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Harrods Pressure Woman to Wear Makeup

Woman Quits Over Pressure From Employers to Put on Makeup

Although we all agree that dressing to impress can be beneficial in a work environment, being pressured by your employer to put on makeup might be taking it a little too far. Melanie Stark, 24, who worked in the HMV department in British retailer Harrods, was so stressed out by her managers asking her to comply with the department store's strict dress code that she ended up leaving her job.

The code states that women have to wear "full makeup at all time: base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner and gloss are worn at all time and maintained discreetly (please take into account the store display lighting which has a 'washing out' effect)."

It's understandable that every business has different types of dress code, and the rules will probably be stricter if your job is to meet with customers every day. However, Melanie had already been working for Harrods for five years, before they decided to implement the makeup rule. Further, they seemed to be pretty aggressive about it. She was sent home twice and she was even forced to work in the stockroom once because of her refusal to comply. Her then superiors suggested a makeup workshop for her to see what she looked like with makeup, which to Melanie implied that her face would be an improvement with eyeliner and lipstick.


The former sales assistant said that she was appalled and that she doesn't understand "how they think it is OK to say that." In a letter she wrote to Harrods, Melanie said, "To be told that one's face is inadequate is extremely degrading."

I can see how embarrassing it must feel to be pressured by your managers to put on makeup if you prefer not to wear any. Should Melanie have complied with the dress code or are her employers in the wrong?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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