Women discouraged from applying make-up on trains

By Rachel Lawler 1-Nov-2016

Video campaign tells Japanese commuters that it is “ugly” to see women applying make-up on the train

Tokyu, a major railway operator in Japan, has asked female commuters not to apply make-up on the train in a controversial campaign.

The message was shared as part of a wider video campaign promoting better etiquette on public transport and has sparked a backlash from consumers in the region.

Please refrain from putting on make-up on the train.”

Passenger complaints

The subject was selected from the results of a survey by the Association of Japanese Private Railways about common passenger complaints.

2,105 people were surveyed about nuisance habits on public transport. Applying make-up was the eighth most complained about topic.

Other videos in the campaign discouraged the use of smartphones while walking, disrupting queues or shoving large bags in the way of other passengers.

The clip opens with the phrase: “Women in the city are all beautiful. But they are ugly to see, at times.”

An actress is then seen dancing in front of female commuters as they apply their make-up as a voice says: “Please refrain from putting on make-up on the train.”

Controversy online

The advert was released on YouTube and has been seen playing on a large screen at the Shibuya scramble crossing. A poster displaying the same message has also been displayed.

Twitter user @ryudokaoruko wrote: “I can understand if Tokyu’s ad asked me to stop putting on make-up because powder might spill or its smell could bother others. But a railway has no right to tell me whether I look beautiful or ugly.”

However, Masayuki Yanagisawa, a spokesperson for Tokyu, told Japan Times: “We have actually received more positive feedback than negative.”

Sign up for your free email newsletter

Yanagisawa also said that Tokyu has no intention to withdraw the advert.

Subscriber Help