Disney changes ‘look’ for cast members in effort to create more inclusion at parks

All gender references have been removed from cast member guidelines

Disney is making significant changes to the “Disney Look” guidelines for its cast members all in part of an effort to improve inclusivity at the park.

A big part of the revision is the removal of all gender references. The company said that all cast members now have the same options, including when it comes to makeup jewelry and nail polish.

Hair length is also now at the discretion of the cast member, however, non-natural colors are still not allowed. Facial hair must now be “groomed and well maintained” with no restrictions on length or shape.

The company is also allowing cast members to have visible tattoos for the first time, so long as they are not offensive and cannot be on the cast member’s face, neck or head.

“We want our guests to see their own backgrounds and traditions reflected in the stories, experiences and products they encounter in their interactions with Disney. And we want our cast members – and future cast members – to feel a sense of belonging at work,” Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman said in a statement.

D’Amaro said the inclusion efforts extend beyond the changes of the “Disney Look.”

“We’re reimagining our attractions to be more inclusive, like upcoming enhancements to Jungle Cruise and new adventures with Princess Tiana” he said. “We’re celebrating the diverse and inspiring stories of our cast and fans with creator collaborations and exciting experiences, like The Soul of Jazz exhibit at Walt Disney World Resort.”

Disney is also looking into diversifying its suppliers, teasing that it would have “more details on this commitment in the future.”

The company said that these steps are “just the beginning” but did not elaborate on what the next steps would be toward improving inclusion at the park.

“There’s more to do, but we’re committed to listening, learning and making meaningful improvements,” the statement read.

Tattoo artist at Rolly T-Rex at The Divine Canvass Tattoos in Orlando said the change can help make tattoos more accepted.

“I’ve tattooed people that work at Disney and it’s always got to be hidden,” he said. “Tattoos are so normalized now. They are everywhere. You know you see people with tattoos on kid’s channels. My kid watches videos with people with tattoos.”

Len Testa is the president of TouringPlans.com. He said the changes to Disney’s appearance standards are also important for a comfortable work environment.

“Inclusivity. Making everyone feel welcome. That includes not only the guests but also cast members,” Testa said.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.