Talk show explains debatable logic behind four professions that frown on eyewear.

A few weeks ago Japanese Twitter largely shook its head in disappointed frustration when a woman posted that she’s worked in several Japanese restaurants that prohibit their waitresses from wearing glasses when they’re dressed in kimono, under the reasoning that modern corrective eyewear (“modern” in this case being anything introduced to Japan after contact with European nations) clashes with the traditional aesthetics of Japanese’s indigenous garments, and thus spoils the elegant atmosphere the restaurants aim to create.

It appears, though, that fancy restaurants specializing in Japanese cuisine aren’t the only workplaces in Japan that don’t allow glasses. Broadcaster Nippon Television’s morning talk show Sukkiri recently ran a segment accompanied by the on-screen question “How do you feel? Women prohibited from wearing glasses,” in which presenters listed three other professions with similar policies.

▼ Photos of the Sukkiri segment, posted by Japanese Twitter user @youumikan.

Aside from waitresses at Japanese-food restaurants, the reported no-glasses jobs are:

1. Flight attendants
2. Cosmetics sales staff
3. Receptionists

Flight attendants, the report says, are prohibited from wearing glasses for safety reasons, with an accompanying illustration showing a cabin crew member groping about on the floor of the aircraft, looking for her fallen glasses, while a passenger is trying to evacuate. Meanwhile, the reason given for makeup saleswomen is that wearing glasses will make it harder for prospective customers to see the beautifying effects of the company’s cosmetics (which the saleswoman herself will be wearing while working), and receptionists are barred from wearing glasses because they “give a cold impression” to visitors.

“Such outdated ways of thinking,” tweeted @youumikan with the photos. “You could say this is a form of harassment,” and several other commenters were equally upset with what they feel is a pointless, or even dangerous, part of the dress code.

“For flight attendants and cosmetics saleswomen it can’t be helped, but the other two are painfully difficult to understand.”
“I wish these companies would think about the fact that some people have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing contacts, and so they need to wear glasses at all times.”
“With cosmetics salespeople, wouldn’t they be good at recommending which types of makeup and techniques to customers who wear glasses?”
“Do these companies really understand what their customers do and don’t care about?”

Particularly in the case of receptionists and waitresses, several commenters also trumpeted their appreciation for the meganekko (“girl with glasses”) look.

“But, I love meganekko!”
“If you run an image search for ‘glasses’ and ‘kimomo,’ you’ll find tons of women who make the combo look great.”
“A lot of people say wearing glasses actually gives you a kinder aura. With contacts, your eyes look a lot sharper.”

It’s worth pointing out that while Sukkiri presented the situation as women not being able to wear glasses, it doesn’t seem as though men in those professions get a pass. However, it’s a fact that all four of the jobs listed (flight attendant, cosmetics salesperson, receptionist, wait staff at high-class Japanese cuisine restaurant) are predominantly done by women in Japan, and so whether by specific design or unfortunate coincidence, this is yet another professional attire issue that affects women far more than men in Japan.

Source: Twitter/@youumikan via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
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