Female Military Grooming

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Keeping a clean and tidy uniform and appearance for women in the military is about more than just following the rules.
For many it can be a source of pride, and promoting equality.
Julia Laude spoke with women from Eielson Air Force base and Fort Wainwright to see what the typical grooming process looks like.

Elizabeth Bowden; Air Defense Artillery>>"For you, what would your everyday hair and makeup routine look like? Here."

Hair and makeup standards for women in the military is all about keeping a neat appearance.
That means having hair above the collar on combat and dress uniforms, keeping bangs above eyebrows and hair pins must match the soldier's or service member's natural hair color.
For soldier Elizabeth Bowden, she says having a natural appearance, allows for a greater equality between men and women.

Elizabeth Bowden; Air Defense Artillery>>"There was a time we weren't allowed in the military and I'm proud to be here now and you have to be equal to your male counter parts so to doll yourself up with fake eyelashes and crazy hairstyles that's more of just a look at me, not a soldier."

Having a clean and neat uniform can also bring pride to the one wearing it as well.

Emilee Edelman; Budget Analyst>>"To me I want to look good in uniform because I take pride in it so I make sure I do my hair really well every day, my makeup and everything. It's just like a job in the civilian world."

Staff Sergeant Inoha Richter agrees with Bowden that it keeps professionalism in the work place.

Staff Sgt. Inoha Richter>>"Actually when I attended basic training and they were explaining to us the grooming process of the female, at first it takes a little bit of a while because you start missing your nail polish, you start missing a lot of things you get used too. Wearing your hair in any style you want, wearing it down, however when I went to basic training and I was training with all the males, I think it actually is important because it maintains that unity between males and females. You want to make sure you look at the female as a female."

Other regulations include no colored nail polish and nails must be no longer than a quarter inch pas the tip of the nail bed.
This is Julia Laude reporting.