This Nurse Had the Perfect Response to a Cashier Who Shamed Her For Her Rainbow Hair

Mary Walls Penney
Mary Walls Penney Courtesy of Mary Walls Penney

Lesson of the day: Hair color doesn’t affect a person’s ability to do their job. Neither do piercings or tattoos.

Mary Walls Penney, a nurse from Raleigh County, West Virginia, took to Facebook to vent about a judgmental store employee who didn’t approve of her rainbow-colored tresses.

“While checking out, the cashier looked at my name tag and said, ‘So what do you do there?’ I replied, ‘I’m a nurse,’” Walls wrote on July 9. “She continued, ‘I’m surprised they let you work there like that. What do your patients think about your hair? … Then [she] continued to comment that they didn’t allow that sort of thing even when she worked in fast food and that she was shocked that a nursing facility would allow that.”

At one point, the cashier asked another customer to weigh in on Penney’s appearance. According to the post, that customer disapproved too.

“Well, here [are] my thoughts,” Penney wrote. “I can’t recall a time that my hair color has prevented me from providing life-saving treatment to one of my patients. My tattoos have never kept them from holding my hand as they lay frightened and crying because Alzheimer's has stolen their mind. My multiple piercings have never interfered with me hearing them reminisce about their better days or listening to them as they express their last wishes. My tongue piercing has never kept me from speaking words of encouragement to a newly diagnosed patient or from comforting a family that is grieving.”

Mary Walls Penney
Mary Walls Penney Courtesy of Mary Walls Penney

The post has been liked 255,000 times and shared nearly 150,000 times.

“Some have remarked that I must be immature, unprofessional, attention-seeking and disobedient. They insinuate that I have an issue with authority and that I color my hair in an effort to rebel,” the 30-year-old told Us Weekly. “But most of the comments and messages have been overwhelmingly positive. Many have expressed that their family member would instantly be uplifted if they saw me at their bedside.”

And for the record, “I was hired with bright red and pink hair,” the mom of two tells Us. “It has always been accepted by my employer!”

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