the body shop interview
photo: Instagram/@thebodyshop

With expensive grad school tuition costs hanging over her head, Toronto resident Brenna MacPhee did what most cash-strapped students would do: look for a part-time job.  

The 23-year-old applied to work at The Body Shop and was excited when she was called in for an interview — until she received an email with one very specific instruction:

"Please wear all black business attire and a full face of makeup as it is our dress code in the store."

Instead of showing up to the interview, MacPhee took to social media and called out the company for its hypocrisy.

brenna macphee
photo: CBC

"So, last week I got an interview at The Body Shop," MacPhee wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. "I was planning on going until I received an email informing me that I must 'wear a full face of makeup' to my interview."

"It’s tough out there for young women seeking short-term work to fund their studies," she added.

She wrote a lengthy email to a company representative, saying:

"The fact that you require female interview candidates, not even employees, to ‘wear a full face of makeup’ is very problematic...The implication behind such a requirement is that women look best with full makeup, and that it is a necessity. If I do not own makeup and cannot afford to invest time and money into the products you deem essential; if I choose not to wear makeup, or wear a lot, it should not have an impact upon my ability to work. After all, I was under the impression that I would be hired based upon my qualifications, not based upon my looks.”

MacPhee pointed out that The Body Shop's website claims "beauty is much more than a pretty face," yet they were requiring her to cover up her own skin.

the body shop no filter
photo: Instagram/@thebodyshop

"It's just really, deeply hypocritical," MacPhee told CBC News. "If you're promoting your company as beauty is more than a pretty face and it comes from within, then you should accept that some women don't want to wear makeup."

To say nothing of their male employees — do they have to wear a full face of makeup to interviews, too?

Unfortunately MacPhee's badass response was sent to a do-not-reply email address, but the truth of her statements resonated all over Facebook.

"From someone who wears NO makeup (me!), I find this very upsetting!" one person wrote. "They are saying I'm not fit to go outside unless I transform my face??" 

"How do they get away with that?" another commenter wondered.

"This is awful! These kinds of things make me so mad. Good on you for saying something," someone praised.

However, others sided with The Body Shop's makeup request.

"In their defense, the body shop has a very large line of make up," another commenter wrote. "I would imagine they want employees who are familiar with the use of different products and can execute them correctly."

"Pushing makeup on employees isn't nice," someone offered. "However...each place will have its own dress code. She chose to apply to a beauty store, of course the employees will have to wear their products to help sell them."

MacPhee's post caused enough of a stir that the company issued a 2-part response on Twitter.

The Body Shop's statement didn't satisfy many upset customers — especially considering the company has yet to reach out to Brenna herself, according to CBC.

 "I'm boycotting you unless you apologize and change your policy. Along with many others," @sarahjcrudden wrote.

"that is one backhanded apology! You can be a 'brand ambassador' without being a walking billboard," @WalkervilleNews said.

"Wow. Disgusting. I'll never shop here again. I'll miss you, satsuma but can't deal with hypocrisy," @tinabudgell  declared.

The Body Shop's website states that the company "celebrates the diversity of people and rejects a stereotype of beauty...

the body shop
photo: Instagram/@aaron_dunstan

...but its ridiculous makeup REQUIREMENT says otherwise.

And MacPhee stands by her post: "I can't work for a place that expects female interview candidates to wear a full face of makeup."