Melanie Stark, a sales assistant at Harrods, you know, the fancy British department store, was recently "driven out" of her job for refusing to paint her face with cat eyes and rouge each day.
The company's "ladies' dress code" instructs all female employees to wear "full makeup at all times: base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner, and gloss" since the store's lighting tends to "wash people out." Stark, who was touted by one manager as one of the store's best employees, wanted nothing to do with the daily clogging of her pores like that. She likes her face au naturel. So she told the store to suck it.
Go, Melanie. I think you were right to quit that bitch. But here's the thing: I don't totally disagree with Harrods.
Before you go all banoodles on me down below, let me explain. I don't think the manner in which Harrods went about handling "The Melanie Situation" was ... couth. Apparently they sent her home on two occasions and had her work in the stockroom on another. That's not very nice.
But, on the other hand, it is their business, and, well, nobody told Melanie to work there. In fact, since Melanie sounds so anti-makeup, I'm kind of surprised she would want to work in such a high-falutin', purveyor-of-all-things-superficial department store.
I'm not a makeup person myself, but there are certain places I appreciate the employees wearing makeup. The makeup counters of department stores and Sephora are among the few. I want to know that the employees know more about what I'm in the market for than I do. I want to know they're into it. I like going into Sephora to see girls with crazy eye makeup on that I could never do. It makes me feel like they know their s**t. And while I don't feel it's necessary for the employees in, say, the juniors' section of department stores to wear makeup, I certainly understand how it could be appreciated. It shows an interest in style. And that is, after all, why people go to these stores.
I applaud Melanie for sticking to her guns, though. I imagine quitting a job on principle is not the easiest thing to do. And I'm sure there are plenty of places that will let her go bare-faced. (Hey, maybe she'll become a blogger?)
What do you think about Harrods' makeup policy?
Image via Corinne Day/Flickr