Man Claims Discrimination For Wearing Makeup at Work

Man claims discrimination at work for wearing makeup
This man claims to have been reprimanded at work for wearing makeup. (Photo: Spotted Portsmouth/Facebook)

A few of the usual reasons for being reprimanded at work include showing up late everyday, repeatedly dropping the ball on assignments, or violating a dress code. But for one man in Portsmouth, England, a full face of makeup allegedly landed him in hot water with his manager, and he isn’t at all happy about it. In fact, he’s called it out on social media as discrimination.

The Spotted Portsmouth, a Facebook group that shares anonymous story submissions, shared a post from the young man in question, who shared a photo of himself but no name or details about where he works. His clearly frustrated story began with an explanation that there is not a makeup policy at his job, and comment about how many women coworkers wear more makeup than he does.

“I’ve been working here for about 8/9months and I’ve never been reprimanded on my make-up before,” he noted. “Actually quite the opposite… some mangers have supported me and complimented my make-up. However recently we’ve had to go under new management. Earlier on in the week I came to work as my fabulous self and was told to take off my make-up. I was quite shocked… After I refused, I’m getting told to tone it down?” He added, “I felt this was discriminatory?”

*ATTENTION* Posted for a follower:Before I explain my frustrations, you need to bear in mind that… There isn't any…

Posted by Spotted Portsmouth on Monday, July 10, 2017

While a post from a man emboldened enough to stand up for his desire to wear a full face of makeup at work may have been unheard of even five years ago, the rise of male cosmetics stars including James Charles, Jeffree Star and Manny Gutierrez has certainly changed the beauty landscape. And people have gotten the memo, as, in less than 24 hours, the anonymous post has already picked up more than 500 comments and lots of traction from supporters labeling this shared experience as discrimination and unfair.

As one person noted, “They cannot enforce this without either implementing a no makeup rule for all employees, or leaving themselves open to an employment tribunal for discrimination. You carry on being your fabulous self!” Another chimed, “Utterly fail to understand how anyone can have a problem with this.”

Others couldn’t get enough of how great the unidentified man looked writing supporting comments such as, “You look wonderful! Your makeup is on point and should be celebrated” and “you look fresh faced and fabulous.”

While the identification of the person behind the story could not be verified, it raises an interesting point, as have other situations over the years. Is such discrimination even legal? That depends on the company’s policy details. According to the U.S.-based non-profit Workplace Fairness, employers can regulate clothing, piercings, tattoos, makeup, nails, hair, and more — but points out that these dress codes are not legal if they are discriminatory, especially when an unfair burden is put on one gender.

Cases like the one called out in England have made headlines over the years — including one that began in 2014, when transgender teen Capri (nee Chase) Culpepper was forced to remove makeup before taking a DMV photo; it resulted in a federal sexual discrimination lawsuit that Culpepper wound up winning, and which forced the DMV to change it policy regarding makeup wearing, making it acceptable “regardless of gender.”

Years before that, a young Ohio boy was banned from school for wearing makeup, with justice not exactly being served in that situation.

Will the sexual discrimination saga continue against men and young boys wearing makeup in public places? If so, at what cost and why?

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