Workplace dress codes have dominated headlines in the last year, mainly regarding the debate around whether or not women should be required to wear heels. They shouldn’t, obviously. But justice doesn’t always prevail, as the story of Scott Laplanche proves. On arriving at his workplace last week – a Currys PC World branch in Yorkshire – as his "fabulous self", Laplanche was approached by a manager – and told he must remove his (exquisite) make-up.
Naturally, Laplanche took to social media to vent his frustrations, rightly pointing out that the company has no make-up policy in place, and that a number of his female colleagues were also wearing make-up. “There is no make-up policy at work,” he said on Instagram, alongside a selfie. “Also, a lot of my female colleagues wear more make-up than I do … Obviously I'm not going to take off my makeup when all my other (female) colleagues are able to come to work as their fabulous selves.”
Laplanche did point out that: “I’ve been working here for about 8/9months and I've never been reprimanded on my makeup before. Actually quite the opposite.. some mangers have supported me and complimented my makeup. However recently we've had to go under new management.”
Currys PC World responded to the situation saying that it is “proud of its diverse workforce” and that this particular situation was a “store-level misunderstanding".
While I don’t wish to make light of the situation – discrimination is discrimination, and should not be tolerated – I’m actually more interested in Laplanche’s own response. He continued in his now viral Instagram post: “Earlier on in the week I came to work as my fabulous self and was told to take off my makeup. I was quite shocked... After I refused, I'm getting told to tone it down? Excuse me? Tone it down? You can't tone down a masterpiece. I felt this was discriminatory?” Yes, your make-up IS a masterpiece. Honestly, I’m in awe. I, someone who works in the fashion and beauty industry, could toil for hours and never achieve such flawless results. We should be celebrating people who take such care over their appearance and want to express an element of their personality in a professional context.
As Laplanche said: “I might understand if my hair was dyed bright red (oh which some of my colleagues have) I might understand if I had bright blue eye liner on (oh which some of my colleagues do) I might understand if I came to work with bright green lipstick on (I'd be worried if any of my colleagues did) (btw every colleagues looking fabulous with their own look- I m [sic] just illustrating my point)”.
Obviously, many employers implement dress codes and regulations for good reasons, but in this instance (and in the absence of any policy that suggested his make-up wasn’t allowed) Scott Laplanche was the victim of discrimination, pure and simple.
“This is 2017, a time of year where we celebrate Pride throughout summer and I look hella hot so deal with it!” You tell 'em.