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How Breastaurants (Like Hooters) Hurt Women

Jen Slack's picture
Restaurants sexually objectifying women

A new study by Renee Mikorski and Dawn M. Szymanski, published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, says that the mental health of female staff at sexually objectifying restaurants hurts the mental health of the women who work there.


In the study, 252 female servers were interviewed and ask to give 'yes' or 'no' responses about their environment at work. It was clearly surmised that women who work in such an environment are more prone to eating disorders and anxiety.

Women were also subjected to lewd comments by the patrons, and in turn felt a range of negative emotions, but because they need the tips, they ignored the statements.

Co-author Dawn M. Szymanski says there is a clear correlation: the more a woman's body is displayed as a sexual object in the workplace, the less happy she is working there.

None of this surprises me at all.

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I had a friend of a friend who was 'auditioning' for a position at a new Hooters that was about to open up in a new city. My friend told me that the girls were all lined up, and one by one were told either 'yes' or 'no' to the job, solely based on their looks. My friend's friend was given a 'no' and was crushed.

Makes me wonder why any women would subject herself to that kind of treatment and allow themselves to be objectified in this manner. Is it a lack of self esteem? If they were given a 'yes' would they feel better about themselves? If that's the case, she is clearly basing her self-esteem on all of the wrong things.

Never mind that the female staff experience negative emotions, what about the women who eat in a restaurant like Hooters. They must have to wonder if they measure up as well. It must be uncomfortable. Or is it?

With all of our women's movement advances, why are we still being objectified, or allowing ourselves to, as sex objects or play toys? Think Playboy "Bunny".

We women are hurting each other by allowing this. While we say we want to be equal for our work ethics and brains, we then keep taking steps backwards.

Please weigh in? Do you go to restaurants like these? How do you feel when your boyfriend/husband does?
Women, how much self esteem do you place on your looks?



I recently stopped in front of Twin Peaks for a Pokémon stop with my grandson. He did not know what the restaurant was about but I said a prayer that he would be protected from knowing until he is older and can understand that this conduct is wrong. Two young women were walking in and my heart went out to them that they were being subjected to this to earn money. It is a step away from a strip club. Big advertisement about a wet tee shirt contest. So sad.
I agree Phyllis. It IS a step away from a strip club. And it is very sad.