Now brooches are on the banned list!

Now brooches are on the banned list!

Now brooches are on the banned list! Baffled woman is asked to remove a Zara spider accessory at work because ‘distressed’ colleague has a phobia

  • Woman was asked to remove her spider brooch to avoid causing ‘distress’
  • Colleague complained to the line manager who told the ‘offending’ woman
  • Post sparked outrage from fellow users who said the woman was being ‘precious’

A woman was left baffled after being asked to remove her sparkly spider brooch because one of her colleagues has a phobia. 

The £14.99 Zara accessory is made from twinkling rhinestones and metal with a safety pin-style fastening but was apparently enough to cause ‘distress’.  

Writing about the incident on UK-based parenting website Mumsnet, the anonymous woman explained she was asked to remove the bejewelled brooch by her line manager after the offended colleague had complained.  


A woman was left baffled after being asked to remove her sparkly spider brooch because one of her colleagues has a phobia. The £14.99 Zara accessory (pictured) is made from twinkling rhinestones and metal with a safety pin-style fastening but was enough to cause ‘distress’

Writing about the incident on Mumsnet, the woman explained she was asked to remove the bejewelled brooch by her line manager after the offended colleague had complained

She noted she had worked with the colleague for ‘several years’ and the issue of severe arachnophobia had never come up before.   

The story divided readers, with some questioning why the ‘clothes police’ had been allowed to run rampant in a place of work.  

One posted: ‘You know I would have been bloody minded here. People are not entitled to walk around never being inconvenienced/offended/creeped out. It’s a brooch.’

Another wrote: ‘Surely they could have just not looked at it? Are clothes police going to catch on in the workplace? What about birds on a scarf? Butterflies on a blouse? Leather shoes offensive to vegans? No coffee with milk next.. And they say dc are becoming bloody snowflakes??!!’

The story prompted outrage from other users who questioned why the ‘clothes police’ had been allowed to run rampant in a place of work,pictured

 A third added: ‘What would have happened if you had being wearing a t shirt or blouse with spiders on it? Would they have asked you to remove it??’

Others said that while it was not ‘unreasonable’ to wear the brooch in the first place, she should now respect her colleague’s wishes and refrain from wearing it again. 

‘It’s not unreasonable to wear it but if someone has a phobia it’s fair to ask you to remove it, which you did and you placed it elsewhere,’ one reasoned.  

However many said that while it was not ‘unreasonable’ to wear the brooch in the first place, she should now respect her colleague’s wishes and refrain from wearing it again

Another agreed: ‘You weren’t unreasonable to put it on in the first place and you did the right thing in removing it. Yes some people’s phobias can stretch to just images or even mentioning the thing they are afraid of.’

Some users shared their own experiences with phobias in a bid to legitimise how the colleague felt seeing the spider. 

One wrote: ‘My colleague has a spider phobia. There is no way she could have spent the day looking at that brooch. Just knowing it was there would have been enough.

‘Phobias aren’t rational and go way beyond just not liking them.’

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