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Forced to Remove My Piercings
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
March 2, 2013
9:37 pm
Virginia Beach, VA
Forum Member
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
December 12, 2012

Very recently I started working at a grocery store, and when I was hired, I was told I could wear my lip rings to work, since another girl was allowed to wear hers. Within two days of starting the job, I was informed that a customer had called and complained about my piercings. I was told that I needed to get retainers for my lip or else take them out completely. Though I was upset, I bought the retainers for work.

I came to work the next day with the retainers in, and the other girl with piercings was already there, and, much to my disbelief, was still wearing hers as if nothing had occurred the prior day. Slightly upset, I shrugged it off, convincing myself it was simply because she had to go buy retainers. I wore the retainers for the next three days (never once seeing the other girl wear retainers herself), only to discover that my lip had swollen due to a reaction with the material used to make the retainers. I talked to my employer about it, and I was told I could replace them with studs to avoid having another reaction.

Last week, however, is when everything began to go downhill. I got my septum pierced, and was genuinely excited about it. I felt beautiful and happy, and was so content with myself. I realized I needed to tuck it in for work, and so I did for the first couple of days. After about four days of tucking it in and removing it (I was pierced with a 14g horseshoe), my nose got really sore. I decided to leave it out the next day for work, and told my boss that I would gladly put it back in the next day. She looked a bit worried, but agreed anyways.

The very next day, I was called into the front office to be informed, once again, I had received customer complaints about my piercings. I apologized for the trouble I had caused, assuming they would just tell me to tuck in my septum piercing next time. Boy, was I wrong. Both managers came into the office and sat down with me, and told me that I was either to completely remove all my piercings and be allowed, not only to keep my current job, but to potentially become full-time and get trained for another higher-paid position, or I could keep them and be "terminated."

I fought back tears as I sadly and angrily agreed to remove them, as I desperately need the job at this time. I cried as I went home and removed them, angry that the $110 I had spent on making myself feel beautiful just went down the drain. I'm back to square one, avoiding mirrors and anything that reminded me of how ugly and plain I feet without my piercings. I went to work the next day, only to be told by my colleagues and co-workers that, though I had to remove all of my piercings to keep my job, the other female with face piercings was still allowed to wear hers. My heart shattered in my chest, and I began crying against my will, though I tried to withhold it.

The manager on duty at the time, upset with the racial favoritism shown towards the other employee, went to the head manager to discuss it with him. She came back a few minutes later, even more upset than when she went in, and informed me that, when she had asked him why the other girl could keep her piercings when I had to remove mine, he had told her not to say anything about it. I am genuinely angry at the discrimination I had been presented with, not only over my piercings but also because of my race.

The above picture was taken the day after I got my septum pierced, one week before being forced to remove it. I had my piercings because they made me feel beautiful, because I struggle every day with my self-image, oftentimes hating myself so much that I'd rather just curl up and die. I didn't feel that way with my piercings, but now that I have been forced to remove them, I'm back to that all over again. I am disgusted with the way the situation was handled, and any suggestions or similar stories would be welcomed with open arms.

Some people are born with tragedy in their souls.

March 3, 2013
11:31 am
Forum Posts: 296
Member Since:
May 24, 2012

Forced is a very strong word!
I am sorry you are going through this and perhaps there is a different path for you. Every single one of us have been met with resistance and part of continuing on with visible mods is having the fortitude to deal with the situation…. sometimes that means money in savings, sometimes that means higher education, sometimes that means armor for protection, sometimes that means a stronger community, you get my point here. It takes a huge amount of perseverance (amongst other things) to live the life you desire. YOU CAN DO IT!!

An arrow must be slightly pulled back and put under pressure in order to fly forward.

Attempt to target the solution.

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
March 3, 2013
8:06 pm
Virginia Beach, VA
Forum Member
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
December 12, 2012

I guess in my immense frustration I just felt like I was forced to remove them. But thanks for that, you're right. There will be a lot of persecution I will face, I just have to learn to tolerate it and rise above it. Besides, I have plenty of canvas for hidden tattoos until then :)

Some people are born with tragedy in their souls.

March 24, 2013
3:46 pm
Forum Posts: 271
Member Since:
July 12, 2011

I think you should make a detailed record of the discrimination and if it continues as it has I think you might have grounds for a lawsuit. I'm not a lawyer, but if the policy is not enforced on everyone then either the policy itself or those who enforce it are discriminating.

In your case, the racial aspect gives the suit more weight in court, as there are already laws on the books preventing racial discrimination everywhere in the US. This is not about your religious beliefs anymore…or it's not ONLY about them anymore. This is a fight that might be worth winning.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
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