How you look is everything

“Every little hair that grows on the body has a function..”
Makeup will enhance our personalities?

Are you kidding me? A 44-page extensive dress code? While UBS states that detailed guidelines are meant as recommendations as opposed to strict rules, I think I’d still be unnerved if I wanted into work today and was given a list of recommendations how to look, smell, eat and what make up I should wear. Some commenters suggest this isn’t news, and that wait staff and retail workers are given similar recommendations. Sure, many of those jobs have dress codes, uniforms, etc. But if you’ve walked into a mall or ate out recently, you’ll have noticed that the rules aren’t that strict.

Another NPR commenter noted that the guidelines say “Clothing as an essential vector of non-verbal communication”.–and expressed dismay. My Communication students ought to know this is true. I remember one Medaille Media Day where a local newscaster explained how if she changes her hair/clothing, she tends to get a great deal of comments/calls that day. Not on her work, but on her appearance. My favorite was when a viewer told her her hair style was “too distracting.”

Laughable as it all is, isn’t there some truth to this? My mother has told me about interviewing potential employees who wore too much perfume or a shirt a little too low cut. I once interviewed for a job and where during the interview I couldn’t stop staring at the interviewer’s metallic teal eye shadow. It wasn’t that it looked bad, just that it felt out of place. And TLC’s What Not to Wear wouldn’t still be on if how we dressed wasn’t still a social issue.

So, I ask you, where is the line in a dress code?

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Filed under Gender issues, work

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