Tallywackers: Progressive or problematic?

Madeline Gallegos

Ever since 1983, Hooters has graced the world with its presence. Before the opening of this great restaurant, the world was unable to eat chicken wings and gawk at scantily clad women in the same location– what a tragedy. Hooters was controversial for its time and, although it is still a business built on objectification, Hooters has become a commonplace brand that people have grown accustomed to, whether they go to enjoy “the view” or just go for the famous chicken wings.

While it is clear that Hooters was created with men in mind, it seems that women and gay men will soon have a similar establishment built specifically for them. Tallywackers, a restaurant set to open in Dallas, Texas in May 2015, is a twist on the classic Hooters style business. The restaurant, which will feature similarly underdressed male servers, was created after its founder visited Hooters and wondered why there was not a restaurant that catered to the opposite demographic. The restaurant will reportedly serve hot dogs (of course it will), pizza, and pasta, along with alcoholic drinks that patrons can enjoy during live entertainment. Although it’s not clear what the live entertainment will be– whether the waiters are set to perform or if there will be a nightly show– it is clear that Tallywackers aims to please.


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/23/tallywackers-dallas-hooters_n_7126080.html
Photo courtesy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/23/tallywackers-dallas-hooters_n_7126080.html

Judging by posts on Tallywackers’ Facebook page, people seem thrilled that an establishment that caters to women and gay men is finally opening up. Men are eager to apply to work at the restaurant, while women can’t contain their excitement to participate in the unique dining experience. Gay men are also ecstatic that the establishment is opening, particularly due to the fact that Tallywackers will be located in a predominantly gay neighborhood.

Overall, Tallywackers, in theory, is a fine idea- it creates a sense of equality between men and women in this type of industry. No longer is one sex objectified for the other’s viewing pleasure, but rather both men and women alike are being treated on an equal playing field. With the creation of Tallywackers, people of all sexes and sexual identities can enjoy a unique, fun environment.

However, we also have to acknowledge that objectification in any manner is not necessarily great. Having men and women, who are hired solely based on outward appearances, dressed provocatively to serve food to patrons is a questionable business practice. The hiring process intensifies the beauty standards that are already devastating society by further discriminating against perfectly qualified people who do not conform to society’s ideals. So, while Tallywackers is a step towards equality in this field, it is important to note that it is in the same category as Hooters and just because it features men instead of women, does not make it any better. In short, be conscious consumers and know that, while places like Hooters and Tallywackers may be fun, they are also problematic.


Maddie Gallegos can be reached at blogs@collegian.com.