Leah Langley discusses the bizarre work phenomenon occurring in Japan.

Over 4 billion adults wear glasses all around the world, with over half of all women and 42% of all men requiring them to carry out their day-to-day activities. So, what would happen if all of those people weren’t allowed to wear their glasses?

Unfortunately, this strange concept has become a reality for the women of Japan with several business firms now deciding that female employees must remove them. Many media outlets have been reporting on this ban and various reasons for it seem to have been uncovered. Shop assistants have been said to give off a “cold impression”, whilst airline workers have been told that it is unsafe for them to wear glasses, and women in the beauty sector have been told that their make-up cannot be seen properly which prevents them from making as many sales.

The women subject to this ban took straight to social media to get the message out there and question whether the ban was based on legitimate company policies or whether it was reflecting socially accepted practice within the workplace. They also raised the questions of why it was that men weren’t being banned from wearing glasses too and stated that it is workplace discrimination. The women received thousands of tweets in solidarity with people expressing their disapproval that Japanese women have to comply with “outdated and oppressive beauty standards”.

This is not the first dress code policy that has incited outrage in Japan as, back in June, 20,000 women signed an online petition which protested against the social expectation that women must wear high heels whilst in the workplace.

As far as the reasons for this most recent ban go, it does seem that there is some favouritism being shown towards men and the reasoning is quite poor. If glasses are posing this much of an issue then they should be banned for everyone or different policies should be put into place.

Featured image by Frankie Stevens.



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