My least favourite fashion line has to be “Must Have”.
As we stroll down this path called life there are a lot things that one would like to put in the “must have” category; health, compassion, knowledge, family and friends, etc. Nowhere on that list should be a dress, bag or jacket.
I was reminded of that sentiment when I read about this one woman that was sent home and suspended from work for not wearing high heels to her work place, based on company rules that require females to wearing footwear with heels of a certain height. When you think about it this very idea is just so utterly ridiculous it is beyond belief.
Here in fact is a company that forces it’s employees to do something that one could argue has to potential to do actual bodily harm for no other reason than appearances; to look sexier. One could argue that it would be just as ridiculous for a construction company to force it’s workers not to wear hardhats because they look cuter without them.
History and culture are of course littered of cases of people suffering for the sake of forced/expected appearance; footbinding, corsets, forced to wear layer and layers in tropical climates, the list goes on and on.
The very idea that society forces people to dress a certain way based on status or position or sex even when it defies all logic and common sense . Yet it still goes on and on. Waitresses will suffer, and yes indeed bleed because of company policies.
That a company can have a certain guideline to present to its employees to appear clean and presentable, fair enough, that makes sense, but most of these policies are not about that, they are about much more than that.
For what I do for a living I spend a lot of time thinking about what people wear and why and as is in my nature to question rules. Awhile back I was talking to a business leader and asked him about the concept of casual Fridays. He responded that they existed because it made to workplace less stressful, employees were calmer, reacted to coworkers and clients in a more relaxed and positive way. I then asked him that if that were the case would it not be a good idea to do that all the time?
Does having your nose pierced or a tattoo make you a less effective employee? Does wearing a suit and tie make you a greater leader? Does wearing high heels and a short skirt make you a better secretary?
Are we as a society still so shallow and insecure that we must rely on those fashion fascist rules to determine if a person is good or bad, rich or poor, God fearing or not, hardworking or lazy?