All Navy personnel in New Zealand can now wear makeup, regardless of gender

Royal New Zealand Navy

The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has announced inclusive guidelines which mean its personnel will now be able to wear makeup and nail varnish, regardless of gender.

Previous rules only allowed subtle makeup, clear or pale nail varnish and “trimmed, neat and natural” false eyelashes to be worn by women.

Now personnel of any gender will also be able to wear “natural coloured” stud earrings, rings on a maximum of two fingers, and have long hair in a bun or single plait.

In a statement to New Zealand news service Newshub, Navy chief David Proctor said: The New Zealand Defence Force can confirm that as of November 1, 2019, guidelines around grooming and appearance for Royal New Zealand Navy personnel will be updated.

“These updates are to reflect that the RNZN make no distinction between male and female members in terms of their personal grooming and appearance.

“These changes reflect that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as an organisation, as are the unique traditions and characteristics of the RNZN.”

Proctor added that Navy appearance and grooming guidelines would still prohibit body piercings and “exaggerated hairstyles” to maintain professionalism.

He continued: “The RNZN is a modern and professional organisation that embraces individuality and personality.

“However, we are a military organisation and with that comes certain expectations on our personnel in terms of dress and appearance.”

Last month, the UK’s defence secretary Ben Wallace dismissed the idea of allowing male soldiers to wear makeup, despite the British Army saying it would make guidelines gender-neutral.

At the Conservative Party Conference, Wallace said: “Apparently the army is consulting on men being allowed to wear makeup.

“The answer is men will be allowed to wear makeup in the army as long as it’s camouflage colour. That will be about as far as they are allowed.”