Army May Ban French Manicures, Ponytails

army may ban french manicures

Photo: ©Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

Should the military have a say in your manicure? Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin, 1980

Uncle Sam wants you! Your beauty habits, not so much.

Leaders within the military are considering banning French manicures, ponytails, earrings, and hand and neck tattoos as part of the Army Combat Uniform in an effort to have soldiers look more polished, the Army Times reports.

“I believe that we can better visualize to the American people and the Army what it means to be an American soldier than we’re doing now,” Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler tells the paper. 

“Those can be done through personal grooming standards and standards of appearance and … the uniforms we wear and how we choose to wear them. I think we can do better. Now’s the time to take a look at it.”

Though no changes have been made, Chandler says he and other leaders have been in "very spirited discussions" over the need to update the military dress code.

“I would assume there are going to be some changes,” he says. “Exactly what they are it’s too early to tell.”

Response from the military community has been mixed, with some arguing that the current policy allowing tattoos is "too lenient," while others say the Army should keep up with the times.

The potential crackdown on manicures and earrings has also found support among some servicewomen.

“How have we gone from debating whether women should be allowed into combat arms branches to if we should be able to wear earrings?” a female soldier has posted online.

“We knew what we were sacrificing when we joined. This is the United States Army, and there is no time for ‘pretty’ here. I am a female NCO and while I embrace my womanhood, the bottom line upfront is that ponytails, French manicures, earrings, etc., will not enhance my ability to train and lead soldiers. In fact I believe it will negatively alter their view of me as a strong leader. Please don’t empower me as a female, empower me as an NCO.”

Wonder what Private Benjamin would make of this!

Meanwhile, read about the teacher who took a Sharpie to a student's hair after he violated the school's dress code.