Black Skin, Orange Shorts:<br />
A Hooters Girl Narrative

Rachel E. Cook

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ideal is inherently unnatural, and to obtain it, one must alter her appearance to some degree. Myself and most of my coworkers altered the curl patterns of our hair through dyes and straightening tools and/or products; kept our buttocks and hips in check as to not get “too” wide or round; many of us augmented our breasts – a crucial component of becoming an ideal Hooters Girl and wore the required “fleshtone" panty hose that often times did not flatter our skin to ne. Becoming the ideal Hooters Girl is obtainable for some – but not without costs. African American women, I argue, are furthest from this ideal, and thus may bear the greatest costs in the pursuit of this ideal. Yet, Hooters provided solid employment for those who could meet its requirements – perhaps a worthwhile tradeoff for many women in times of personal or national economic hardship.

My overall experience as a Hooters Girl was positive. It included a flexible schedule, wonderful co-workers, memorable customers, and academic encouragement. There is also an initiative recognizing the achievements of current and past Hooters Girls. My favorite part of the experience was the relationships formed with my co-workers. As many of us exclaimed, being a Hooters Girl was like being in a sorority; once a Hooters Girl, always a Hooters Girl.

The views expressed here are the author's own and have not been reviewed or approved by Hooters.