This recent increase in traffic to Girl and Guitar has caused me to reflect on why I'm a Hooters Girl and perhaps more specifically why I write this blog. It has become obvious through comments and emails that the Hooters stigma is far more prevalent than I perhaps realized. It seems that in many ways Hooters is some mysterious curiosity centered on the Hooters Girl. While many people love and adore Hooters, there are some that view it harshly. Often this negative view is not so much that people dislike Hooters, but they really don't understand it often because they haven't experienced it. People listen to rumors and hearsay - as is human nature - and develop an opinion that is often totally unfounded.
In a way, this is why I started this blog and began detailing my life as Hooters Girl. While initially based as a way for me to journal for personal reasons, it rather quickly grew into a memoir into the life of a Hooters Girl as I become more cognizant of the Hooters Girl mystique. In going to work and explaining my job and writing this blog it became apparent that my job stereotyped me. My job placed me into a certain mold that really didn't reflect the dynamic person I am. My job sometimes made me look like someone I'm not. This is not so much because a Hooters Girl is a certain thing or a certain type of woman, but rather because people have the wrong understanding of what a Hooters Girl is. For some reason the Hooters Girl is often viewed as vapid, shallow and vain. She is viewed as unintelligent. She is viewed incorrectly. I suppose to simplify, I saw the blog as a way to show the real girl behind the Hooters Girl.
So what I am behind the Hooters Girl? I am a college graduate with a B.S. in Marketing. I am a former collegiate athlete who nearly high jumped her height. I want to go to law school. I am waitlisted to get into the law school of my choice and worried about it. I love buying shoes. I use running as my emotional outlet. I love to read classics, but secretly indulge in chick-lit. I consider my guitar my most prized possession. I have to sleep on my left side. I love sports of all kinds. I got stood up on my first date in months last Thursday. I love writing papers, especially those that analyze literary symbolism. I love ESPN. I still have a teddy bear. I eat string cheese every day. I love hiking. I love Montana. I am a Dutch citizen and an American citizen. Chili is my favorite thing to cook. I like to draw portraits. And a million other things that don't involve orange shorts and chicken wings.
When I tell people what I do, most don't believe me. Honestly, if you had told me three years ago I wouldn't have believed it either. I too had a misconception of what a Hooters Girl was. I thought that girl wasn't the girl I am. For some reason I judged a Hooters Girl as a girl without substance. But when the job fell in lap, I realized very quickly that while a Hooters Girl is an American icon it is still just a job. Being a Hooters Girl is not a definition. It might be part of a definition, but it is certainly not a whole.
I work with forty beautiful, fun, amazing woman. Most are in college, some of us have even graduated. We have cheerleaders and athletes and nerds. We are different, but share the commonality of being Hooters Girls. For some reason however, the fact that we wear the same uniform seems to create the idea that we are the same person. That's the thing about Hooters Girls, while we all wear the same orange shorts and scrunched socks we are hardly the same. We are all gorgeous individuals with varying interests and personalities who happen to have the same job.
And honestly, it's a job that I totally love. When I started did I think I'd love it? No, I thought I would feel objectified and underappreciated and unchallenged. There are certainly times I feel that way, but this is not most of the time. Most of the time I love going to work. I get to be goofy and show my personality and talk sports and play my guitar at work and even have intellectual conversations now and again. I get to be myself. It just so happens that this involves lots of spandex and Lycra. And you know what, I'm ok with that.
I know that one little blog in the vast expanse that is the Internet is not going to singlehandedly change opinions, but I don't expect it to. I suppose what I do expect is that a few people may chance by it and see a different side of something. Perhaps this will enlighten them in someway. Perhaps it will shed some light. Perhaps it will change an opinion here or there. But that is not up to me. All I can do is continue to write. I'm just one Hooters Girl writing one blog. I couldn't be happier.