup would become required to cover the acne, just leading to a vicious cycle. But, jobs are too precious these days to toss over taking a stand on lip gloss.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
I love makeup, so it wouldn't be a problem for me, but if it WERE, I would stand my ground. I sincerely doubt the men are required to wear makeup. I think it definitely is discrimination.
m0readventur0us m0readventur0us 8 years
Well, I'm an upscale restaurant server and wear light makeup to work, but it's a personal decision. Unless it's a salon/spa or makeup counter job,(where it's basically your job to be a walking mannequin for their product)I think it's unfair.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I would cave, just because work is really thin at the moment. I'm also a waitress and I feel as though customers don't want to look at me if my hair or my makeup is sloppy. Each and every one of us, is required to look our best. Men, women, managers, chefs and front of house alike. If we look sloppy we lose customers, and our hours get cut because of the lack of business. So it's extra incentive.
doogirl doogirl 8 years
These days with jobs so hard to come by, I'd slap on some lipstick, eyeliner, and blush, and go with it! It's great to stand up for your principles, but you have to pay the mortgage too!
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
If it's not against the law to make women wear makeup then I'm assuming it shouldn't be against the law to make men wear makeup...which will be my first act when I get my own restaurant.
rachelbojangles rachelbojangles 8 years
I knew a girl who worked at Lane Bryant, Their rule was you either wear makeup, jewelry or both.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
"It directly affects his business... " It clearly doesn't directly effect business in this case, if you read the orginal artical you will see that this person had been working there for years and had gotten positive feedback from her former boss as well as customers. We can wrap this up in the it's his business and can have these requirements if he wants bow. But this is definately a case that could be elevated to the State Supreme court...because there is specific laws around uniforms and in this case makeup is being required like it's a part of the uniform.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Maybe the men can complain that they have to shave their faces so therefore the woman should have to too? ;-)
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
I don't see the big deal. In my opinion, subtle makeup makes you look more professional. If you're willing to put on a uniform and wear your hair in a different way, why not wear make-up? Men have rules too, like being clean shaved. Should they say that's sexist because the rule only applies to them? Bottom line, I think an employer has the right to determine how his employees present themselves. It directly affects his business...
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
risqueredhead, acutally one of the new rules at the resturant referred to in the article the men now have to be clean shaven if they want to work there as well.
risqueredhead risqueredhead 8 years
No makeup is a hell of a lot better than the waitresses I know who wear wayyy too much (including my former manager, who wore talon-like fake nails, blech). I like makeup, but I see it as different than clothing. As long as they look clean, polished, and smell nice (another pet peeve: too much perfume!!) I don't see the problem. I wouldn't budge. I'm trying to compare it to facial hair on men, because it's often a requirement that men have no facial hair.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
lol thinking about all the guys that may end up wearing makeup at this job. Waiter: Hi, my name is Brian, I'll be your waiter today Customer: Brian, that purple eyeshadow is fab! Is it MAC? Waiter: No, Nars, and thank you. The chick at the register said it looked too slutty for daytime but I was all "Whatever". Anywho, our specials today are the lamb stew and steak.
wackydeli wackydeli 8 years
unless then men are required to wear make up then that place needs to fuck off because thats discrimination..its not even a thing were you have to wear a bra to work because well guys arent going to but make up should not be mandatory but its also their business so their rules..
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Nope. What if they told her she had to go to a dentist and get her teeth whitened and straightened because that is more upscale? Make up does not make you look professional. I look professional everyday with lip balm and moisturizer. I say she takes it to the supreme court. All that being said because of the economy I would have put on some foundation and lipstick and keep it moving until I found another job. This economy is nothing to play with.
minze minze 8 years
Legal doesn't necessarily mean just. fallible laws exist, made by fallible people and this is one of them. They should take the case to the Supreme Court. As long as you bathe, look clean, don't smell, and do your job, why wear makeup? what's next? forcing those with grays to get their hair dyed?
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