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London hotel The Dorchester issues “disgusting” list of beauty demands to female staff

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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When evaluating your work performance, do you ever consider whether having freshly shaved legs and a full face of make-up might make you better at your job?

In all likelihood, the answer is no: so let’s take a moment to appreciate how baffled the female staff at The Dorchester hotel must have been when they were emailed a list of grooming requirements, including shaving their legs even when wearing tights, that must be met as part of their job.

The staff, who are reportedly paid around £9 an hour, are understandably furious at the sexist demands.

“It is disgusting,” one female employee of the hotel, which charges guests £700 a night, told The Daily Mail. “This list is like something out of the dark ages, and downright offensive.”

The Dorchester hotel

The Dorchester hotel

Other requirements on the jaw-droppingly misguided list include having regular manicures, avoiding coming to work with oily skin and not having an “off-putting body odour”.

They even request women refrain from displaying any excess body hair, including on the face.

Insultingly, hotel managers also deemed basic personal hygiene, such as brushing your teeth and washing your hair, as something they needed to add to the list.



“It's not as though you choose to have oily skin and a lot of women, especially teenagers, cannot help it – no facial wash or moisturiser in the world can control that,” the female staff member added in comment on the list.

“The women are all pretty livid but worry that if they complain – or rebel and turn up to work with chipped, dirty nails and hairy legs, for example, they'll be sacked on the spot.”

Women at the Dorchester must maintain high standards

Women at the Dorchester must maintain high standards

The five-star hotel, which is based in Mayfair, has been home to A-listers including Victoria and David Beckham, Michael Jackson and the Queen.

Managers sent out the list after reportedly receiving complaints about the personal hygiene of its staff.



“The Dorchester has a proud community of employees who uphold world-leading hospitality standards including grooming, in line with many other luxury brands,” the hotel’s general manager, Roland Fasel, told The Telegraph.

“All new applicants are sent a copy of our grooming standards in advance of interview.”

Whether sent out in advance or not, the list is a clear example of the sexism women face everyday.

See the full list of dos and don’ts below:

The Dorchester Hotel: dos and don’ts

makeup

DO:

  • shave your legs (even if wearing tights)
  • wear full make-up
  • wash your hair
  • brush your teeth
  • use deodorant
  • have regular manicures

DON'T:

  • Have oily skin
  • Wear overly garish or bright make-up
  • Display chipped or bitten nails
  • Have off-putting body odour
  • Display any excess body hair, which includes the face

Images: iStock/Rex Features

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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