Disney's Policy on Beards More Conservative Than Gay Policies

Disney parks have pushed forward new dress code policies, which will now allow employees to grow facial hair. Many feel that Disney strives to maintain its conservative image, however that image has a questionable past.

The strict dress code for employees prohibits body alterations such as tattoos and body piercings, bleached or dyed hair, extreme hairstyles, and neon nail polish, amongst others. The dress code is also not only enforced amongst employees; certain attire rules have been set for customers as well.

Unacceptable attire for customers includes clothing that displays offensive messages/language, or made of offensive material such as transparent cloth. Customers are also asked not to wear excessively torn clothing or anything that exposes inappropriate portions of the body.

The updated policy, which will allow employees to grow facial hair however, is far from being their most updated move. Last year the Florida Family Association, a Christian group that supports family values, protested at the park to warn visitors of the coming gay celebration.

The group flew a plane over the park with a banner that read "Warning Gay Pride Day@Disney 2Day." The protest came following the announcement of gay days at the park. Gay days at the park began unofficially in the 1990's. Last year became a matter of controversy when gay days at the park lined up with school trips.

In 2004 the Family Research Council posted an article, "Dark Days at Disney World," telling the story of a college student named "Terry" who "volunteered as a life guard during the week-long event, and ended her intern program short after, being fed up with so many homosexuals violating the hotel security code by heavy drinking, partying and sexual activity."

Despite controversy however, park appearances still remain strict in writing. Rules regarding the newly allowed facial hair still require proper maintenance and grooming. The LA Times reported that the new beards must be kept short and facial hair will need to be shorter than a quarter of an inch.

According to the company website, the Disney Look is described as "clean, natural, polished and professional."

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