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to ask you to explain to dh, that 1, women are still often told to wear make up and heels to work 2, whys its a problem for women

(176 Posts)
carriedababi Tue 06-Sep-11 00:03:07

just had a big arguement with him, we where talking about the tv programme, about pamper palours for children, and although i by no means with children having make up etc, i said to dh, i think a bigger problem is that fact that alot of women are told to wear make up at work and even heels.

i went on to explain that noone should be forced to wear heels that are actually bad for your health and that people shouldn't work for places like that thenhmm

i know the bank of england a couple of years ago advised the women working there on how to dress for sucess.

so aibu in thinking this is a comon problem
and hwo else can i get it through to dh, why this is a problem

JockTamsonsBairns Tue 06-Sep-11 00:08:41

I agree, this would be a huge problem for me - not least because of the implications it has for women in terms of being taken seriously in the workplace.

However, I don't speak from experience - I've never been subject to this, nor have I ever heard of anyone who has. I am, of course, prepared to stand corrected if someone else comes along to agree it's a 'common problem'.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 06-Sep-11 00:09:00

Are there any workplaces specifying heels of a height that would actually cause health problems? I remember from the previous thread that it seemed to be a myth. As for the make-up, the same.

MrBloomsNursery Tue 06-Sep-11 00:10:17

Well I think a well brushed up man and woman in a place where customer's satisfaction is of the utmost importance is very very important. When I go somewhere on a plane, I don't want to be served by a woman who's skipped the foundation and with red pimples and cold sores.
Equally, I don't want a dirty greasy haired man with bitten handnails serving me on a plane either...ugh..

I can only think of airlines where women are made to wear make up and heels. Good job too. I don't think it's a problem there.

If it's a private company where the boss asks his secretary to wear heels and makeup then that's just creepy and wrong, because she doesn't need to interact with anyone else but him, so he would be asking her to do it for personal reasons..yuck.

I don't make sense. I need to sleep now.

jasper Tue 06-Sep-11 00:10:27

I have never heard of a woman being told to wear make up and heels to work .
I daresay Hooters staff might have just such a dress code though.

JockTamsonsBairns Tue 06-Sep-11 00:10:32

Also, if my employers were to insist on me wearing heels to work, them being "bad for my health" would be quite far down my list of responses.

begonyabampot Tue 06-Sep-11 00:14:46

Had a job where you were forbidden to wear makeup, had to wear trainers, in fact all you could see were the eyes so a bit like the naquib or whatever it's called. Both sexes the same , was quite liberating really.

piprabbit Tue 06-Sep-11 00:15:14

Tell your DH that it is a bit like a man being told to wear a suit one size too small and shirt collars half an inch too small - because some people in HR think that men in snug-fitting clothes look more thrusting than men in baggy clothes.

Of course he would be able to comply with the policy (because he needs to fit in if he wants the promotions), but the clothes would be annoying and slightly distracting. He would go through the day waiting desperately for the moment when he could finally unbutton the top button on his shirt. So may be it's not quite distracting enough to adversely affect his work output, but it's certainly not doing anything to improve it either.

In the end he would probably resent the judgmental bastards in HR for implementing a stupid and pointless rule and be sick to the back teeth with trying to ignore the comments from female co-workers eager to get a glimpse of chest hair peeping out between his gaping buttons.

He would ask himself why his effectiveness at work couldn't simply be assessed on the quality of his work - instead of the way he looked.

LittleMissFlustered Tue 06-Sep-11 00:15:16

I used to work in retail, and had a flaming row with the assistant manager because she insisted that I had to wear heels and make-up for work. Eventually I told her to highlight my contractual obligations with regards to 'tarting up' or leave me alone to wear my flat shoes and lipgloss.

She got huffy, but left me alonegrin

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 06-Sep-11 00:18:06

Never been told I have to, but was once advised by a (female) manager, in my appraisal that I wouldn't progress in the company if I didn't get my act together and get some slap on shock

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 06-Sep-11 00:18:24

And this wasn't in any kind of client facing role

Kladdkaka Tue 06-Sep-11 00:19:35

I applied for a job as a sales assistant in the cosmetics section of department store and was told it was a requirement to wear full makeup.

I also worked in a bakery where we were required to wear company issued safety shoes. The mens were flat boots, the womens had heels. I was constantly getting into trouble because I refused to wear them.

madhattershouse Tue 06-Sep-11 00:19:49

I had a crap job at a petrol station. Boss decided we should wear uniforms and mentioned that my footwear (doc martins) should be changed. I told him that there was no way I was going into smart heels and then be expected to wash the diesel pumps. I was the ONLY member of staff on site most of the time so I never got why I needed a nasty polyester uniform, let alone heels!

LDNmummy Tue 06-Sep-11 00:24:22

Flustered I also worked in retail and customer service roles for years and experienced this all the time.

It is never directly said, it is hinted at and sly comments are made about brushing yourself up for clients and the like.

I know it goes on a lot in the city which is why so many women wear heels at work, often keeping spare heeled shoes in the office, and then trainers or pumps to get to and from work. There is an unspoken expectation and many places will hire someone on appearance too.

I remember the women in my ex's office all being judged tremendously on their appearance and was not surprised when two went off to have a spa weekend including massively oversized breast augmentation. I could see that working in an environment like the city can push women to constantly feel under pressure about their appearance.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 06-Sep-11 00:25:07

Kladdkaka's post reminds me of a recent trip to Debenhams where women with very, very heavy make-up were extolling the virtues of sheer foundation and how it lets the skin breathe and you wouldn't even know it was there.... I actually do wear one of the sheer mineral ones and they obviously didn't know it was there... I definitely knew they weren't wearing it. confused

UsingMainlySpoons Tue 06-Sep-11 01:35:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

startail Tue 06-Sep-11 01:50:49

If you work on the cosmetics counter then I guess make up is like the girls in Dotty P's choosing their uniform from the new stock. And I can see a touch of make up being part of good grooming for air hostesses and other front of house staff particually under harsh modern shop lights, but how much should be totally personal.
Heels is straight sexual discrimination and a health and safety issue. I notice the hostesses on my flight to Spain had flat pumps on during the flight even if they'd had heels on when welcoming us aboard.

AnneWiddecomesArse Tue 06-Sep-11 02:36:25

I work for myself; and as a Feminist; I get to specify dress code,
It's a fucking mind-field.
I want to specify an acceptable skirt height; not because I want to; just because I feel I have to.
I've had an employee who has had sex with a client. She had very short skirts; tits on a balcony and she was also a bleeding nyphomaniac.

ragged Tue 06-Sep-11 02:45:42

I have a mate who was told to tart up for her job as a ... (wait for it)... TA in a primary school. It was clear that the HT (yes, it was HT telling her to tart up so that she would fit in better with the other TAs and the general work atmosphere) especially meant makeup and shoes with more than low heel.

Goodynuff Tue 06-Sep-11 03:37:03

A girl quit at Harrods because of it earlier this summer link

HidingInTheUndergrowth Tue 06-Sep-11 04:53:26

mrblooms from your post I take it that you either think it is perfectly ok for men to be showing 'red pimples and cold sores' just not women or maybe you think that men don't get bad skin? Why does a smart suite and non-greasy hair constitute acceptable levels of smartness for a man but women have to cover their faces with muck in order to be smart no matter what they may be wearing and how perfect their hair and nails may be?

When I had my first Saturday job in a shop I was told in the interview that I should wear makeup. I told her that I had never in my life worn makeup and didn't want to start. I never did wear it and surprise, surprise nobody seemed to notice because it is perfectly possible to look smart without wearing makeup as most men will be able to tell you.

I personally find it incredibly depressing that so many people think that women have to wear makeup in order to look acceptable.

Icelollycraving Tue 06-Sep-11 05:00:07

I work in the cosmetics industry. It is essential my teams looked well groomed,it doesn't mean trowling it on & I liked everyone to look like themselves. Some would wear a full face,some light & natural. I did work for one company that specified the amount of products on your face!
Heels are personal choice but some city based companies do expect it. I haven't stipulated heel height for years,more what they can't wear for h&s reasons eg flip flops,open toes,slingback styles etc.

ZillionChocolate Tue 06-Sep-11 08:09:47

I think the only workplace where you should be under pressure to wear make up is if you're selling the stuff. I think cabin crew often wear stupid amounts of slap, I'd be happy with bare faces.

msbuggywinkle Tue 06-Sep-11 08:30:40

My sister works in head office of a medium sized company, has no contact with the public and has to wear make up and heels for work.

The problems with it, well, the equivalent dress code for men is 'clean shaven or neat beard and smart shoes'. Neither of which cause discomfort or are a pain in the arse to maintain.

TrillianAstra Tue 06-Sep-11 08:36:10

I haven't come across people being told to wear heels, but I have friends who feel that it is expected, and that they would be taken less seriously if they didn't wear heels.

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