New Zealand Navy allows men to wear makeup, false eyelashes under new guidelines

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The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) is set to update its rules concerning service members’ physical appearance, making the rules more gender-neutral by allowing service members of either sex to wear makeup and nail polish if they wish.

The story: The New Zealand Defence Force’s aim is to create a more inclusive environment, a Navy insider told the New Zealand station Newshub last week. On Friday, Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor said in a statement to Newshub that the changes are set to take effect on November 1.

“The NZDF can confirm that as of November 1, 2019, guidelines around grooming and appearance for Royal New Zealand Navy personnel will be updated,” said Proctor. “These updates are to reflect that the RNZN make no distinction between male and female members in terms of their personal grooming and appearance.”

“These changes reflect that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as an organization, as are the unique traditions and characteristics of the RNZN.”

The rules will allow Navy personnel to wear makeup, nail polish, “trimmed, neat and natural” false eyelashes, perfume or cologne, and rings on a maximum of two fingers while on duty. The rules, however, prohibit body piercings, “exaggerated hairstyles,” and hair accessories, according to Newshub.

“These standards are designed to present an inclusive, professional military image,” said Proctor. “The RNZN is a modern and professional organization that embraces individuality and personality. However, we are a military organization and with that comes certain expectations on our personnel in terms of dress and appearance.”

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