Japan's Naturalia café has some unusual hiring practices. Since its first outpost opened in 2015, it's been billing itself as the "World's First No-Makeup Café Bar," with its waitresses not wearing a lick of makeup. It also doesn't hire women with brightly colored hair or crazy manicures, smokers, or those who've worked in nightlife establishments before. Now, it's opening a new branch in Tokyo, for which it has a crowdfunding campaign.
Recently, two of Naturalia's staff members went on YouTube to announce the new café — and revealed that they're completely makeup-free, except their eyebrows, according to RocketNews. (We can't blame them — we love our bold brows.) The owners say they wanted to open a makeup-free café after they were unable to find an establishment in their city where the staffers looked "plain and ordinary," reports Mashable.
In Japan — home of neon-bedecked Harajuku girls (not to mention cat cafés, nap cafés, owl cafés, hedgehog cafés...) — a hangout spot that promotes natural beauty might make sense, no matter how "off" it may sound to some of us in the States. But the first lines of the description on the website — sample translation from Japanese: "A flashy girl is not good" — do feel judgmental and remind us that women are held to appearance standards that don't apply to men, whether they're being told to wear less makeup or more. Also, refusing to hire smokers or people who've worked in bars sounds questionable at best.
Reportedly, the response to the café in Japan has been positive, with the crowdfunding page exceeding its goals by 191% by raising $8,578 with six days left in the campaign. Those who donate are promised special perks at the café, like all-you-can-drink offers and T-shirts.