updates: the terrible uniform policy, the acne, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are three updates from past letter-writers.

1. Our uniform policy is ludicrous and pisses me off constantly

After I went to Bob and explained that the stipend is insufficient, there are very few options for women and even fewer for large women, I went through the options on the uniform website myself and sent the admin links to several shirts that were available but not offered at our company. She added them to our offerings. I tried to order them and they were out of stock, not in my size…all kinds of issues. So I finally just decided that I won’t be following the uniform policy, or enforcing it with my direct reports, until the issues are truly corrected. Other female managers, for their own reasons, have done the same. Bob isn’t the best at follow-through, so no one is saying anything at the moment. Just yesterday, though, someone told me that our new director is keen to force us into not only uniforms, but shirts that are all the same color, every day. This depresses me more than I can say. But it seems like it is a ways off, so I plan to fight that battle when it gets here.

When my original post was published, I got several comments saying I was being classist or a snob. I’m truly sorry I came across that way. I sat down to write my letter just after another failed attempt to fix the problem, and I was angry. Being told what to wear is extremely triggering for me for personal reasons, but I also felt like no one was listening to the very real concerns about the unfairness and weirdness of the policy. I admit it was a rant, and I wish I would have handled myself better. I really appreciate the many supportive comments and Alison’s advice! They empowered me to know this is worth pushing back on, and I’m going to keep doing that.

2. Should I tell my boss about a personal situation that might affect my work?

I’m happy to say my situation turned out really well! I did talk to my boss, and he was as supportive and sympathetic as I could have hoped. We agreed on no new projects for awhile while I was dealing with the home situation, and to keep him in the loop if things escalated in a scary way or I felt like I needed more resources from the company. He’d check in periodically, although never in an overbearing way, but otherwise treated me normally.

I’m glad I was honest with my boss and HR, in part because, as it happened, the *solution* to the personal drama (I know some folks were wondering, so: it was a set of really, REALLY toxic roommates; going into detail would be wildly off-topic, but it was baaaaaaaad) was also its own source of stress for a few months even once they were on their way out the door (literally)—I bought the house I’d been renting for several years! It’s a happy outcome, but anybody who’s been through that process anytime recently probably has an idea how stressful and time-consuming it is, even without the house-hunting aspect. Anyway, it’s all over now, my mental health has DRAMATICALLY improved, and while, per my boss and co-workers, they didn’t see a dip in my performance, knowing that they were aware I had big things happened in my personal life made me feel like I’d have grace there if I needed it. My company is a great place to work, and I’m grateful for it. This past year would have been so much harder if I was working somewhere with a less supportive culture.

(I’m also glad I shared with my boss, because the first time we happened to talk after closing, he asked me how I was enjoying being a land baron now.)

3. Could my acne be keeping me from getting a job? (first update here; second update here; third update here)

I no longer work in either education or the completely different field I was shifting to with my update in 2018. Interestingly enough, I ended up working for a dermatologist for two years, and the treatment I got while working there knocked out the root cause of my acne. Now it’s just maintenance care to keep it from returning, and my face is no longer in physical pain from breakouts. Covid kicked me around career-wise for a while, but I think the dust has finally settled and I’ve found myself a good place to be.

You took my question seriously all those years ago, acknowledging that the acne could be making me look younger but also giving me other ways to make sure I read as my age, and I’ve always appreciated it. So many people in my life minimized how awful it made me feel by saying it was just a cosmetic thing, but the AAM community all had nothing but kind things to say to a young 25 year old who was ashamed of her face. I’ll never forget the commenter who actually reached out to me to send me money for medication that I couldn’t afford back then. (I’m keeping them anonymous in case they wished for it to be, but I’ve never forgotten their name.) So many of you wanted to help out too – I was blown away by the generosity and I still am, five years later! I’ve always loved the AAM community, and I will forever treasure how kind everyone was to me during what was a pretty rough period of my career. Thank you, all of you!

{ 65 comments… read them below }

  1. Jennifer Strange*

    OP1 – Glad you’re pushing back, and that it’s encouraging other women to do the same. And for the record, I thought you came across fine in your original letter!

      1. Zorak*

        Yes, the fact that people in the original thread were pouncing on the “We’re not” part of the letter just speaks to how bad-faith a lot of these ‘gotcha’ comments can be. OP literally clarified in the next sentence that she was talking about the business hierarchy, but some people don’t care.

        Often it seems people aren’t actually confused about what letter writers mean, they just try to crowbar a “that’s problematic!” into any possible gap in someone’s verbiage. Which is not only mentally exhausting, but also gets tiresome enough to risk undermining more genuine and necessary call-outs by association.

        Just because you can think of a way that one slice of what someone wrote could be problematic if viewed in an uncharitable enough light doesn’t mean that it actually was. If you try hard enough, you can do that with any sentence ever written.

        1. Anonomite*

          The same people yelling about classism in that thread would in no way take umbrage when Alison says a manager’s time is worth more than their reports’ time. Maybe they should spend more time thinking on that than they do.

        2. Koifeeder*

          Yeah, sometimes it feels like some of the commentariat is here to yell at letter writers for not being unproblematic enough rather than to offer advice, which is disheartening. I certainly didn’t think OP was being classist to point out that the company had made it difficult for people to meet the dress code!

      2. Nesprin*


        It’s not classism to want to wear clothes that meet the dress code. It’s so hard sometimes as a larger woman to be taken seriously- not having the right clothes/fit to signal OP’s seniority/authority is such a problem, and such an unnecessary problem for her company to create for her.

      3. Calamity Janine*

        to just throw a molotov cocktail of a comment in about that –

        much of the protesting from the comment section there was, pretty clearly to me, from people who just wanted to be fatphobic but thought they could use social justice buzzwords in order to do so.

        turns out that sometimes, people are so invested in hating someone for being fat, they’ll use any excuse they can to do it. the goal is to hurt others, not to bring about actual justice. so they don’t really care about whoever gets caught in the crossfire. (it’s not like class issues and size issues can never be linked, either… as was a large point of the actual letter!)

    1. MEH Squared*

      Agreed. It was clear that the problem was what she was being forced to wear–wwhich was her emphasis, and there’s nothing wrong with saying that people in different jobs may wear different uniforms/ensembles.

    2. Casper Lives*

      Yes, I’m angry just thinking about it. I get a company t-shirt every two years that doesn’t fit well. At least I’m not expected to wear it much!

      Paying to embroider the company logo to have clothes that fit *rage*

    3. Gigi*

      So many straight-sized people do not get how hard this is when your size is not provided for. Or it is, but you identify as a woman and are wearing a giant, boxy, men’s polo. And I get your anger OP, because it’s very triggering to me. My uniform of khakis and a men’s button front shirt (I’m a cis woman) at a bougie clothing store in the 90s was a constant source of embarrassment for me. I looked ridiculous. Good for you for advocating for yourself and your team!

    4. Flowers*

      Being told what to wear is extremely triggering for me for personal reasons,

      1000000 % me. and I don’t get the classist comments either. Being plus size and just generally enjoying dressing in a feminine way AND coming from a background of constantly being policed over clothing, I would absolutely hate to have a mandatory uniform/strict dress code and dare I say having agency over my clothing had some influence over my career choice. It’s one thing if I decide on my own that I’ll wear the same outfit every week but it’s my choice at least.

  2. EPlawyer*

    Update 3 made me tear up. I am so glad you ate in a better place. I’m also glad that the commentariat were so supportive.

    1. Goldenrod*

      Agree with EPlawyer! LW 3, I am so happy that things improved!

      People who have never dealt with acne really like to minimize it and say it doesn’t matter – but it totally DOES matter to have to struggle with something like that that you can’t control and that makes you ashamed of how you look! I’m so glad things got better and also that you felt supported on AAM.

      1. Well...*

        Yes, and acne actually hurts! Plus there’s the whole “don’t pick at it” which is good advice but drives me crazy not to follow because *it hurts* and itches and just generally drags your hands toward it when it’s there, like a mosquito bite. When my acne treatments work, I literally never touch my face. When they don’t? psychological torture.

    2. Mademoiselle Sugarlump*

      Me too. It means so much to find people who understand, and I’m glad OP found that here.

    3. Michelle Smith*

      Right?! I am so, so happy that things worked out for them! It’s awful that they were in pain and I’m grateful someone was there who was willing and able to help.

  3. KatEnigma*

    If “being told what to wear is extremely triggering” then probably a company with a uniform policy isn’t the right culture for you.

    The problem with limited options and sizes are legitimate, but the rest still feels pretty tone deaf to me.

    1. Nesprin*

      There’s nothing quite as exclusionary as being made to feel that your body isn’t right and isn’t supposed to be there, and I can see how that’d be extremely triggering.

    2. Feral Humanist*

      Wow. This comment is pretty lacking in grace or compassion. As a fat woman who can never wear the branded merch, I think you are grossly underestimating the amount of shame that goes along with it. It’s the company’s job to ensure that there are enough options for everyone to be comfortable and look professional. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t have a uniform policy.

      I also don’t think that it’s classist to say that different jobs are different? That seems pretty normal to me. I would certainly be taken aback if I were suddenly told I had to wear a uniform, especially if it drew unwelcome attention to certain parts of my body. Most uniforms were designed for men. Button up shirts were not made for large breasts; neither were most polos. T-shirts will fit either my hips or my shoulders but not both.

      No one should have to feel body-shamed, especially not at work. The issue is the company, not the OP.

      1. KatEnigma*

        You are grossly underestimating my clothing sizes! You assume I know nothing about that problem and you are dead wrong.

        And I said the lack of sizing was an issue. But she is complaining about any uniform at all, specifically even wearing a specific color of shirt! She isn’t the right fit for that culture.

        1. Darsynia*

          This is some serious bad faith. She said she’s said because they’re planning to make everyone wear the same color.

          Did you forget that it’s not the company, but that specific particular manager that has decided on the different uniform policy than the rest of the company? Cherry picking isn’t a good look.

            1. LW#1*

              I didn’t expand on this in my update, but the reason the “one color” rule is a depressing notion to me is that it will complicate the situation even further. Now, if the company doesn’t have offerings that fit me or others, we’ll have to shop for appropriate options on our own *in one color only*, and have them embroidered.

              1. Jessica Fletcher*

                To those who may not know – clothes for larger women have very limited color options! Sizes S-XL might come in 5 colors, but bigger sizes only come in 2. This is the norm! So yeah, it’s difficult to find a bigger size in a specific color, unless it’s black or leopard print.

              2. JustaTech*

                That really sucks. I had three thoughts (and I’m sorry if these have been suggested a dozen times)
                1) could you get a price discount if everyone who has to buy their own shirts did the embroidery as a group purchase?
                2) Would it be possible/ worth the effort to (very carefully) unpick the embroidery when the logo changes so you can at least salvage the shirt? (I’ve done this a couple of times and it’s only worked about half the time and requires patience, good light and razor sharp embroidery scissors.)
                3) Would it be possible to get the logo as a patch, so it’s easier to remove and replace?

                Obviously all of these are unfair extra work that the company should be doing themselves, but if they won’t get their heads out of their rears, it might make it less terrible.

        2. Feral Humanist*

          I assumed that because frankly I’d assume anyone who’d struggled with weight and body image would have sympathy with someone who was upset at being forced into particular clothes *for no good reason.* I see I was mistaken, though it does not change my opinion about your opinion.

      2. UKDancer*

        I don’t think it’s classist for different jobs to have different requirements. I mean I know someone who works for Transport for London (which runs the public transport system in London) in a back-office role. She wears smart office clothes and heels. The train drivers and the people on station platforms wear uniforms, reinforced shoes and hi-vis. It would be really silly making everyone in the company wear a hi-vis jacket and a uniform if they’re not in a job that requires it.

        People should be dressed for the job they have, and not everyone in the company needs to wear the same clothes.

        Also uniforms need to work for the body types people have and it can feel really exclusionary and alienating to not be able to wear the clothing / uniform required.

    3. Roland*

      Maybe you should read the original letter where half of the point is that it made no sense for OP’s position to be subject to these requirements.

    4. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Wow…hope my kids never run into someone like you. Both are skinny and very “leggy” and we have a dickens of a time finding pants and shorts that fit appropriately. One also has a long torso – so finding shirts that are long enough……

      It’s not as bad as for someone who is plus size – but it’s a PITA. Anybody who is outside the norm deals with limited options for clothes, and it is in no way classist to want options for uniforms that fit properly.

      1. pcake*

        I’m heavy now, but when I was a late teenager, I was very slim (although not tall at 5′ 4″), and although I’m a woman, I couldn’t fit anything off the rack or with minor alterations except boys clothes. Lucky for me a store with actual designer clothes for kids opened up, so that’s where I bought all my female attire for years.

        At no time in my life have I fit “normal” clothes for a variety of reasons, and not just weight reasons, either.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          Yeah – Junior Orchestra is 13 and 5’7” and 95 pounds when sopping wet. Clothes shopping is an adventure – in all the wrong ways.

      2. Flowers*

        eh, I don’t know if I’d say “it’s not as bad” at least in my case. Growing up “plus size” was mostly just bigger boobs and hips but still slim everywhere else; in fact I read that a lot of the straight size models in the catalogues were just photoshopped to be “bigger” or wore extra padding. I have broad back, mostly belly fat, and narrow hips. 99% of women’s clothes are not geared towards this body type.

        It’s only now in the last 3-4 years I’m seeing more fashion catered towards different sizes.

        Ironically my 2 yo is long legs and slim and yes finding pants leggings etc is a challenge. Time to learn how to sew *sigh*

    5. TBagpuss*

      It’s not jut about sizing, either. There are other reason why being told what to wear could be an issue – someone who has had a controlling/abusive parent or partner who dictated what they could wear, for instnace.

    6. Ellis+Bell*

      Errr… the company doesn’t have a uniform policy which made OP an outlier. That was pretty much half the problem.

    7. Just Your Everyday Crone*

      Unlike all the people who fit into an office culture that imposes nonsensical rules that cost them time and money?

    8. Fluffy Fish*

      Or you can say something kind like

      “I’m sorry the uniform issue is triggering for you. It really must make an already difficult situation harder to navigate. It’s really great you’ve been able to push back and I hope you are able to advocate for a solution that works for you. If not, if the uniform issue is significant enough for you, and it sounds like it might be, moving on might be a solution”

      1. Expelliarmus*

        +1. It’s amazing how many valid points can get ruined by how sharply someone states them sometimes.

    9. LW#1*

      LW1: KatEnigma, first of all, how is it tone deaf to complain that I and my direct reports are being forced to purchase, and pay to embroider, our own uniforms in order to be compliant with a policy, when we’re not given a sufficient stipend or offered appropriate sizing? I admitted that my post was a bit of a rant, but I don’t see how any of this is tone deaf.

      Secondly, I’ll admit that being told what to wear is extremely triggering because I was in a situation for many years where every aspect of my appearance was dictated to me. That’s my issue, I own it, and I understand that a company with a strict uniform policy is a terrible culture fit for me. I totally get it. But when the pay, opportunities, schedule flexibility, etc. makes the job a perfect fit otherwise, you weigh the pros and cons and decide what you can tolerate. I can tolerate wearing clothes to work that I don’t enjoy. But I’ve reached a point where I refuse to spend any more of my own money in order to look professional and wear a logo. And I refuse to embarrass myself by wearing an ill-fitting, rumpled T-shirt when customers or executives visit. I don’t find that even remotely unreasonable.

    10. Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle*

      It’s cute that you find o.p.’s comment to be tone deaf, because yours sounds pretty tone deaf to me, as well as terribly lacking in empathy.

  4. 1-800-BrownCow*

    OP 3 – Your update brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad you found a lot of support on here!! And happy to hear things are going well all around.

  5. It’s my hubs’ birthday!*

    Places should not make people wear uniforms unless the employer pays for an adequate supply, they fit, and they’re replaced often enough. If they can’t meet that threshold, uniforms should not be required.

    I’ve been lucky I’ve been able to select away from jobs that have uniforms.

    Dress code, sure. Uniform, no.

    1. anon24*

      I agree that places should provide uniforms and in all sizes, but personally I love working places with uniforms, or at least a polo top. It means I don’t ever have to think about what I have to wear and if its not flattering, so be it. One job my boss chewed me out because my uniform fit so poorly and I said “well I gave you my sizes and you sent me men’s clothing, I have boobs and an ass and I had to get my clothing way oversized to fit them, so of course it doesnt fit anywhere else on my body.” Innapropriate yes, but he was mortified and never brought it up again. I recently started my first job ever (at 30) that doesn’t have a uniform and I am sooo lost. I ended up designating my own “uniform” and every day I wear the same black jeans and black t shirt because it makes my life way easier.

      1. curmudgeon*

        To each their own because I bloody hated being limited to a horrid polo with the tacky business logo embroidered on my chest in an awkward way and ugly ass khaki pants.

        1. Inkhorn*

          +100. A former job introduced uniform polos a few months after I started, and those things were truly godawful. The smallest size available fit me like a sack, and even after a few hours sitting at a desk in office aircon they stank. The only reason I didn’t burn them after being made redundant is because I didn’t want to have to deal with whatever noxious fumes and chemical puddles resulted.

          Now I have a job where I get to pick out whichever vaguely business casual clothing I feel like and I am SO much happier. (Yes, I’m one of those people who thoroughly enjoy choosing outfits.)

      2. Wombats+and+Tequila*

        Devising a “work uniform” that works for you is absolutely the way to go. Once you hit a certain age, you know what looks good on you and what doesn’t as far as style, color, fit, texture, all that good stuff.

        It’s been years since I realized that I never had to be creative again with any of my looks. Hey, if someone has fun with that, awesome! For me, thinking about my clothes every morning was a stress I was delighted to abandon.

        1. allathian*

          I hear you. That’s why I’m so happy that my employer has a casual dress code. I wear jeans and a patterned long-sleeve T-shirt and athleisure sneakers pretty much every day, sometimes with a colorful caftan. If I want to change up a bit for external visitors or a company event, I’ll wear a plain button-up and jacket with slacks and some nice flat shoes. I’ll never, ever wear heels for any reason, I don’t even own any.

      3. Me+...+Just+Me*

        I work in healthcare. We have uniforms. Every hospital I’ve ever worked at has a, sometimes very specific, uniform scrub that clinical staff our mandated to wear. Whether it be color, or as one particular hospital system I worked at mandated, a specific scrub set that had their logo on it. We pay for all our own scrubs. I’ve worked in management for the majority of my career, and there is something to be said for management not artificially “putting themselves above” those who are responsible for the actual work of the business; in my case, providing direct patient care. Dress can be such a signifier that can stress this “we’re better than them” mentality or “they think they’re better than us” perception. I can absolutely understand the plant manager taking steps to decrease this perception. It can make a huge difference in improving overall morale and increase a team mentality. I can tell you that nothing get’s nurses’ dander up than a newly promoted nurse deciding that she is “too good to wear scrubs” anymore by tossing the scrubs and moving to business casual. When I was first in management, I very carefully thought about this and decided that I would continue to wear a colored (not white) scrub jacket with my otherwise business casual attire. It also helped that I jumped in when needed. Today, I continue to wear this “business uniform” even after many job moves to differing organizations.

  6. 2 Cents*

    Perhaps I’m being generous (because I am also a fat woman who shudders at the thought of wearing branded merch because it always looks horrible), but my sense was she wanted to match the tone of the other managers from the other locations, specifically when clients come in. She could A) wear the uniform on regular days if they carried the appropriate sizes and styles and B) dress up like how the other sites do when clients come around. I’d feel less than my best if I had to chaperone clients in an ill-fitting uniform that my peers on the same managerial level were not wearing. It does have business consequences.

    1. Darsynia*

      Especially when it could be assumed by those clients that you and your fellow managers are just slobs in ill fitting clothes compared with the other managers at other locations! You can’t in good conscience work the fact that you’re asked to wear those specific outfits into every conversation.

      It reminds me of the manager who demanded the OP interrupt any and all meetings in order to explain where they were going when leaving for X amount of time. While yes, the manager is allowed to have preferences, when those preferences reflect badly on the worker in a way that can’t be easily explained, it’s demoralizing and cruel. The clients can very easily think poorly of both of these OPs and not because they’re not doing their best.

    2. TBagpuss*

      I wonder whether it would work to suggest to HR / Hogher Management that the policy is reviewed with a view to staff whereing branded name tags rather than uniform shirts?

      It lets you have something which has the company logo and colours and doesn’t need to fit – also no issues with sizing, and likelyto be much cheaper.

  7. Glazed+Dount*

    OP2- I’m so glad to hear the situation was resolved, and hope you are enjoying your home!
    It’s especially nice to hear how a good manager responds to issues like this. A little while ago, I shared with my manager that I was going through a lot of time- & emotional-drain outside of work (family member in ICU, hospice) and after one particularly sleepless night, I was a bit over-reactive in a three-person, low stakes meeting. She promptly followed up with a ‘debrief’ to tell me how I was out of line (eye roll). Note to self not to disclose that info to her again!

    1. Hlao-roo*

      The links for the different updates direct me to different pages.

      First update is from August 9, 2017. Search for “3 updates from letter-writers (the acne, the ghoster, and the texting boss)” to find the post.

      Second update is from December 24, 2017. Search for “updates: the acne, the client apology, and more” to find the post.

      Third update is from April 5, 2018. Search for “4 updates from letter-writers (the parking pass, the acne, and more)” to find the post.

  8. Irish Teacher.*

    LW1, just wanted to say I didn’t think your comments classist or snobby at all and I am generally fairly strongly on the “we should stop valuing certain jobs more than others” side. But honestly, you are probably paid more than those who report to you, you may have power to fire them or at least do things like recommend them for promotion. There are a lot of differences. I don’t think saying it would be reasonable to also have different dress codes is any more classist than it being reasonable for you to be paid more.

    1. Ellis+Bell*

      I am still scratching my head on that one. People got on to the whole classism derail because OP had the temerity to say that the plant employees “reported to” the managers. Staff report to managers shocker! Someone else got miffed because it was a woman saying she would prefer to look professional in her own clothes, whereas the commentator personally did not like to think about clothes, so labelled the instinct bourgeois. Look – if you CAN look professional in standard issue-wear then you are either very lucky with your uniform supplier, or you are very average sized and shaped. Most people in my family wear boiler suits and uniforms and I have too, many times. This letter would make them cry laughing. When you have a job to do, you don’t give a stuff what the manager wears. It’s irrelevant.

      1. Just Your Everyday Crone*

        I also suspect that people really don’t understand the discrimination that fat women face. It is more difficult for fat women to be taken seriously, it is more likely that people stereotype fat women as “lazy.” Sloppy or ill-fitting clothes can reinforce those stereotypes, while neat, tailored clothes can counteract them.

        1. LW#1*

          You are so right about needing to dress smartly as a fat woman so I’m taken seriously.
          And going back to ask for additional money “because my uniform shirts no longer fit” is a conversation no one wants to have with their boss/HR. My weight fluctuates all the time – I’m working on it, but it is what it is. The sizing on the shirts from our uniform provider is hilariously awful. It’s very common for me (and others) to order 5 shirts in the same size (following the size charts!) and end up only being able to use 2 of them. They can’t be returned, your stipend is gone, and now you have 2 shirts to last for the next year. It’s beyond ridiculous. I feel my blood pressure rising again just talking about it!

          1. HelenB*

            Not that you’ve asked for suggestions, but I wonder if your boss would be ok if you had the logo made into an enamel pin that you could pin onto your shirts each day (obv not so great for silk shirts). Not that you should have to pay for those either, but if they’d ok that, cheaper than getting shirts embroidered.

          2. ariel*

            Ugh, I know this struggle so well. I’m sorry, OP, and I’m glad you’ve found a way to give your direct reports some relief from this odd policy.

  9. Mrs. Crenshaw*

    LW3, I’m so excited to hear that you found a solution for your acne! I understand how completely demoralizing it can be to feel like you don’t look your best and be unable to change it – not to mention how painful some types of acne can be! Best wishes to you.

  10. ENTJane*

    NOT responding directly to OP3, just want to put this out there since we so rarely hear the other side.

    I’m female, very young-looking, refuse to expend a millisecond of my time on trying to look or act older, and have never had a lick of negative consequence from it. If anyone assumes anything about me or my competence in the first place— which I’ve never had any indication that they do— they are rapidly convinced otherwise upon talking to me and seeing my work. I’m not saying no one is ever underestimated because of looking young, but I know that many misattribute the consequences of lacking confidence to their youthful appearances/demeanors.

    Anybody who would underestimate or demean someone for looking young probably has a bunch of other unsavory traits for which that is just the tip of the iceberg. Rather than trying to look older, first take a good, hard, objective look as to whether or not that workplace is worth your time and effort or if you should just find somewhere you don’t have to change superficial traits to appease other people.

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