British Infographic Is Sexist and Racist in One Fell Swoop

The do’s and don’ts of business formal (not to mention business casual and business festive) are worth revisiting for a reason: They can be illusive and change as often as the business landscape (see: Silicon Valley, land of hoodies and flipflops).

But apparently, they haven’t shifted too much for 34SP.com, a UK web hosting provider, that gives business attire advice straight out of “Mad Men” (and not in a good way). The company’s infographic, entitled “What to Wear to a Business Meeting” provides pretty routine advice for men: wear a suit, get a clean haircut, “think classic than trendy,” etc. But when giving advice for the ladies, 34SP.com recommends female professionals “keep hair smooth and simple.” As a professional lady who does not have “smooth and simple” hair, but rather coarse curls for days, the message is that non-white hair is somehow unprofessional. We definitely do not need any advice that contributes to this racist notion.

But wait, there’s more.

Other advice for women includes “wearing a daytime appropriate perfume,” because no business meeting is complete without your sweet, feminine smell to wow your employees.

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  • Xenia88

    I think the author is reading too much into this. If someone wants to be offended, they will find something to offend them. Although I do not find this infographic very informative (most of it is common sense), it could be useful for someone who is just entering the professional world. They might as well have used the word neat instead of smooth and you would not think there is anything wrong with that (the woman featured in the infographic has straight, smooth hair so maybe that is why they opted for smooth). Also, if they had swapped the perfume in the women’s section with the watch from the men’s section you probably would have said: “Is it because they think women are always running late??”. Grow up and find something more worthwhile to write about. Thanks.