Bleats

Employers Ban Japanese Women From Wearing Glasses Cos Seeing Isn't 'Sexy'

Wait, what?

By now, we’ve all become familiar with the long list of unrealistic expectations women face on a daily basis. In order to look “pretty” or be “sexy” and “desirable,” women must subscribe to a certain “look,” and according to various Japanese employers, that also includes your prescription glasses.

According to Business Insider, various businesses around Japan – including department stores and beauty clinics – have banned women from wearing glasses. Why? Because apparently they make employees look “cold, unfriendly, unfeminine,” or – the most unbelievable – “too intelligent.”

An anonymous Japanese woman in her twenties who works as a receptionist at a major department store was told by her superior that “glasses are prohibited” at her place of work. 

“I told myself at that time that we weren’t allowed glasses because we needed to look feminine, that it just wouldn’t do to wear them,” she said. “Now that I think about it, perhaps it was that they wanted us all to look uniform, as though we were part of some kind of gymnastics squad.”

The woman said her vision without glasses was so bad she’d spend her entire break with her eyes shut just to relieve dryness and fatigue. “There are often mornings where I just think to myself, ‘I wish I could wear glasses.’”

She revealed that she was told “over and over I needed to look sweeter and more feminine,” and that certain types of makeup and hair colours were also banned, including glittery eye shadows, dark lipstick, coloured contact lenses and eyelash extensions. 

The worst part of all is that wearing glasses is reportedly totally acceptable for the male receptionists – but not the females.

“It seems like only women are being asked for the appearance of beauty and feminine that isn’t imposed on me,” she said. “I just don’t understand.”

Another woman, who also chose to remain anonymous, said she experienced the same rules working as a nurse at a beauty clinic in Japan. 

“I was told it would help boost sales, it would make me more convincing and I accepted it,” she said. “At the university hospital, we were judged based on our technique and knowledge but at beauty clinics, it was more about looks. I was a nurse but felt like I was being asked to be a sort of a doll.”

In South Korea, women facing similar social oppression have fought back with the “escape the corset” movement which is all about rejecting society’s expectation that women should have a “porcelain complexion, luxuriant long hair, lots of makeup and form-fitting dresses.”

It’s so important that movements like “escape the corset” exist to shine a light on how harmful the male gaze can be, and that women deserve to be treated as equals to their male counterparts. Oh, and that glasses are necessary for many people and do not have anything to do with how “feminine” or “intelligent” someone is.

How Much Power Should Your Parents Really Have Over Your Sexual Health?

Rapper T.I says he has his daughter's hymen checked yearly.

2019 has been a big year for women’s rights. The #MeToo movement gave a voice to victims of sexual assault, women were championed in business, entertainment and sport, and abortion was legalised in a handful of countries – including NSW 

But just when you thought women had started to regain control over their own bodies, rapper T.I makes a bunch of comments about his daughter’s sexual health that make it feel like we’ve taken one hundred steps backwards.

In a recent interview with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham on Ladies Like Us, T.I was asked if he’s had the “sex talk” with his daughters.

“Not only have we had the conversation,” T.I said. “We have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen…Yes, I go with her.”

T.I, whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr, went on to explain that after his daughter’s 16th birthday, he “put a sticky note on the door,” which read: “Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.

“So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor comes and talk, and the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism,” he said. “He’s like, ‘You know, sir, I have to, in order to share information’ – I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there  anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain’t no problem.” 

Later, T.I said the doctors informed him of the many ways a hymen can be broken other than through sexual penetration. “I say, ‘Look, Doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.”

“I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact,” he added. 

T.I’s comments were quick to cop major backlash online, with Twitter users claiming his fixation on maintaining his daughters virginity is “outdated,” “weird and toxic.”

It also begs the question: how much control should parents have over their 18-year-old child’s sexual health – or more specifically, the state of their hymen.

In response to T.I’s comments, OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Gunter said, “the hymen is no virginity indicator, 50% of sexually active teens do not have a disrupted hymen.”

“The hymen means nothing physically and hymen exams are medically not a thing and are unnecessary,” she said. “And support a disgusting patriarchal trope.”

Dr. Jennifer Gunter isn’t the only one who views T.I’s control over his daughter’s sexual health as a violation. The World Health Organisation says “‘virginity testing’ has no scientific or clinical basis.”

“There is no examination that can prove a girl or woman has had sex – and the appearance of a girl’s or woman’s hymen cannot prove whether they have had sexual intercourse, or are sexually active or not.”

A 2017 study reviewing virginity testing published in the Reproductive Health Journal found that not only does hymen examination “not accurately or reliably predict virginity status,” but it “could cause physical, psychological, and social harms to the examinee.”

It appears that T.I’s efforts have already had a negative impact, with his daughter Deyjah retweeting a series of posts denouncing her father’s behaviour. 

It’s time to do away with the outdated views and the persistent desire to control women and their bodies. It also sounds like T.I could do with a healthy reality check when it comes to his daughter’s sexual health and independence.

Unpopular Opinion: Why Did The Mid-00s Hair Pouf Ever Fall Out Of Fashion?

Bring it back.

Remember during the mid-00s, when we were all obsessed with The Hills and The OC, and our style icons were Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens? Along with the thin eyebrows, chunky highlights, sparkly tank tops and low-slung distressed flares, there was another major trend: hair poufs.

There are plenty of variations of this iconic 00s hairstyle, and plenty of names. The pouf, pompadour, coiffe, or hair bump was a staple in 00s teen dramas, fashion magazines, and on red carpets of the rich and famous.

Ashley Tisdale. Credit: Jesse Grant/WireImage

If like me, the pouf brings back lovely nostalgic memories, I’ve got some good news for you. It could be making a return, and we’ve got the upcoming Little Women film to thank.

In a feature from earlier this week, The Cut pointed out a recent LA Times interview with Little Women stars Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh, in which Pugh is sporting a good ol’ fashioned hair pouf like it was no big deal.

That’s not the first time the hair pouf has made a teased and hair sprayed comeback in recent times. In the newly released Hustlers, Lili Reinhart’s character Annabelle proudly rocks a teased bump in her pony amongst other 00s fashion and beauty trends from the decade in which the film is set. 

At the 2019 SAG Awards, Bohemian Rhapsody actress Lucy Boynton rocked a variation on the hair pouf with a middle part and hair bow. 

Lucy Boynton. Credit: Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

This hairstyle might bring back memories of other cringeworthy 00s trends, but I’m welcoming its return – and I’m not the only one:

https://twitter.com/TaylorLorenz/status/1191757823383867396

For many, the hair pouf was the perfect, fuss-free, second day hairstyle that required little effort and just a whole lot of bobby pins, if you could find them, of course. Side note: where do all our bobby pins go!? 

Credit: me.me

The real question here is, why did the humble hair pouf ever fall out of fashion? The 90s had its moment in the sun with tiny sunglasses, scrunchies and hair clips, perhaps the hair pouf is a sign that the 00s are back and better than ever.

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