Jan 26, 2012

Grooming Disney

So Disney has re-thought some of their grooming standards a bit by now allowing full facial hair instead of just the mustache that the 2000 rules revision allowed. I haven't read the actual rules yet, but it is pretty safe to say that they will be clearly defined and fairly conservative. Don't expect your typical biker beard. From things I'm reading around the fan sites, it will be neatly trimmed and have a length requirement and probably won't be allowed to cover mouth, etc. It will also most likely only be allowed if you grow it over a vacation or break from work. You can't have it growing in while working. It is either there or not.

Reactions to this have run the expected gamut from it being a good thing to signaling the demise and downfall of the Disney company. Several statements from people though really have stood out to me as particularly extreme.
I do have something against Disney relaxing their proven standards which have been successful for over 50 years.
How is this a proven standard? Proven in what way? What is the measurement metric for this? And successful for over 50 years at what? Keeping people with beards from working for Disney? How does that make Disney a better park? There are many variants on this statement, one in particular below is kind of insulting.
So, you are saying that Disney doesn't think they need to keep a "family-safe image"
Apparently I am not family-safe as I have a well trimmed and very short goatee. When Disneyland opened, the cultural standard for professionalism and clean-cut was no facial hair. As the hippie counter-culture rose up in the next 2 decades, beards became an anti-establishment political message and as such were still not considered appropriate for professionals. However, by the 80s people had moved on and into the 90s they started becoming acceptable again. Now-a-days, a well groomed beard is perfectly normal in the professional world. There are rules to what a well groomed beard are, but these are readily apparent to anyone with a brain. At lunch today there were 8 men in the restaurant and all 8 had facial hair. All of their beard variations were well trimmed and conservative length.

I truly am at a loss to understand how this signals the downfall of Disney's moral and ethical standards. It isn't about your personal like or dislike, but about the cultural norm of what is professional. Keeping the facial hair rule isn't helping Disney in any way, nor does letting beards in hurt them. This was a wise decision by Disney, especially given how very draconian they are in enforcing their standards. I see little if any abuse of this occurring.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely. People can be so absurd at times! I will never fully understand it. I hardly see how letting people have nice conservative looking facial hair could harm anyone! Very well said Adoum!