AP/Photo Eric Risberg
In the news today the story of a Hooters waitress being told to lose weight or lose her job has stirred quite a controversy. The twenty year old was receiving her two year review when she was told that her uniform no longer fit properly. She was then informed that she would receive a free gym membership and thirty days to improve her appearance. Alexis Aleshire the public relations manager for Hooters of America headquarters, located in Atlanta, commented:
“We will say that our practice of upholding an image standard based on appearance, attitude and fitness for Hooters Girls is both legal and fair. It is not unlike the standard used by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders or the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.”
The problem is that slinging beer and Buffalo wings can hardly be compared to cheerleading or dancing. With competitive sports and other physical activities that require someone to stay in shape the implementation of physical fitness standards is reasonable. Within the confines of the harsh modeling world, where it’s common practice for women to be scrutinized to the point of starvation we’ve come to expect rejection based on appearance as a part of the job, but when it comes to waitressing at a wing joint should the same standards apply? On the same note the employee at almost 5”8 and 132 pounds is hardly overweight by any standard. Truthfully, whether you’re a scantily clad cocktail waitress in Vegas or hot pants wearing wing slinger at Hooters on Peachtree in Atlanta, taking a job that places emphasis on appearance means you must also be prepared to be evaluated on it. That being said it doesn’t hurt to know your rights.