It turns out that The Body Shop might not actually march to the tune of its own “real beauty” mantra.
The longtime mall staple’s website declares on its website that “beauty is much more than a pretty face.”
But one young Toronto woman was told in an email that she had to wear a “full face of makeup” to a job interview.
Brenna MacPhee, 23, who is studying for a Master’s degree, applied online as a part-time “customer consultant” at a Toronto location for the cosmetics and skincare company.
The company called her back to say she had been selected for an interview; she then received an email with the details. It outlined the time, location, and instructed her to arrive with a face full of makeup.
Specifically, it outlined the following:
“***DRESSCODE: Please wear all black business attire and a full face of makeup as it is our dresscode in the store.”
“It isn’t right,” Brenna MacPhee, 23, said in an interview with CBC News. “I can’t work for a place that expects female interview candidates to wear a full face of makeup.”
MacPhee replied to the email stating her reason for declining the interview but never heard back.
The move is surprising given the recent exposure of sexist dress codes for females in certain workplaces.
You’d expect to be blatantly asked to wear a full-face of makeup at MAC, but not The Body Shop, with its “all-natural” branding. At the same time, The Body Shop does sell makeup in addition to other skincare products. So perhaps the makeup request is designed to showcase the product and the interviewee’s application skills?
I mean, retail stores require you to wear their clothes and dress presentably.
If this reasoning is the case, however, the company may want to change the claim on its website that “beauty is from the heart” and a commitment to “celebrate diversity and reject a stereotype of beauty.”
“I thought [they] would hire me based on my previous experience and qualifications, not based on how I look,” said MacPhee.
“It’s just really, deeply hypocritical,” MacPhee said. “If you’re promoting your company as beauty is more than a pretty face and it comes from within, then you should accept that some women don’t want to wear makeup.”
When CBC News reached out to The Body Shop Canada for comment, the company’s VP of marketing and corporate responsibility said they’d look into it further. Classic.
As CBC highlights, a job posting says candidates “have to possess a high standard of personal image and style in compliance with corporate guidelines.”
What are your thoughts on the issue? Should The Body Shop take a page from Dove’s book?