Skip to Content

Woman started to wear ‘terrible wigs’ after corporate banned her pink hair

Many offices have certain rules governing their employees’ general appearance, mostly on the issues of tattoos, piercings, and hair color.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed all that when most employees began to work from home and spent more time on Google Meets, Zoom calls, and Slack, and could practically do whatever they wanted with their appearance.

When society transitioned back into physical face-to-face interactions, most companies continued to allow employees to work remotely and eased up on regulations on physical appearances.

One recently employed woman, however, had to be more creative after her office decided to ban her pink hair.

When Emily Benschoter, 29 years old, interviewed for a front-of-house role in the hospitality industry, it was not in-person or over video chat.

The interviewer was thus completely unaware of what she looked like. After accepting the job offer and before her first shift, Benschoter reached out to her manager to ask if pink hair was allowed. Unfortunately, it was not, but there was an alternative – her manager suggested wearing a wig.

For Benschoter, changing her hair color was not an option. She said, “I am a self-expressive person and I feel very confident with pink hair so I came up with a solution to keep the job and my hair.” She then to try her manager’s suggestion and wear a wig instead.

Benschoter, however, took it a step further and began wearing unusual wigs to work to cover her pink hair. She has since posted multiple videos on her TikTok account – under the username @emuhleeebee – of the different wigs she brings to her workplace.

Her first wig video was posted on July 19 and featured a blonde, shoulder-length wig with the caption: “When you have pink hair but corporate does not approve so you wear terrible wigs.”

She deliberately purposely chooses silly wigs to cover her pink hair, since she doesn’t support the policy banning her hair color.

She explained, “It’s dehumanizing that I can’t be accepted at face value because my hair is a non-traditional color. It’s so superficial that my hair color is an obstacle.”

The TikToker added, “I prefer my pink hair, it’s me to my core. So now I purposely pick wacky wigs which is quite funny.”

The videos of her flamboyant wigs have since amassed thousands of views, some even reaching the millions.

Benschoter said, “The worse the wig, the better. It is a way to open up the conversation with the customers who think it is insane that I have to cover my pink hair.”

Many of those who reacted to Benschoter’s videos shared their own experiences with employers that place restrictions on their physical appearance.

One commenter wrote, “I had to cover my blue hair at Applebee’s so I wore a jheri curl wig.” Another mentioned a similar rule, saying, “Our local hospital has this rule. My friends wear Karen wigs that match. It’s unhingedly hilarious.”

On company regulations regarding tattoos, one commented, “We aren’t allowed to show our tattoos at work. My boss had a small, beautiful one she covered with a SpongeBob band aid every day.”

Some of those who have seen her videos are actually confused that her workplace allows her wigs and yet bans her pink hair. One person wrote: “They think this is better?

On the issue of hair in the workplace, Gena Cox, an organizational psychologist, said that companies tend to focus on employees’ visual characteristics because they have a preconceived notion of what the “ideal employee” looks like, and believe that their clients and customers share that bias.

She stated, “The bottom line is, rejection of employees’ colored hair is a form of bias and a sign that the workplace is not inclusive.”

Cox added that colored hair is associated with being different, less professional, or suitable only for certain jobs such as the creative arts. Management may even think of them as distracting rather than visible signs of self-expression.

Benschoter has certainly found a way to hilariously comply with and at the same time protest the company’s rules regarding her pink hair.

Hopefully such rules will be further relaxed to encourage more inclusivity and allow people to express their individuality.

Here’s a sampling of her funny defiant reaction:

@emuhleeebee WHO IS “Jack The MC”?!? I cant tag the purchaser bc I can’t find you 😭 thank you, bestie #pinkhair #coloredhair #corporate #corporatelife #corporatehumor #corporateamerica #fyp ♬ original sound – Joey Sacco

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.