An article has been making the rounds as a woman was told by a potential employer, The Body Shop, that a full face of makeup and black business attire was deemed necessary for the interview because it is their dresscode in store. As the internet would have it, Brenna MacPhee took her frustration to Facebook where she posted a screencap of her email to the company. In part, she wrote “I chose not to come as I was deeply turned off by the prospect of working for your company… The fact that you require female interview candidates to ‘wear a full face of makeup’ is very problematic.”. Obviously, we’re all taking issue with the requirement of wearing makeup.
Let me start off by saying that I can understand a cosmetic brand asking their employees to wear their makeup. In this case, Sephora comes to mind. I am not completely bothered by this. I’d like to think that consumers are smart enough to not just base their purchase on the aesthetics of an employee. However, I can get that seeing a certain product directly on someone can sway one’s decision. Though, the wording used in the email sent to Brenna MacPhee, 23, is what sets off alarms for many. Telling a potential employee to wear a full face of makeup for an interview because “it’s part of the dress code” is off putting. There is not follow-up to precise it’s for promotional purposes or that they will be provided the brand’s makeup line to do such promotion. Which is why everyone is assuming that by asking the interviewee to wear a full face of makeup it translates to ” we don’t want you to look ugly”. The company’s response to the situation wasn’t really helpful as it barely addressed the issue; they replied with “…Our Customer Consultants are at the heart of The Body Shop. As brand ambassadors they need a passion for our products so they can speak about them enthusiastically and knowledgeably to our customers.”. Come on you guys, a company with a net-worth of £51 million can afford a better spokesperson.
I get it, we live in a world of where a concerning amount of people are trying to figure out how to highlight their faces. But, don’t be the dickhead that assumes that everyone on the planet wears makeup or can (some of us have allergies). Can we just do each other a favor and put some effort into wording things properly?