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Defence secretary says only female soldiers can wear make-up

Lily Wakefield September 30, 2019

Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary, at the Conservative Party Conference. (P Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty)

The UK’s defence secretary Ben Wallace has dismissed the idea of allowing male soldiers to wear makeup, despite the British Army saying it would make guidelines gender-neutral.

A leaked document showing guidelines for British soldiers in Canada said that for men “makeup is not to be worn”, but for women “makeup (if worn) is to be inconspicuous”.

The guidelines on makeup are listed just above guidelines on “equality, diversity and inclusion”.

A British Army spokesperson told The Daily Mail: “Queen’s Regulations currently state that while on duty, male soldiers may not wear makeup.

“However, as an inclusive employer that recognises the diversity of its personnel, we are currently in the process of revising our guidance in this area to make it gender neutral.”

Defence secretary says only women can wear makeup
The leaked guidelines showed that while women can wear makeup, it is banned for men. (FYB UK/ Facebook)

But defence secretary Ben Wallace dismissed the British Army statement at the Conservative Party conference on September 29. 

Wallace said: “Apparently the army is consulting on men being allowed to wear makeup.

“The answer is men will be allowed to wear makeup in the army as long as it’s camouflage colour. That will be about as far as they are allowed.”

Piers Morgan would not be “comfortable” if male soldiers wore makeup.

However the defence secretary also admitted at that the army needed to “modernise”.

He said: “We also have to modernise how people work together. In my day when I was serving very few partners and wives worked.

“I think when i joined my regiment there were probably two women in the whole regiment and they both worked in the pay office.

“Now if I go to a regiment… it is a much more mixed work force and people’s lifestyles are different as well so we have to recognise that… We have to move with the 21st century.”

Piers Morgan also addressed the issue on Good Morning Britain today, saying: “I’m not on board with the British Army now saying that male troops must be allowed to wear makeup… They’re not in London Fashion Week, they’re going to war!

“Would you feel comfortable if half the male British Army came forward and said I want to wear makeup before I go to war? No, I wouldn’t feel comfortable.”

More: armed forces, ben wallace, british army, conservative party conference, defence secretary, Equality, makeup

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