Minister and Makeup Artist Sues M.A.C Cosmetics for Forcing Him to Wear Makeup
When was the last time you looked at your pastor and said, “Damn his brows are on fleek?”
Or how about heading over to the nearest M.A.C. counter after Sunday service and having your ordained leader beat your face to the Gods?
Well, one Detroit pastor was all about contouring you to perfection, until he found out he’d have to do it to himself first.
Barry Jones is a husband, father, ordained minister, and licensed esthetician who, according to the Detroit Free Press, is now suing M.A.C. cosmetics in federal court.
Jones claims M.A.C. cosmetics demoted him in 2104 because he refused to wear makeup and based his refusal on religious grounds. He was a M.A.C. makeup artist at Northland Mall, making $17.70 an hour. In order for him to obtain his certification to become a full time M.A.C. makeup artist he alleges the company required him to wear the actual makeup.
Jones was fine with this when it was just concealer he could use to cover up his pimples, but when the company insisted on blush, lipstick, and fake eyelashes, the minister said enough was enough.
According to Jones, the company’s reasoning behind requiring artists wear the makeup is so they can understand what the makeup they’re using on people actually feels like.
While in training classes with other makeup artists, Jones refused to allow others to put false lashes, blush and lipstick on him, citing his “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
“It was a very unusual experience,” Jones told the Free Press. “They went around the table. They gave us trays of makeup … I said, ‘I’m an ordained minister. I don’t wear makeup.’ But the instructor said, ‘No, everyone needs to experience the makeup. You have to put the makeup on.’ ”
He told his instructors that men looking like women was forbidden in the bible and quoted Duteronomy 22:5 which says, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
He managed to escape a full face of makeup in that training but said he was later approached by his manager.
“He caught me in the office and said … ‘You do understand that we wanted you to wear the makeup,’ ” Jones told the Free Press. ” ‘The next training you go to, there will be no compromise. You will wear makeup. You will put on the lipstick. You will put on the blush … make a choice.’ ”
According to the report, Jones has been in ministry since he was 19 years old, currently serving as minister at the Gordy Memorial Church of God in Christ in River Rouge. His love for God is also supplemented by his love for makeup artistry; he’s owned a beauty salon in Southfield since 2011. He decided he wanted to pursue the option of becoming a celebrity makeup artist which is how he landed at M.A.C. in 2014, but he’s not willing to let his love of his art compromise his devotion to God.
“It’s against my religion for me to do anything that would cause me to look like a woman,” Jones said. “I’m an ordained minister. I’ve been preaching for 19 years … I don’t want my integrity to be called into question within my organization because I have on makeup.”
Jones says after his refusal to wear makeup in the training courses, he was demoted to a freelance makeup artist with M.A.C. and never got any work.
Feeling as though he’d been black-balled, Jones filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which granted him a “Right to Sue” letter. Following this, he filed a lawsuit on Monday in federal court alleging religious discrimination.
This case is sure to be one for the books. Jones was very clear where he stands, “I don’t want to be pretty. I just want to be a handsome man, do my job and leave.”