The coffee shop “empowering” its baristas by making them wear bikinis.

Video by MWN

Is that gender pay gap getting you down?

Are your ideas drowning in a sea of morning meeting man-terruptions?

Are you all tuckered out from doing hour upon hour of unpaid emotional labour?

Well, here’s something to perk you up, women! An Arizona coffee chain is “empowering” its female staff with a robust new business model teaching them the age old art of bikini-clad barista-ing.

OH&S be damned. Source: Facebook

"As the first bikini barista shop in Arizona, we want to empower women to be, and feel good about, themselves," the owners of Bikini Beans Espresso declare on their website.

"Women everywhere have the right to vote, to be gay, to be successful community leaders and business owners, or even to run for president!

"We have the right to work with grace, confidence, and dignity, regardless if it's in a business suit, scrubs, or a bikini."

Feminism, yeah! Tastes a tad like late-stage capitalism, but OKAY.


The couple behind the stores — not to be confused with a Washington cafe of the same name — Ben and Regina Lyles have a simple dream, you see:

"To empower and inspire everyone to live life to the fullest— one visit at a time."

It's a noble goal and one they hope will result in "the first corporate, bikini barista drive-through" in America.

The Mamamia Out Loud team on Christie Brinkley's recent 'empowering' bikini shoot. (Post continues after audio.)

While it's absolute aces if their workers enjoy competitive wages, are taught useful interpersonal skills and are given a "platform for aspirational advancement" (whatever the hell that means), one can't help but wonder if the act of delivering dudes their morning coffees in novelty bikinis is quite what the suffragettes had in mind when they were fighting for the vote.


That said, the baristas do seem happy with their lot and not at all uneasy about the safety of handling hot coffee in their knickers, which anyone who's ever tripped over with their morning percolator in hand knows is incredibly risqué.

Certainly, women everywhere should be afforded "grace, confidence, and dignity" in every industry.

It does seem a teensie bit like the girls at Bikini Beans Espesso may have accidentally accepted the "patriarchal bargain" rather than a solid enterprise bargaining agreement, though, but each to their own.

Funnily enough, in reporting an apparent wave of public outrage against the business, the New York Post accidentally mixed it up with its Washington namesake.

There the staff actually wear nipple pasties and lingerie bottoms, and entrepreneur named Carlie Jo runs the show.

Unlike her Southern counterparts, she is decidedly not a feminist, according to her Twitter account, and was rather unimpressed by the implication she was.

Regardless, the majority of clientele for both businesses appears to be male.

"The first time I went in for the girls. I keep going back for the coffee, and the girls make it even better," wrote one man on the Facebook wall of the Arizona store, echoing the sentiments of countless others.

Look, people can 'espresso' their politics however they want. But here's an obligatory reminder that women making "choices" inside a system designed by men to benefit men aren't magically "empowered" by wearing togs to work — even if they do have a four-and-half star rating on Yelp and as much free coffee as you can shake a placard at.

nailed it

More articles