Working as a restaurant server is a hard job. You are constantly on your feet, you have to deal with rude customers, and all while maintaining a smile. And if you’re a woman, this job can be made more difficult if the dress code demands you to dress in a sexualized manner. Many female servers are made to wear outfits that reveal more of their bodies, though these dress codes are not demanded of their male counterparts.
It’s absurd to require anyone to wear sexualized outfits in the restaurant industry, but sadly, it’s a prominent trend. And some women have made human rights complaints against these sexist dress codes.
Apart from being objectifying, these outfits can hinder a server’s ability to do her job. Mobility is not a top priority for sexy clothes, and it’s not easy being on your feet for eight hours while being restricted by an unnecessary high heels or super tight skirts. It’s obvious to me that by making practical uniforms, employees will be able to do their jobs more efficiently.
Having an improved quality of service allows restaurants to do better business, and by requiring women to wear ‘sexy’ outfits, employers are saying that female servers are only worth as much as their body — their skills as a server are secondary. It’s blatant objectification, and it’s unacceptable.
A dress code’s purpose should be to provide consistency and professionalism in the workplace.
I would like to stress that how you dress your body should be a choice. If you are comfortable in tight, short clothes, or high heels, then there’s nothing wrong with wearing them, but the issue arises when it is a requirement for a job in which your body’s appearance is irrelevant to what that job entails.
A dress code’s purpose should be to provide consistency and professionalism in the workplace. Restaurants may want to create a specific environment by encouraging certain uniforms, but demanding for servers to dress revealingly is not okay. The restaurant industry should not be similar to the sex industry.
Does having scantily clad women even add that much value to your restaurant experience? I understand that having attractive people around your place of business would be, well, an attractive quality. But do restaurants need to provide something for customers ogle at while they scarf down their dinner? If you need to rely on the looks of your servers to attract customers, then I am concerned about the quality of the food you serve.
This demand for sexualization of female servers is disturbing. Creating different standards of dress for men and women is an unnecessary distinction, and reinforces antiquated ideas of gender roles. Sexualizing uniforms not only hinders servers’ abilities to do their jobs comfortably, but holds us back from reaching total equality.