09 February 2011

Hooters Gets Political

In the current issue of Hooters Magazine, Julia Hurley is featured in a relatively new column titled "Orange Pride."  Orange Pride features past Hooters Girls in a "where are they now" format meant to show how Hooters can change a woman's life for the better.  Now no one really cared much about the magazine article in the mainstream media until it featured Julia.  This is because Julia is Republican state legislator from Tennessee.  Suddenly the column totally matters.

The following is an exert of an article that appeared in newspapers across the country.  Thanks to my mom for pointing it out.

A freshman Tennessee legislator credits her success in politics and business to the time she spent working at a restaurant chain known for buxom waitresses in tank tops and short shorts.
Republican state Rep. Julia Hurley, 29, won her November election by knocking off the Democratic incumbent in a conservative district west of Knoxville, but she says it was while working as a "Hooter's Girl" that she began honing her business sense and networking skills.
Hurley writes about it in the latest issue of the restaurant chain's Hooters magazine, and says opponents tried but failed to make her past employment and photos from her modeling career a campaign issue.
"I have taken quite a bit of flack from the public at large during my run for State House in Tennessee for being a Hooters Girl," she said. "But I know that without that time in my life I would not be as strong-willed and eager to become successful." 

Of course that was just the article.  Naturally the topic of Julia the Hooters Girl turned politician is the topic of blogs and message boards all across the Internet.  And lots of it isn't flattering.

Yes, Representative Hurley worked at Hooters.  But she's also a Southern Baptist who's a member of Gun Owners of America.  It's my opinion those things have a lot more influence on her political leanings than her time at Hooters.  What I'm sure Hooters does influence is her ability to deal with people.  It probably helped her gain confidence.  It probably made her strong-willed and determined.  It probably greatly influenced who she is and definitely helped her to become the politician she is today.

In the end though, while Hooters helped Julie - as her column in the magazine clearly revealed - it certainly isn't the defining piece in the woman she is today.  And it most certainly isn't the defining piece in her ability to serve the public either.  That, as with any politician, would have to do with her political rhetoric; shouldn't that be the topic of discussion when regarding any politician?

Too often, Hooters becomes an issue where it doesn't need to be.  Yes, we are Hooters Girls, but we're all so much more.  Hooters is only one piece of the puzzle.  But for the record I think it's an important piece.  Hooters has made me more confident, patient, outgoing and a million other things that are infinitely valuable.

These are the things that got me into graduate school today.  Yes, Hooters and more specifically this blog was part of my letter of intent and what evidently made me an "interesting and valuable candidate" according to a member of the selection committee.  And that means the world to me.

I'm honored to share the pages of Hooters Magazine - her article directly follows my own - with Representative Hurley.  I may not share her political beliefs, but I certainly share her confidence.  Thanks for that, Hooters.


  1. Well said. Very well said. It's really silly how people make it an issue, and then how they try to make it a *negative* . . . makes me crazy.

  2. Sen Vitter (R-LA) was busted in a huge prostitution scandal. Sen Craig (R-ID) was busted trying to solicit gay sex in an airport restroom. Somehow I find both of these infinitely more offensive than being a Hooters Girl. Anyone who has been in a Hooters probably isn't in a position to judge.

    Hardly the first time the company got political though. There is a signed letter from Newt Gingrich on the wall at HQ. The guy almost single handedly saved the company from the EEOC back in '94.



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