Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bikini Bias

In listening to podcasts, attending conferences and just reading for self improvement for fun, I have recently been confronted with (fill in the blank) bias.  It could be opportunities to test for racial bias, male (or female) bias, you get the drift.

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It's all very interesting to me because we all like to believe that we are cool with everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, politics, etc.  It's just not the case.

When taking the different quizzes, it quickly becomes apparent that some decisions we make are solely based on all the wrong things.  It could be a deep seated thought or feeling that was instilled when we were young,

And sometimes, what we think and feel, pop up at the most interesting times,  

Just when I thought I was able to recognize all things about me....biased, I had to confront a recent revelation.

What are those bikini bottoms called where there really isn't any "bottom" at all.  You know what I am talking about...the small triangle of fabric preventing frontal nudity but the bottom is basically a string that disappears once it is worn.

Okay,  I am not a prude and I have become quite familiar with seeing all types of swimwear (both male and female) while at the beach, on cruises or even at the local water park.  But I feel justified in drawing the line when I am out to dinner.

So here is what happened.  We (Mr. French and I) are out of town and just walking around looking for a "local" spot to enjoy adult conversation and dinner. Anything "chain" was eliminated because we always want to go for the experience.  We certainly got an experience that night,

We saw a very popular Sports Bar and Grill (judging by the parking lot) so we approached.  Two waitresses were sitting out front to greet us.  They did have on long sleeved halter type tops but hey - no big deal.  After exchanging pleasantries, I said "having a good night?"  One of the girls said "ehhh" so I just said "it's never fun when you are working."  She said the sweetest thing..."No, it's not that, I just see you two holding hands and I would really like a boy to hold my hand."

So nice, And we still do hold hands.  So in we went to the restaurant.  Mr, French was already looking at all the TV;s with a plethora of sports featured as we quickly grabbed a table.  Our waitress handed us the menus and took our order.  Once she turned to go walk away, a few things quickly became apparent.  SHE ONLY HAD ON SWIM SUIT BOTTOMS.  And by SWIM SUIT BOTTOMS, I mean what I referenced earlier,  Terry's face was as red as the ketchup bottle on the table.  He quickly immersed himself in the table top design.  I, on the other hand, began to take stock of my surroundings. Right away I saw I was severely over dressed for this venue.  In fact, for most of our time there, I was the only woman customer.

All the girls were very young and very slim.  We discussed the type of body you would have to have in order to work there,  This was validated when we saw a "normal size" girl relegated to clearing off tables, fully dressed.

And that is when I became aware of my bikini bias.  

Unless there was a Olympic sized pool in the center of the bar, and all channels were turned to swimming, I had a hard time justifying why this was still allowed (and happening without warning) in this day and age.  Comparing this sports bar to Hooters, makes Hooters look classy, and I have never been in one.  

And could have gone a long time before going in this type of "sports" bar.  Not conducive to the young girl outside just wanting to hold hands,

I felt bad for the girls (and they couldn't have been much more than 21 - if that).  I felt bad that they thought this okay for them.  All this while attending a conference and even speaking on a panel regarding women leaders - how far have we come?

I would have to say - not far enough.

Until next time,

your pal,

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