6 Surprising Realities of Life as a Hooters Girl

It started as a dare by my then-boyfriend. I don't remember how or why, but I do remember driving past Hooters and vaguely making some smart-ass comment when he asked if I wanted to go there for dinner.

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Fuck you, romance!

Somehow this led to him daring me to apply for a job "as a joke." He may have even threw in a little reverse psychology for good measure, implying I was too scared they wouldn't take me to actually do it or some bullshit. Of course it worked, because if there's one surefire way to get me to do something, it's telling me I can't do it. In hindsight, he probably just wanted to say his girlfriend worked at Hooters, because welcome to life in New Jersey. But the joke was on him, because that job ended up lasting way longer than our relationship did.

Here are a few reasons why ...

#6. It Shatters Your Stereotypes of Working With Women

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Here's a fun biological fact for all of you: when girls spend a lot of time around each other, they all end up getting their periods at the same time. This is probably why there was a lock on the managers' (all males) offices: that time of the month when 30 girls were a bunch of PMS-y bitches simultaneously.

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"I'm just going to hide out in there for a while."

Sure, that's an obvious drawback of having a predominantly female staff, but outside of that, it was a lot less Mean Girls than you'd imagine. There were a couple of rare instances where one girl would end up temporarily ousted by whatever sub-clique she was part of, but for the most part, the managers were pretty good about moving around schedules to avoid drama if necessary.

However, when you're going through a breakup or any other bullshit in your life, there was no better place to have been. It's amazing what a pair of cheesy orange shorts can do for camaraderie.

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And literally nothing else.

It's kind of like being in a gang; you may have some in fighting and shit, but at the end of the day, it always ended up being our crew versus anyone else, be them cheating exes, shitty, non-Hooter friends, or whoever else got caught in our crosshairs.

When I first started working there, I expected every girl to be catty. Ladies, let's be real: we aren't always the kindest to each other, and in a place that put an emphasis on aesthetics, the judgment can be especially harsh. But that first day when I stepped out in that uniform, totally uncomfortable because those goddamn pantyhose were always too short for our legs and they cut off the circulation at our waist, every single girl made it a point to compliment me. And that was something that happened every time a new girl came on board.

#5. Yes, the Money Is Actually Worth It

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Maybe all that friendliness was the result of us all remembering that feeling of complete vulnerability that comes with being in these horrible outfits that seemed to accentuate any area we were insecure about on a daily basis. That's one possibility.

Or maybe it's because we all could empathize with each other, thinking, "I can't believe I'm really doing this shit, but I hear the money is worth it."

The truth is the money was totally worth it. Not only did we make bank working there, but there were plenty of other awesome perks.

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For example, how many times have you met Carrot Top?

Customers would spoil us on holidays or our birthdays, we would get free tickets to sporting events or whatever the hell else, and getting pulled over while on your way to work wearing a Hooters tank top is a ludicrously effective way to beat the law.

Basically nothing about working there "sucked" completely. In fact, I'd highly recommend any female out there who ever thought of working at Hooters to go for it.

And save me with all that "objectification" bullshit. It's not like I was sold unknowingly into a Hooters slave ring and forced to serve chicken and curly fries for two years. It took me a number of years before I wasn't sick of the smell of wing sauce, but that was about as traumatizing as things got.

#4. It's Way More Family Friendly Than You'd Expect

When I first told my family I was working at Hooters, I quickly made mention of the kids menu and how often families came in. And this wasn't bullshit. Thanks to the movie Big Daddy, kids were always coming into Hooters with their parents. Basically once you add Adam Sandler into the equation, said thing becomes totally asexual.

But it wasn't just families with little kids. Hooters was a bit like Cheers, only instead of Carla and Diane, you had a bunch of hyper waitresses dressed in 1970s track uniforms. For our regulars (and there were A LOT), Hooters was their after-work watering hole.

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You're home now, sir.

It was a place that was fun, kind of immature, and had beer. They could forget about whatever real-world bullshit was going on and have some decent-looking/pretty girls talk to them.

After a while, you genuinely got to know these people. They'd ask us for a girl's perspective about stuff with their wives or girlfriends, or how to ask out a chick they were into while offering us a non-biased view of whatever bullshit we had going on with our boyfriends and whatnot. Eventually, they started bringing their other half in because the whole "scantily clad girls" thing isn't even a thing anymore. And if you think about it objectively, those outfits are far more ridiculous than they are sexy or hot.

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No one in this picture feels great about this picture.

Now, before you compare it to a strip club, it obviously is not the same thing. We weren't rubbing up on customers for extra tips. OK, most of us weren't. There was always that one girl that went a little overboard, and trust me she never lasted -- mainly because there was an actual strip club down the road, and she ended up getting a job there instead. The rest of the waitresses were normal, mostly college-aged girls that were more than capable of holding an intelligent conversation. However ...

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Cher Martinetti

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