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Women in Japan are being told not to wear glasses in the workplace - here are 5 sexist dress codes from around the world

In Japan, some companies have forbidden their female employees from wearing glasses because they give off a "cold impression."

In Japan, some companies have forbidden their female employees from wearing glasses because they give off a "cold impression."

Business Insider Japan published an article by Reiko Takeshita in October based on a survey of more than 1,400 workers, finding that female workers were being asked to refrain from wearing glasses at work because they are not aesthetically pleasing.

The BBC reported on Friday that retail chains said glasses give shop assistants a "cold impression," and therefore female workers should not wear them.

The hashtag #メガネ禁止, which translates to "glasses are forbidden," is currently trending on Twitter in Japan, according to The Washington Post.

Japanese women are using the hashtag to call out the sexist workplace dress code. The Post highlighted one Tweet reading, "Isn't it so troublesome when you can see all the middle-aged men in the world?" accompanied by a picture of red glasses frames on a keyboard.

#メガネ禁止
今日迎えに行った、新しいメガネ。
メガネ禁止とかなんだそれ。
世の中のおっさん達、見られたら困ることがそんなに多いのかね? pic.twitter.com/pen7gHZ2bj

— key (@key00559207) November 6, 2019
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Also in Japan, high-heel requirements for women in the workplace sparked the #KuToo hashtag.

Also in Japan, high-heel requirements for women in the workplace sparked the #KuToo hashtag.

The practice of employers requiring their female workers to wear heels is widespread in Japan.

The #KuToo movement started in Japan in 2019 with a tweet from Yumi Ishikawa, a funeral parlor worker required to wear heels, which she argues is gender discrimination, Quartz reported in an article by Vivian Rachelle.

#KuToo is a "triple pun," Rachelle wrote, "playing on the Japanese words kutsu (shoes), kutsuu (pain), and the #MeToo movement."

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In France, women have been stopped at the Cannes Film Festival for not wearing heels, although it's not an official rule.

In France, women have been stopped at the Cannes Film Festival for not wearing heels, although it's not an official rule.

While it's not a traditional office, the Cannes Film Festival is a workplace for actors, filmmakers, and journalists. Anecdotally, women have been banned from wearing flat shoes at the festival.

In 2015, women wearing flats were excluded from the film premiere of "Carol" at the festival. Then in 2018, actress Kristen Stewart ditched her heels at the red carpet premiere of "BlacKkKlansman" at Cannes. The actress had previously spoken out against the festival's de facto dress code saying, "Things have to change immediately."

The festival's organizers have pushed back against the criticism, however. According to The New York Times, the Cannes Film Festival media office maintained that the festival's dress code had "no specific mention about the height of women's heels."

The Guardian quoted a since-deleted Tweet from festival director Thierry Frémaux saying, "the rumor saying the festival insists on high heels for women ot he red carpet is unfounded."

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In the US, Virgin Atlantic airlines made female flight attendants wear makeup until March 2019.

In the US, Virgin Atlantic airlines made female flight attendants wear makeup until March 2019.

Virgin Atlantic has been operating as since 1984. Thirty-five years later, the airline ditched its requirement that female flight attendants wear makeup, including red lipstick, blush, and mascara, according to The New York Times.

The Times also reported that the airline started offering pants as a standard part of the flight attendant uniform, whereas female flight attendants previously had to specially request pants.

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In the UK, a woman was sent home from her temp job as a receptionist at PwC because she was not wearing heels.

In the UK, a woman was sent home from her temp job as a receptionist at PwC because she was not wearing heels.

Nicola Thorp, a British actress, was sent home for not wearing heels to her temp job as a receptionist at PwC in 2016, according to The New York Times.

The requirement came from outsourcing firm Portico, which enforced a dress code including high heels measuring two to four inches. The dress code also required women workers to wear makeup, including lipstick, eye shadow, and mascara. Portico told The New York Times that it rewrote its code after Thorp complained.

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