Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Burgers and boobs: empowering or degrading?

Francis Flisiuk

Posted on January 25, 2016 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

Anora Morton, Free Press Staff

Disclaimer: This article written by Anora Mortin does not reflect the views of the Free Press as a whole.

When we hear about uniforms and dress codes today, we think about high schools requiring girls to cover up (so they don’t distract the boys) or passive aggressive office memos about what exactly is “business casual”. We think about modesty. That is not the case at Tilted Kilt, a new link in the chain restaurant just opened up in South Portland, and everyone has something to say about their dress code. The dress code in question is a plaid bikini/crop top with a matching mini kilt for their trademarked waitresses, or Kilt Girls, and a company t-shirt and kilt for the Kilt Guys (though there is little to no controversy over the male uniform). Many have called the Tilted Kilt a Celtic Hooters, it is the first of it’s kind of restaurant in Maine, and it is a bit of a culture shock to some. Franchise owner Dave Debois describes in a press release on the company website, that the sports pub is “really classy” and “family-oriented”. The menu itself is classic pub fare, with the addition of American chain standards (pasta, soup, and salad), and the amazing scotch with no haggis in sight. With 58 TVs, a Direct TV sport package, and with 18 beers on tap behind the bar, the South Portland addition to the chain is striving to the company slogan of “The Best Looking Sports Pub You’ve Ever Seen”.

Many have called the Kilt Girls required outfit degrading, and anti-feminist. The biggest concern raised is that the Tilted Kilt isn’t “a family restaurant” because of the outfits, but Dubois insures that the uniforms are “G-rated” and “nothing over the line”. This is the truth. So much sexualized media is “exposed” to the general public everyday, from advertisements, to children’s movies (looking at you, Disney), that it should come as no surprise that it’s where we eat too. Rob Simmons, a SoPo firefighter and member of the Guns & Hoses Pipe Band of Maine was on site for the restaurant opening, providing the often under appreciated music excellence of the bagpipes. Simmons commented on the uniforms, saying that a passerby would “see much worse” walking past the Victoria’s Secret in the nearby Maine Mall. There is no more guilt in going to the Tilted Kilt and ordering “Sadies Stuffed Breasts” or “The Big Rack” (Both of which, excluding the names, sound pretty good) than flipping through a current magazine or watching advertisements. There is no moving around the sexulization of the Kilt Girls, but they are working people, just like the rest of us. Who is anyone to judge the way they make a living, especially since Kilt Girls probably have more fun doing so because of the Tilted Kilt’s relaxed atmosphere. Dubois advocates that the uniforms “truly empowers the girls and they’re all excited to be here”.

The company website describes what they look for in potential Kilt Girls is Bombshell Girls Next Door, Hollywood Hotties, and Country Cuties. If you feel you fit any of the above descriptions, head in for a casting call (an interview).

The Tilted Kilt is located at 200 Gorham Rd. in South Portland, open from 11am-1am Friday and Saturday, and 11am-12am weekdays. Stop in, grab a scotch egg, watch the game, and talk to a Kilt Girl.

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