Woman Gets Fired For Refusing to Wear Makeup

A former employee of London’s Harrods, Melanie Stark, is a believer of a natural face — no makeup. However, Stark was given only two choices at Harrods, reports The Look. The sales assistant would decide to wear makeup or resign. Surely enough, Stark resigned excusing her behavior via the Guardian, “Make up can change your features completely, especially if I was to wear all of what they were asking. I would look like a different person to me. And I never chose to look like that.”

Yes, Stark intended “not to look like that” — and yet her employer thought it necessary. In fact, female employees of Harrods are asked to follow a detailed, two-page dress code. The wearing of makeup is instructed in such a way as this, “Full makeup at all times: base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner and gloss are worn at all times and maintained discreetly (please take into account the store display lighting which has a ‘washing out’ effect).”

Indeed, it seems as if vanity has taken its course — and yet Stark doesn’t deserve any rightful piece of pity. Stark was fully aware that makeup use was an expectation thoroughly conveyed by her employers. In any case, I find this matter to hold equality with manners pertaining to dress code. While the expectation is unconventional, it is a rule — expected to be followed.

What do you think? Did Melanie Stark leave with dignity or was she subjected to outlandish rules?

4 Responses to “Woman Gets Fired For Refusing to Wear Makeup”
  1. Ambyr says:

    This is a little crazy but I’m assuming she was fully aware of the policy and signed a ‘contract’ for her job. Soooo, yeah it’s a little ridiculous to demand someone to wear makeup, but I would have mentioned something upfront, in my interview. I’ve had a little crazy/drawn out dress code required at a job before, it even mentioned showering before work. But it was mostly due to a few girls who came in time after time, un-showered, caked on makeup from the night before and unruley hair.
    I’m neither here nor there on this, but it’s always crazy to hear these stories.


  2. Wow! Fired for not wearing makeup. It’s so crazy to think about how the world is today. She could have been exceptional at her job, but because of her appearance they wanted her out. A true shame.


  3. Hmmmm… I find your first question to be a good one! I have to figure out the answer to your question! (I’ll try to get back to you later.)

    To your second question, the lady was technically fired — and yet I can say she resigned too. Harrods gave her the option of wearing makeup or getting fired. She chose to leave. So, I think there is no wrong or right answer, because she chose to get fired at her own will.

    Thanks for the comment!

  4. tokyotombola says:

    Well, that’s rather interesting… I wonder – does Harrods’ uniform policy have anything to say on male members of staff wearing make-up? How do we think they would react if one turned up wearing all the make-up described above?

    On a personal note, I don’t think that hair and make-up should form part of a company’s uniform policy – unless you are in fact working for a hair or make-up company; then they would probably have the right to expect some sort of say in a person’s appearance, just as a clothing brand would have on what you wear to work. Hair and make-up are two things that allow us to truly express our individuality and in circumstances like these, I don’t believe the company should have a say on it.

    Also, most sources state that she both resigned and was fired. Do you know which one it is for certain?

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