British School Bans Makeup And Mirrors


Officials at a school in Britain decided that girls were spending too much time fixing themselves up in the girls’ bathroom, so they banned makeup for girls aged 14 to 16. Administrators also decided to rip the mirrors out of the walls and provide teachers with “makeup removal kits.”

No More Heavy Eyeliner And Layers Of Mascara

Girls at the co-ed Shelley College in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, were originally allowed to wear “discreet” makeup, but unsurprisingly teens interpreted this to mean heavy eyeliner and layers of mascara. The girls are now checked for makeup every day.

From The Daily Mail:

John McNally, head teacher of the comprehensive school, said most pupils and parents support the measures.

He said: ‘There comes a point when you need to stop teachers spending half an hour in the day talking to girls about their make-up. It is more sensible to say it’s not allowed.


‘The girls were attracted to the mirrors and when we removed them the problem stopped. Most  have accepted the policy as the vast majority did not wear make-up and those who wore a little have been happy to stop.”

Support From Parents

McNally reported that while a few girls are complaining, he has had a lot of support from parents. Students aged under 14 have never been allowed make-up at the school and those in the sixth form (last two years of high school) are exempt from the ban.

Maybe it’s a good time for girls to learn that they look fine even when their faces aren’t coated in makeup. I’ve taught plenty of high school classes where a few girls are constantly trying to sneak a look at mirrors, and fix their makeup, in the middle of class. And I’ve also seen plenty of high school girls who have painted on so much makeup that they look ridiculous.

Lower Your Hemlines, Ladies!

Having grown up in England, I can say that makeup was never an problem. I attended an all-girls school, so maybe that’s why makeup wasn’t an issue. We did all routinely roll up the waistbands of our uniform skirts, however, to shorten them, and were often subject to the headteacher screaming at us to be more ladylike and lower our hems.

Perhaps it’s always something. And perhaps Headmaster McNally has the right idea.

What do you think?


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Photo Credit: cortnie dee.


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Jeorge B.1 years ago

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Past Member 3 years ago

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Anne H.
Anne H6 years ago

In the US I didn't pay much attention to this sort of thing in high school but I remember those who did. Money spent on clothing, make up was something that determined if you were a popular person.

I went to college a few years ago in Manila and the bathrooms were so packed w/ girls/women doing their faces during break that I couldn't get to the toilet.

I think this policy is a good thing for the school and the girls. I didn't have that kind of disposable income in my younger days but I have really healthy skin now and look younger than my age-probably from not wearing all that make up!

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence6 years ago

Great idea - helps relive some peer pressure...

Ingka Meilina
ing mei6 years ago


Elliot C.
Elliot C6 years ago

Hey Sylvia, of course I don't mind people wearing makeup, it's just excessive amounts that looks bizarre. Also the fact that my gf never wears it, makes it slightly weird when she does :P

I think that if someone with experience applying makeup should be allowed to teach how to do it properly, then that's good :) I mean, people have been wearing cosmetics for hundreds of years. Look at the ancient egyptians. It isn't that unnatural, but in the extents it is taken to today, it is slightly ridiculous, and is undermining the sense of self that people my age ought to have.

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M6 years ago

Elliot I think you're OK. Oompa Loompa is funny, and accurate. But I think a different approach can be taken. Have a few actresses from the local theatre come in and give application lessons for a light, fresh daytime look. Then, those young ladies who want to do so, can wear light makeup, as does your girlfriend from time to time. Keep the Hazard Orange out of schools. What'dya think?

Elliot C.
Elliot C6 years ago

My girlfriend never wears make-up, I can't take her seriously when she wears more than a tiny bit of mascara!

When I see young people wearing tons and tons of foundation, to the point they turn bright orange, (the term in England is "Oompa Loompa") it looks unnaturally funny and I can't help laughing in their faces...

I'm not mean, I am just normal, right?

Christina B.
Christina B6 years ago

@Jane B.:
They can do so in their free time. Schools are a place of learning, not a runway. I'm also puzzled by your post. At first you seem to be against the way women are portrayed in the miedia, but then you seem to encoutage it, since you obviously think young girls need to wear make up in order to "feel good about themselves".

Ann G.
Ann G6 years ago

I never wore makeup in the mornings. In middle school I just didn't have the time and it made me too self-consious. I really think these girls should just get over it.