DEAR HARRIETTE: I try to stay up-to-date on the newest fashion and beauty trends. I have tried extending my look into the workplace, a local coffee shop, and have gotten compliments from customers. My boss, who is old enough to be my father, constantly gives me an eye roll whenever I come in with a new piercing or hair color. I wear my uniform and maintain a well-kempt appearance. Should I tone down my style just because my boss doesn’t like how I present myself? I cannot lose this job. -- Beauty vs. Bills, Syracuse, New York
DEAR BEAUTY VS. BILLS: This is tricky, in that legally you should be able to present yourself any way you want, within reason, at a job. More subtly, though, it is important for you to have a sense of what is expected at your job and for you to find a way to express your own creativity within a comfort zone for your boss, too.
Why not speak to your boss directly? Tell him that you enjoy having fun with fashion and beauty trends, but you have noticed that he sometimes seems to disapprove. Remind him that you do not break the rules. You always wear your uniform and stay neat and clean. Ask him if he has objections, what they are and how you can agree on a compromise that allows you some freedom and gives him some comfort. Talking to him may break the ice. You never know what your image provokes in him. If he has children your age who are experimenting with piercings, tattoos, colored hair, etc., you may be reminding him of what is happening in his life. Who knows? Talk to him.