Whenever someone breaks a stereotype, the person will undoubtedly face criticism and support at the same time. Same thing happened a few days ago with nurse Mary Walls Penney. She works as a nurse in a nursing home in West Virginia and is specialized to work with patients suffering from Alzheimer and dementia. She is proud to flaunt her rainbow colored hair, her pierced tongue and multiple piercing in ears and visible tattoos.


One day earlier this month after she was on a shopping trip with her uniform, she was asked by a cashier surprisingly seeing her tag,”“So what do you do there?” After replying that she was a nurse, the cashier said, “I’m surprised they let you work there like that. What do your patients think about your hair?”

Mother of two further recalls that the cashier asked the lady standing behind her in the queue about what she thinks of her hair. To this, the elderly woman replied,

‘Nothing against you honey, it’s just not for me.'”

The Wyoming County, West Virginia native says the cashier didn’t stop and said further that they didn’t allow that sort of thing even when she worked fast food and that she was shocked that a nursing facility would allow that.


After she had returned home, she posted a lengthy post matching her cute disposition to know how people response to her technicolor locks. Her post was as follows –

“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 and as they lay frightened and crying because Alzheimer’s has stolen their mind.”

She mentioned herself as “child of God” and further added, “My multiple ear 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.”

“So, please explain to me how my appearance,” she wrote, “paired with my cheerful disposition, servant’s heart, and smiling face has made me unfit to provide nursing care and unable to do my job!”

Mary’s words struck the chords of many hearts, and her post has been liked more than 272,000 times and shared 100,000 times.

The comments below her post explain that your personal looks do not define your workplace. Some of the comments were –

“I had tattoos when I worked EMS, and it never stopped me from saving a life. Most of my patients would comment on how cute they were”.

One more added, “I am a fellow nurse, and have tattoos, had piercings, and recently started experimenting with different hair color. At no time has it interfered with me providing quality care. I applaud you for being confident in your own skin. I am sure you’re an excellent nurse.”


Another supporting comment was, “Mary, don’t let anyone get you down you are a wonderful nurse, mother, and an incredible human being sounds to me like she was a little jealous keep on doing what you are doing.”

Last Thursday Mary replied to all the supporters by saying that she is forever grateful that her voice was heard, and she possibly opened some judgemental eyes and ears in the process.

Such posts make us realize that we should love a person for their job and not judge for their looks.

If you liked her story , then share this thought-provoking story with you friends. If you have something to add to this, write in the comment section below.

Write your views below.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here