Even if very few offices expect people to show up in suits and ties these days, people still want to look professional while showing up to work.
As a result, they forgo wearing t-shirts and jeans as they might normally and instead go for something a bit more conservative.
Which isn’t meant to hide or distract from who they are as a person necessarily, but just to show that they take their work seriously.
Something Redditor GarlicAvailable1905 made a point of doing at her recently acquired job.
In her case, however, the original poster (OP) not only made a change to her wardrobe of choice but also showed up to work in a wig.
A decision that was met with confusion, and even ridicule, once discovered by her colleagues.
Having doubts about her decision, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors.
“AITA for ‘hiding my true personality’ by always wearing a wig at work?”
The OP explained how her workplace fashion and style choices proved to be an unexpected point of contention amongst her colleagues.
“So I (21 F[emale]) recently started working at a corporate job, and it’s been around 3 months.”
“I started dyeing my hair since last year, and I change the color like every two months.”
“However, I have always shown up in my workplace with a long black wig, and it doesn’t look fake at all since I’m south Asian with natural black hair anyway.”
“The issue arose when one of my colleagues whom I have become friendlier with added me on my Instagram.”
“He saw pictures of me in my shorter violet-colored hair at a concert.”
“When he saw me the next day in person at work, he was a bit confused as I had long black hair again.”
“He made a joke like, ‘you didn’t tell me you had a twin sister. Was that her on your Instagram story last night?'”
“I replied no, that was me and told him I’m wearing a wig right now, and I always have at work.”
“He asked me why that was necessary, and I just said I don’t know I think I like to make a certain appearance at work and keep it separate.”
“He said that’s way too much work and started gossiping about it with few other coworkers.”
“They said I am going way overboard to hide my true personality.”
“Some of them started calling me Ms. Uptight whenever they see me.”
“I also dress in a more formal style than others, so that contributed to the name as well, I guess.”
“I asked them to stop, and they only made it worse and more defensive.”
“I guess I could just stop wearing the wig and show up normally, but the thing is, I really like the way I dress and look at work.”
“Plus, I would be out of there in a few months anyway.”
“I sorta regret adding him on my Instagram.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for wearing a black wig and covering her brightly colored hair to the office.
Everyone agreed that not only was the OP’s hair and wardrobe none of her colleagues’ business, but the behavior of the OP’s colleagues was blatant bullying, with many suggesting the OP report them to HR.
“This dude is being inappropriate and fostering an uncomfortable working environment.”
“I would unfriend him and refuse all interactions with him and his group that isn’t directly related to work.”
“Kill them with professionalism.”
“And document everything.”
“If things escalate, you may need to go to your direct supervisor to discuss your work environment.”-Educational_Pea2932
“You are being bullied.”
“You are allowed to define your work/life boundaries however you like.”
“If you prefer to have one look that makes you feel professional for when you’re on the job, and more playful, fluid looks outside of work.”
“Who the hell are they to judge?”
“And why do they care?”
“Reeks of jealousy, insecurity, and just meanness.”
“Definitely would Restrict colleague’s account, so he doesn’t have so much access.”
“Sucks when somebody has to be hurtful for no reason.”
“I hope they stop being such petty jerks soon. N-T-A, OP.”
“Not at all.”- Internal_Designer399
“Report this to HR.”
“You are not obligated to show your ‘true personality’ at work.”
“You are allowed to present whatever professional image you want in the office as long as it complies with the dress code.”
“Your co-worker doesn’t get to criticize or harass you and drag your other co-workers into doing the same.”- miyuki_m
“Report the little gossip to HR and block them on insta.”
“The way you dress (including your hair) is not for others to dictate.”- delm0nte
“You’re at work.”
“Work you have black hair.”- Highforgotpassword
“NTA, but your coworkers are.”
“Block them on your Instagram and take it to HR if they don’t get off your back.”- ToastMmmmmmm
“Of course you’re NTA.”
“How you choose to present yourself at work vs. in your personal life is completely your business.”
“You sound very put together and professional, something your colleague is clearly lacking.”
“I would remove him as a friend and report his behavior to HR.”
“If they want to call you ‘uptight,’ lean into it.”
“Mandatory harassment training for all!”- loloannd
‘Women wear wigs for all sorts of reasons, and keeping a firm boundary between your work self and private self is fine.”
“Deal with their comments for a few more months, and don’t add coworkers on your Insta next time.”-Mansardonfire
“But also take this as a lesson to be really careful who you add on social media.”-thirdtryisthecharm
“NTA. There’s nothing wrong with dressing/having a certain style for work and a different one for off the clock.”
‘And from the way I take your post, BOTH styles ARE a part of your personality.”
“Your coworker is the AH for assuming he has any say in how you chose to represent yourself anywhere.”- Exotic-Blacksmith-56
“NTA, and this is bullying.”
“you’ve tried approaching them yourself about it to make it stop, if they refuse to drop it and you think it’s worth it (since you’re only there a few more months), take it to your boss.”
“If they don’t do anything about it, make a formal complaint to HR. how you dress and style yourself at work vs. at home is none of their business as long as you’re dressed appropriately.”- sew_over_it
“NTA, wearing a wig doesn’t hide your personality.”
“Sounds like your coworkers just want something to talk about.”
“If it’s not affecting the way you work, then it shouldn’t matter.”
“I would go to HR if it develops any further.”- No-Elevator3324
“You get to decide what parts of your personality and your life you share at work.”
“It’s none of his business if you wear a wig to work or not.”
“I had a similar experience with a coworker who claimed I was being ‘secretive’ because most of my work clothes don’t reveal my full sleeve of tattoos.”
“His demands to see them, much like your coworker’s demands that you stop wearing a wig, are a form of harassment.”
“Let your HR department know this is happening.”- matchy_blacks
“They were out of line.”
“There are women who wear wigs due to cultural & religious beliefs.”
“Some due to work requirements (like no unnatural hair colors).”
“If it continues, file a complaint with HR.”- zadidoll
“NTA you should dress and appear as what makes you the most comfortable.”- kennyPowersNet
“I’m so sorry they’re being a**holes, but you have every right to have a professional persona.”
‘It’s none of their business.”
‘And you’re being harassed.”
“Talk to HR, or tell these jerks straight up you won’t stand for being harassed.”
“And document (email to yourself) exactly what you say and what they reply.”
“Hope it all turns out okay.”
“But you don’t have to put up with this.”- Apotheuncary
“They are participating in petty gossip type activity.”- lavasca
“People are allowed to be multifaceted.”
“You do you, enjoy your wig, enjoy your hair.”
“This is coming from a hairstylist, so don’t listen to those jerks.”- Logical_Childhood733
It is quite something that the OP’s colleagues took issue with her appearance at work, not because she was putting off potential clients but because she was making an effort to look professional.
Then too, it would have been one thing if they were encouraging her not to be afraid or intimidated by her style choice but instead actually resorted to name-calling.
If the OP doesn’t report these colleagues’ to HR, then it would indeed be in her best interest to find another job with a more harmonious work environment.