I WRITE in on behalf of a friend who, like me, couldn’t believe discrimination still exists, especially in a country such as ours, which is known for its racial and religious respect and tolerance.
Recently, she applied for a part-time job as a make-up employee at a beauty company located in KLCC.
Although she was over-qualified for the post, her love for make-up products and her excellent social skills would indeed be an asset to the company, as she would be able to attract buyers to try out and buy the products.
However, to her dismay, she couldn’t (or rather wouldn’t) be hired, as the company’s policy of “freestyle and attractive” dress code states that she would have to take off her scarf.
I find this excuse utterly ridiculous. What has wearing a scarf to do with selling make-up?
If anything, my friend would actually attract more scarf-clad customers, as there are more and more scarf-clad professional career women in Malaysia of late.
And indeed, who says that wearing a scarf is not attractive?
And there are so many styles of wearing scarves at the moment, which are appropriate, modest yet still breathtakingly beautiful.
I urge companies and business establishments to take note that wearing scarves doesn’t contribute to less work quality and productivity.
It’s really a shame such prejudice still exists.
This letter makes a persuasive argument when it comes to dress codes. What exactly does ‘freestyle and attractive’ means? A headscarf might be attractive to some Muslim women, but perhaps not to others who don’t wear a headscarf.
Then again, there are some make-up brands where the target market is predominantly made up of non-Muslim consumers. So, the company’s logic might be that hiring a headscarf-donning woman would not appeal to such people.
But if you think about it, what has that headscarf anything to do with the make-up? You still see her face and the make-up that she uses, right? The headscarf doesn’t affect her work performance in any way, does it?
If you think of another example, we have dress codes to adhere to in big multinational corporations. Women are expected to use make-up. Is this fair, when men are not expected to? What has make-up to do with a person’s job performance? Why is it a woman with made-up face is only considered presentable and attractive in the corporate world, while a woman who does not use make-up is not considered so?
Personally, have not ever used make-up before, and am not interested at this moment in time to try. Have hyperhidrosis, so it would be quite wasted to spend so much for make-up to melt on self’s face the moment start sweating. Then would have to spend some more in order to do something about the hyperhidrosis. Do not plan to work in a corporate company, but if there’s an opportunity to do so after have graduated, wouldn’t mind giving it a go for the work experience. But not at the expense that am forced to use make-up, because it is self’s personal choice not to and it should be respected, just like it is a Muslim woman’s choice to don a headscarf (religious reasons notwithstanding).
Am not sure really if dress codes are a form of prejudice (when it uses vague descriptions and interpret it in such a way that it can discriminate certain people) or it’s something a company has the right to dictate – it is they who’s hiring you, after all. Just like proper qualifications, they require people with the proper image to best represent the company. What do you think?