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“Women are ugly to see, at times”: Rail company urges women to stop applying make-up on trains

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Hands up who’s so busy they regularly don’t have time to put on their make-up before they leave the house and so does it on the tube instead?

The constant juggle of demands means that sometimes it’s just necessary. It’s also nifty time-saving and anyone with a steady enough hand to do a liquid eyeliner on public transport deserves a medal, if you ask us.

Which is why it comes as pretty upsetting news that one Japanese rail company, Tokyo Corporation, has released a video dissuading women from doing their make-up on public transport.


Read more: Why is applying make-up on the train so divisive?


According to the BBC, the 30-second video opens with the phrase:

“Women in the city are all beautiful. But they are ugly to see, at times.”

It then shows two women applying lipstick and mascara on a train, before being approached by a third woman, who tells them off – saying that what they are doing is “Mittomonai” or “ugly to see”.

The video then ends with the appeal for women to: “Please refrain from putting on make-up on the train.”

The video is part of a series released by Tokyo Corp aimed to raise awareness of passenger etiquette. Other videos focus on the use of smartphones while walking on platforms, large bags during busy times and jumping the queue while getting onto trains.

People on Twitter are, unsurprisingly not impressed with the video, saying:

"People are angry not because 'they want to put make up on in trains'. Absolutely not. They're resisting 'this society that comes up with so many different reasons to justify misogyny and to oppress women," said @hinase6s.


Read more: Can I be a feminist and still love make-up?


@ryudokaoruko wrote: "I'd understand if they'd said, if you put make up on the train the powder might scatter, the scent might be strong, things might soil the car or other people's clothing and would cause trouble for others," reports The Japan Times.

“But there's no reason I should be told by a rail company whether I look pretty or unseemly,” they added. It has been retweeted nearly 6,000 times.

Some mentioned that bigger fish needed to be fried, including groping on public transport or drunkenness.

The question of whether make-up is a feminist issue or not has long been of interest, but what's more interesting is why people continue to tell women what to do. 

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