Fitness Magazines and Hot Wings

man-on-futon-reading-magazine-200Once in a while my girlfriends and I get to talking about guys we’ve dated and the problem of pornography. Msgr. Pope discussed the main issue in his post about internet pornography, but I want to take the discussion a step further and explore some other places where porn lurks.

Pornography: material that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement (Merriam-Webster)

A few years back I was dating a “nice Catholic boy” and one afternoon we were watching TV and he picked up a fitness magazine that had recently come in the mail. As he was thumbing his way through, he got to a page featuring a topless woman, arms strategically crossed across her chest.

“Now that’s nice!” he said.

I snatched the magazine, rolled it up, and smacked him over the head.

“What was that for?” he asked, surprised by my reaction.

I had to explain to him that while the female body is beautiful, this woman had unfortunately sold her body to the fitness magazine. (I wonder how much she thought her beauty was worth?) Now he was seeing a very intimate view of her that he had no right to, and the most respectful thing he could do would be to not take advantage of her vulnerability.

He thought I was overreacting.

In college, I dated another “nice Catholic boy” who informed me that he and some friends had gone to Hooters for dinner. The thought of scantily-clad waitresses leaning over the table to set down their steaming plates of hot wings was very upsetting, and I tried to explain my concern. It centered around the fact that as I was making an effort to dress modestly he decided to get around that barrier by pleasing his senses on women who voluntarily dressed immodestly.

He passed the situation off as “no big deal.”

Gentleman: Yes, these are big deals and no, we are not overreacting. It is very hurtful to be in a relationship with someone who does not respect your womanhood, your beauty, or your mystery.

Here is what I would ask:
1) pray for purity of heart and mind
2) cancel subscriptions to magazines featuring erotic pictures or advertisements of any kind
3) don’t go to Hooters (or other bars and restaurants featuring scantily-clad women)
4) call your friends out on this “small stuff” and support each other in respecting women

(Yes, we women have unhealthy fantasies of our own which I will address in a future post.)

10 Replies to “Fitness Magazines and Hot Wings”

  1. Sorry, but I have to disagree with your comment re:Hooters. My entire family, including my mother (a graduation of St. Agnes Cathedral High School) goes there regularly. Yes they wear short shorts and tank tops, but without exception they are exceptionally nice, well-spoken, polite young ladies. They work very hard at their jobs. They do not act inappropriately. If you go into a Hooters restaurant, it is filled with all kinds of folks, lots of families, retirees (down here in Florida) and yes, young single guys. Frankly, the guys are generally more interested in the sporting events on TV than in the waitresses.

    Years ago, my brother in law’s sister was being harassed by another patron. Out of nowhere came three large young men, who quietly escorted the patron off the premises. We noticed as we left that the three young men we sitting scattered at the bar, sort of undercover bouncers. So, Hooters is aware of the dangers and is prepared for anyone getting out of hand.

    Maybe when Hooters first opened it was a bit racy, but now, it’s just a place that sells the best wings on the planet!

    Just my $.02…


    1. Hi Kathryn,
      Thanks for joining the conversation from Florida!

      The first thing that comes to mind is: Why does Hooters need undercover bouncers? Olive Garden doesn’t have undercover bouncers. You yourself said it’s because they are “aware of the dangers”. The dangers of what? Perhaps, the dangers of inviting Lust into their restaurant.

      Secondly, you said “Maybe when Hooters first opened it was a bit racy, but now” so I went on their website to see if I was behind the times and see if Hooters had undergone a change. On the homepage, I found subscriptions to Hooters Magazine and Calendar, the Hooters Swimsuit Contest Winners Gallery, and Hooters videos entitled “How Sweet It Is” and “Heat Wave”.

      I don’t doubt that these ladies are nice, well-spoken and polite. I also don’t doubt that their dignity as daughters of God would be more supported if they did not work at Hooters.

      Granted, a family having dinner at Hooters may not be aware of the backside of the Hooters business. But now since we do know, I do not want to support their business. If Hooters dressed their women more respectfully and ended the sale of their calendar, magazine, and videos, I too could enjoy their wings.

      As always, I want to end with a prayer that these waitresses are not harassed, that they find employment in a more dignified environment, and that those who purchase Hooters erotic products will come to a realization of the dignity of women as persons, not objects for pleasure.

  2. Hey, but wait a minute Laura, can we really blame all of pornography on the guys? Aren’t women responsible for willingly working in places that promote the sensuality of our bodies, be it through a scantily dressed picture in a magazine or waiting tables at Hooters? If we don’t sell or wear the look, there’s nothing to look at.

    Ladies: Yes, these are big deals and no, I’m not so sure men are totally guilty of overreacting. The attraction between a man and a woman exists for a reason; in fact, we’d be in big trouble if that attraction did not exist. I think it’s very hurtful to society when men and women do not respect their sexuality. If we want our sexuality to remain mysterious and valued, we need to value the way we dress.

    Here’s what I would ask for:

    1) Purity of heart and mind towards the beauty of our femininity;
    2) Don’t model or work for businesses that promote erotic pictures or advertisements of any kind;
    3) Don’t work in Hooters (or other bars and restaurants that require scantily dressed female employees);
    4) Call your friends out on this “small stuff” and remind them that they need to respect their body and dress modestly, leaving much to the imagination!

  3. I went to this college as well. I was very familiar with the type of student who thinks a trip to Hooters is the highlight of the day. I’m going to guess he was in the business school. 😉 Personally, Hooters has never impressed me, either gastronomically or visually. (Yes, I’ve been dragged there once by friends. Hardly worth the trip. You would think that such temptation would be actually be tempting, but this was not.)

    As for your other friend, the smack was well deserved. What guy in their right mind gets caught up in an airbrushed/photoshopped picture when he’s sitting next to a living sculpture… and then compares the two?

  4. Jon,

    You must be, or were, an english or creative writing major – “Gastronomically” – what a great way to word your thought. Creative and refreshing!

    1. No, I’m just an international relations major who enjoys writing and the English language. But I am in law school, which lets me indulge these hobbies sometimes. (And if I’ve been good, I get to use Latin.)

      Thanks for the compliment! It made my day!

  5. The modeling industry is pretty corrupt. I used to model when I was younger, a teenager, and I was constantly told to lose weight and change my figure. At first it was fun…but after a while being told I was fat when I weighed 70 lbs and I was 5’1″ was a bit ridiculous. And Heidi Klum doesn’t really get a perfect stomach by exercise after having her third or fourth kid or whatever… she gets plastic surgery done so she can still model.

    I have learned some things the hard way, and appreciating my body without looking like one of the supermodels was one of those ways I had to learn. It’s unfortunate, but at the same time I hope others can learn from my experience.

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