People have been policing the way women look and dress since the invention of clothing and makeup. These critiques sometimes become especially self-righteous in the name of “professionalism,” as this woman, Mary Penney, found out while in the check-out line of a grocery store.
Mary Penney is a nurse at a nursing home who, after her shift, decided to stop by the store to pick up some groceries. Since she was still in uniform, the cashier asked what she did. When Penney said she was a nurse, the cashier said she was surprised.
“What do your patients think about your hair?” Penney says the woman asked her.
So, can you be a nurse while simultaneously sporting colorfully dyed locks?
“Well, here’s my thoughts,” wrote Penney in a Facebook post.
“I can’t recall a time that my hair color has prevented me from providing life saving treatment to one of my patients,” she says. “My tattoos have never kept them from holding my hand and as they lay frightened and crying because Alzheimer’s has stolen their mind. My multiple ear piercings have never interfered with me hearing them reminisce about their better days or listening to them as they express their last wishes. My tongue piercing has never kept me from speaking words of encouragement to a newly diagnosed patient or from comforting a family that is grieving.”
Well, there we you have it, folks. There’s a saying about books and covers that is particularly relevant in this case, but I’m sure you’ve heard it before.
Since it was posted two weeks ago, Penney’s photo, along with her poignant response, has been shared over 150,000 times.