It can be challenging to determine what is appropriate to wear to work in today’s climate, especially as a teacher. Piercings have long since been a way to personalize your style and stand out. However, men wearing earrings to work can be a gray area.
Male teachers can wear earrings to work, but it is often seen as unprofessional. Although schools will have different stances on whether earrings for males are acceptable or not, it may be in your best interest to remove them while at work.
In this article, I will further discuss the implications of male teachers wearing earrings and what you should do if you have one.
The Negative Stereotypes of Males Wearing Earrings
While females wearing earrings is considered normal in our society, males wearing earrings is more unusual and often carries a negative stereotype. Males began wearing earrings during the 1960s to symbolize nonconformity and individuality.
In the 1980s, men wearing earrings became a method of revealing one’s sexual preferences. An earring in the right meant one was gay, and an earring in the left ear meant one was straight.
The rebellious and edgy stereotype continued through the decades and still exists today. The additional stigma of earrings being “feminine” also contributes to the belief that they are unprofessional in the workplace.
Today, there is a growing acceptance of males wearing earrings. However, schools and professional settings are two places where acceptance is slow to grow.
Why Are Male Earrings Seen as Unprofessional?
Many professional environments see male earrings as being unprofessional.
Male earrings are seen as unprofessional both because of the historical stereotypes attached to them and the responsibility that teachers have for influencing the students in positive ways. Teachers hold a unique position in the lives of children, and males wearing earrings might be seen negatively.
Because they spend countless hours with multiple kids, they become someone looked up to by many.
The parents of the students you teach often have different values than you do. Many people are against various types of body modifications, whether it be piercings, tattoos, or dyed hair. It is possible they could feel uncomfortable with a teacher influencing their child towards thinking piercings are cool.
Although your individuality is important, your position as an authoritative figure in the lives of many children gives you additional responsibility. You must be aware of the influence you wield over the children you teach and do your best not to influence them in ways that their parents may disapprove of.
What To Do If You Have a Piercing
Schools have different dress codes, and while some may be okay with a male teacher wearing earrings, others may have rules against it. Some schools are located in more conservative parts of the country and uphold policies that ban male earrings.
However, some more liberally-inclined schools don’t have an issue with this. You should check with your school about their teacher dress code policies.
If there are no rules against male earrings, you may decide to wear them.
Teacher dress code policies may also influence what school you decide to work for. If you’d prefer a school that doesn’t ban male piercings, it is vital that you determine dress code policies before applying there.
If the school you work for does ban male earrings, you should take them out before going to work or cover them, so they are not visible.
Should Male Teachers Wear Earrings to a Job Interview?
Job interviews are an inevitable part of the job-hunting process. This is your chance to show the school first-hand who they are hiring. You may be wondering whether earrings are acceptable to wear during this phase.
Male teachers should not wear earrings to a job interview. Because of the stigma against men wearing earrings and the possibility that the school you are interviewing at may have a policy against them, it is in your best interest to take them out before the interview.
Removing your piercings will also make sure that you are the main focus of the interviewer. It is best when they are not distracted by anything you are wearing and only focused on you.
You may want to ask about the dress code while you are at the interview, so you know whether it is required to remove them before work. It will also give you a chance to determine if your values align with the school.
The Type Of Earrings That Male Teachers Can Wear
If the school you work for allows male teachers to wear earrings, you may still have questions about what kinds of earrings are acceptable.
- Avoid wearing multiple earrings and stick to just one, as it’s essential not to overdo it.
- The earrings should not be super flashy. Keep it simple and toned down without any crazy, distracting designs.
- You may want to avoid any inappropriate symbols. Keep it PG and neutral as far as politics and religion go.
Many schools have policies against males wearing earrings.
These policies are due to negative stereotypes of men wearing earrings and teachers’ influence over the children they teach. You should make sure to check with your school about their dress code before deciding to wear earrings. If they are allowed, make sure to keep it simple and classy.