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Barred from wearing eyeglasses, Japan’s working women take to Twitter

Many Japanese women are fighting for their right to wear eyeglasses to work, a new front in the growing movement that demands to put an end to the prescriptive beauty standards faced by female employees

Barred from wearing eyeglasses, Japan's working women take to Twitter
Bengaluru, First Published Nov 11, 2019, 7:51 PM IST
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Tokyo: Women in Japan are kicking up a storm on Twitter over the right to wear eyeglasses to work after local media reported that women from different industries were instructed by their employers not to wear glasses.

"Glasses ban" has been among the top trending topics on Twitter with posts decrying such policies. One receptionist recalled being told that glasses for her were not allowed, while a male receptionist was permitted to don corrective eyewear, Washington Post reported quoting Business Insider.

A nurse at a beauty clinic developed dry eye from long hours using contact lenses but also was not allowed to wear glasses. She was also told to wear makeup and make sure she did not gain too much weight.

The daily said a domestic airline reportedly has a no glasses policy and some restaurants discouraged staff from wearing glasses stating that glasses on female employees didn't go well with their traditional attire.

The move comes in the wake of a huge protest in March this year where women rallied against workplaces in Japan requiring women to wear heels. This led to the #KuToo movement, a pun on Japanese words kutsu (shoes), kutsuu (pain) and the #MeToo movement.

Others on social media this week compared the glasses controversy to restrictions on clothing in Japanese schools, known as "black school rules". Many Japanese schools have a mandate, for example, that students must have black hair and style it in certain ways.

Women are also incensed that 'no glasses rule' does not apply to men.

One Twitter user posted: "Women not allowed to wear glasses in some jobs in Japan where it's OK for men to wear glasses. This was first reported by Japanese TV News media. No one should be so blind not to clearly see a problem here."

Another user said: "This is messed up. Women should be able to wear glasses if they want. And there may be medical reasons why one cannot wear contacts comfortably or safely. Stop telling women how they come across and trying to control them by controlling what they wear! #feminism #Glassesban."

Another posted: "Apparently Japanese Women are being told not to wear glasses to work as it makes them look "Cold" and "Unfeminine" Sometimes it's hard to believe that we're about to go into 2020 and men are still trying to control the way women look."

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