UnderCover Waitress: Inspiration and the Objectification of Women

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Inspiration and the Objectification of Women

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Was deeply saddened by the Hooter's blog post in which the author describes being intimidated by being around a lot of beautiful women, and inspired because they were nice to her.

The inspiration also came from a top ten finalist who had recovered from an automobile accident in which she stopped looking where she was going and ran into a tree. First, her life was in the balance. Then, her doctors were unsure whether this dedicated dancer would keep her foot; now she is walking on the Hooter's Beauty Pageant runway.

Make no mistake, I am glad the woman kept her foot and is now walking. What saddens me is how women in America still buy into the idea that it is a good idea to strip damn-near naked, pose on stage, and hope to be the one winner in a million. A bit like playing the lottery but with a much larger time investment, and you are not going to win either one.

I doubt Sauce would have been inspired by such a story if the woman had found Sauce ugly and treated her poorly. Sauce writes that she was "relieved" that her body was similar to the bodies of the pageant contestants and for the same reasons: she works out a lot and denies herself any carbohydrates, subsisting instead upon "rabbit food and protein."

Her musings make me wonder how Sauce treats ugly women and fat women.

So, the moral of the story is that the pageant contestant feels "blessed" to have survived and healed and live to get to wear an extremely skimpy bikini and show off her knock-out body in front of horny men, impressionable teenage girls and cameras. Wow, isn't life worth living?

Tenille, who is mentioned in another post, probably envies Crystal and women like her. So might another regular, similar to Tenille in appearance but not as nouveau riche. This regular is getting on in years but continues to dye her hair black. Black hair dye is obvious and easy to spot. She is also uncomfortably skinny and stiff; the botox treatments and face lifts make her attempts at facial expression comical.


These are just some of the prices women pay for society's high value placed on beauty. The eternal quest for youth causes women to undergo painful plastic surgeries and waxings. The need to be skinny causes the massive rise of fatal eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Imagine if the tables were turned. How many men would line up to:
  • subject themselves to painful body waxing in order to look hairless and, therefore, pre-pubescent? 
  • be willing to work all day in a small speedo and a pair of dansko clogs? 
  • allow women to openly stare at and admire the shape and size of their testicles? 
  • get silicone implants in their scrotums so women would find them more attractive? 
  • literally starve themselves to get positive reinforcement? 
  • use the above tactics as a method of making money?
  • tell everyone they choose to live this way and enjoy it so knock off the "masculism?" (Trying to come up with a word to take the place of "feminism.")

Because I have a daughter. That is why I care. I don't want her to find blessings and inspiration in Barbie doll beauty and an unwinnable quest for youthful appearance. 

I want my child to find inspiration in art, poetry, and music. I want her to find inspiration in philosophical writings as well as scientific study. I want her to be physically fit as the result of participating in activities from which she gains joy, exercise, and fresh air -- not just because she wants a tight butt. I want her to be healthy because she eats a well-rounded diet that includes carbohydrates and the occasional treat. I want her to be inspired by traveling around the world and meeting people of different cultures, I want her to taste and eat their food (including carbohydrates) and I want her to enjoy living her life to the fullest. 

I want my daughter to feel blessed because she was able to earn a good education and find ways to be useful to humankind and the earth. And I want her to do it fully clothed.       
  


11 comments :

  1. That's the age old rhetoric that all ugly chicks use.

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  2. Yeah, that's probably it. I'm probably just ugly, thereby negating everything I just wrote.

    Because so much is completely lost on you, I will point out that the above is called sarcasm. You can discover what sarcasm is by looking it up in a dictionary. A dictionary is a big book...

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  3. You've made an awful lot of assumptions about me, none of which are true. I do not judge "ugly and fat women" and the fact that you would take the time to make such a distinction between "pretty" and "ugly" people and the way they are viewed actually suggests a lot about you. I am not one to comment on a person's physical appearance in a negative way as you certainly seem to suggest I do. Personally, I am the sort of person who is far more interested in personalities, intelligence and kindness. But maybe that's just me.

    As far as my musings, most are made sarcastically and in jest. For example, the comment on "protein and rabbit food" was meant to be funny. Also, if you read my blog for any reason other than to use it against me and my profession you'd realize that all that protein and rabbit food was for a fitness competition I was training for. And for the record my participation had nothing to do with being skinny and awful lot to do with the fact that I am both competitive and very into physical fitness as a lifestyle.

    I've always made it a point on my blog to remain openminded in regards to all opinions and feelings. While I don't think you're wrong to have the opinions you do, I do think the way you present them and the way you use them to portray others leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe you should take a look in the mirror - and I'm not talking about the superficial here.

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  4. P.S. In addition to being a Hooters Girl I am also the following: graduate student, well-traveled, Wall Street Journal subscriber, Scrabble enthusiast, Harry Potter nerd, lover of classic books (Tess of the D'urbervilles is my favorite), dual-citizen, skier, karaoke singer, former collegiate track athlete, painter and a million other things you probably assumed I wasn't.

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  5. @Sauce, we nothing about each other except what we write in our blogs. And you wrote about your experiences at a beauty pageant, being impressed and intimidated around a bunch of women who are considered pretty. I took nothing you said out of context.

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  6. Well said undercover waitress.

    sauce, you might be a nice person too so maybe you guys just have a miscommunication but i think basically what undercover is saying is that still in 2012 we are worrying ourselves into a grave about having to be physically sexy for men and it sometimes feels like we are just meat or something, not a fellow human being to them.

    i dont know maybe i'm just rambling and i shouldnt put words in undercover's mouth but it just still feels like there is too much emphasis on looks still and not real live qualities.

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    Replies
    1. You got it, Sue. Thanks for commenting.

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  7. Sauce, I don't read Under Cover to be making lots of assumptions about you. I read your blog from time to time, though, and I have a question for you. Let me preface it with a statement:

    You work for an organization that uses WOMEN'S BREASTS as the centerpiece of its marketing. "Hooters" is not about owls, right? It's a double entendre on breasts, nudge nudge, wink wink. Tight? So the implication is that at Hooters, "hooters" (in your specific case, YOUR breasts) are put on display for the enjoyment of customers. They are part of the decor, part of the draw. Don't you think?

    So my question is, seeing as you're a graduate student, Wall Street Journal subscriber, dual citizen, etc., and that you regard yourself as a creative and literate person (surely you ARE): Don't you find at least a little troublesome, a little "off," the notion that YOUR EMPLOYER uses YOUR BREASTS as the centerpiece of its marketing strategy? Doesn't it seem like the perspective of the very idea of a restaurant called "Hooters," that your creativity, your intellectual achievements, your personhood itself, takes a back seat to YOUR POSSESSION OF BREASTS as a lure for male customers? Doesn't such an employment practice bother you, at least a little? If not, why not?

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  8. I don't think I buy Sauce's "Miss Sophisticated" routine. She may be a teeny bit more complex than the tanning bed queens she idolizes, but that isn't saying too much.

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  9. As a waitress also working my way through college, I strive to make as much money as I possibly can to save up and pay off the ever-looming debt that awaits upon my graduation. Sure, after graduation, if I'm lucky, I'll be able to find a well-paying job in this economy, and with that, I will also help to pay it off; however, I would prefer to not spend those subsequent years still living like a poor college student.

    Why not take advantage of the stupid men who are willing to throw money at you because you are wearing tight clothing? The only thing skimpy about the Hooters' uniforms is the short shorts, and they also wear tights underneath. It's not slutty, it's not skanky, it's smart. If a man will be a womanizer, it is only justifiable that he should become poorer as a result of his schema towards women.

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  10. So it's a symbiotic relationship then. They see you as a pair of jiggling breasts with legs to fetch food, and you see them as penises who carry wallets. Certain kind of inherent justice there, I guess.

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