Harrods Employee 'Driven Out' for Refusing to Wear Makeup


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Should someone be required to wear makeup to work?

For Melanie Stark, a sales assistant at the posh UK department store Harrods, the choice to go bare-faced at work left her without a job.

According to the Guardian, the 24-year-old says she was “driven out” after refusing to wear makeup, outlined in Harrods' dress code as “base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner and gloss are worn at all time and maintained discreetly (please take into account the store display lighting which has a 'washing out' effect)."

"To be told that one's face is inadequate is extremely degrading,” Stark said in a letter to the store after she was sent home one day for going au naturel. (Stark, a five-year veteran at Harrods, says she has never worn makeup to work.)

"I was appalled. It was insulting. Basically, it was implying it would be an improvement,” Stark told the Guardian. “I don't understand how they think it is OK to say that. I know what I look like with makeup. I have used it, though never at work. But I just could not see how, in this day and age, Harrods could take away my right to choose whether to wear it or not."

Though legal experts say Stark has grounds to sue Harrods, she instead resigned, but describes her departure as being “driven out.”

“I wasn't going to compromise, but neither were they," she said. "And I felt it was time to move on."

In related news, check out Fall 2011's barefaced makeup trend.