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Bartending and Your Boobs

So there I was, making tongue-in-cheek statements on Twitter when I went and stuck my foot in my mouth, or so it seems. My offending statement was about applying for a bartender job in places where the idea of talented mixologists has yet to entrench itself. My exact words were: “Should I consider breast implants before applying for a bartending gig?” Considering I’m a guy, I thought it was funny, as did a few others. However, a talented bartender of the opposite sex took me to task with the response of “Dude. That comment is unfair. To me. To yourself.” which is perfectly fine as all opinions are welcome in my world, but it got me thinking.

First, to avoid being inundated with hate mail please read the whole post, I’ve gone to great lengths to avoid sticking both feet in my mouth, though I suspect my feet may end up there anyway. Also, great intellectual conversations start by tackling difficult or taboo subjects, like boobs and bartending.

In Canada it is now commonly considered constitutional law that anywhere a man is allowed to be topless, a woman can be as well. That’s right Puritans, the display of a women’s breast is not an indecent act, at least in Canada, parts of Europe, New Orleans and Portland.

Now onto the reason this discussion got started. As many of you know, I have not been behind a bar for some time. Unfortunately I don’t live in an area that has embraced decent drinks (i.e. proposing that fresh limes be used for drinks gets you the evil eye and some factually destitute diatribe on business costs) and some of the owners I’ve had to deal with have tested my sanity. However, I miss slinging drinks so I’m looking to find a place to bartend. If I lived in a large city, I’m sure I could find something, but as I noted above, the area where I live hasn’t embraced quality cocktails, yet.

Now, if the drinks a bar serves aren’t based on quality, then why are customers going to that bar? Usually because the drinks are cheap and the servers / bartenders are hot. A few people will argue that point, but the true veterans of the bar scene know this to be a fact. And if you need any more proof, this one word will put the debate to rest: HOOTERS.

Of course there are many more examples of the relationship between boobs and booze, Las Vegas and New Orleans come to mind, as do a number of restaurant franchises, like Moxies. When I worked at Moxies, the running joke was that for girls to pass the interview they had to walk sideways through a cardboard cut out. I was so offended, horrible, terrible stuff, aghast! Okay, maybe not because most of the girls who worked there had breast augmentation surgery and used those things like weapons. Working with certain “enhanced” servers actually caused my tips to drop.

So why is this the case? Men are simple, predictable creatures, that’s why. It’s like the university researchers from Montreal who tried to recruit men who had never watched pornography for a study, then they discovered that there are actually no men who have not watched porn. Simply put, men like boobs. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that it is very easy to separate men from their money using this grain of knowledge.

The counterpoint to this is obviously that a women can be a skilled bartender and doesn’t need to tramp herself out to make money. I agree 100% and I know many very talented women who have built their reputation on skill. Now I’m not saying they aren’t beautiful….ahhh crap, excuse me while I do a facial footectomy.

The choice is always up to women as to how they live their life. For example, this is a job ad for bartenders I saw a few months ago: “wanted: female bartenders, send picture and phone #”. That was literally the complete ad. I thought about dressing up in drag and sending my picture in, but I opted out. The thing is that an ad like this probably did result in a number of responses, and if a person responds to this type of ad they realize that the talent portion of the contest is secondary.

We can pretend boobs and booze aren’t connected, but it is in many places, actually more places than serious mixology. Hooters plays the game of claiming that they are talking about owls and not breasts, but no mentally sound individual believes them. Some would say that Hooters exploits women, possibly, or maybe the women are also exploiting men? Or, as I like to believe, nobody is exploiting anyone and everyone is getting something. Nobody is forced to work at Hooters.

Girls can fight it, or use it to their advantage and that’s the great thing, you have the freedom to choose between a burqa or a bra. At the end of the day, the choice of cleavage behind the bar rests soley with women and no one else.

Let the debate begin, I feel like a dram of Irish whiskey…..

* if paragraph two didn’t make you laugh, then you might be taking this post too serious

Darcy O'Neil | Art of Drink

Writer, author of Fix the Pumps, chemist, beekeper and general do-er-of-things, Darcy can generally be found looking for new and interesting things to do, usually over a cocktail. Currently working on more soda fountain history.