'Strictly' professional Karen Clifton says she was turned away by barber for being a woman

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Graeme Swann and Karen Clifton attend the photocall for the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ live tour at Arena Birmingham on January 17, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Katja Ogrin/Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing star Karen Clifton has shared a tearful social media post describing how she was turned away from her usual barber’s shop for being a woman.

The 36-year-old Venezuelan dancer told her Instagram followers she felt “awful” when an employee turned her away from the barber’s shop she has previously used without issue.

Read more: Karen and Charles break down on Strictly spin-off show

“They said I wasn’t allowed to [get my haircut] because I was a woman,” she said, adding: “I mean, what are we? In the Stone Ages?

It really affected me. I’m not getting anything fancy done, and even if I was – the fact that I was turned away because no women are allowed. Even though there were two barbers that were free and there was only one customer in.”

Clifton said she has previously had her hair cut by two women, but there were no women in the shop at the time of this incident.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Karen Clifton breaks down in tears on Instagram after being refused a haircut because she’s a woman (Credit: Instagram)

She added: “I don’t ever do posts like this but I thought this was really important as it has never really happened to me before.

“I’ve never experienced this before and it feels awful, and it’s not right and it shouldn’t be that way.”

The dancer later shared a separate Instagram post featuring the words: “I’m not in favour of any discrimination of any form”.


Clifton made her debut on Strictly Come Dancing as part of the 10th series in 2012.

She competed as the partner of TV actor Charles Venn in the 2018 series, reaching the quarter final.

Read more: Strictly presenters complete charity danceathon

Clifton has also been married to fellow Strictly professional Kevin Clifton since 2015, though the couple announced in 2018 that they have separated.