A freshman state representative from Tennessee boasts it’s her experience in tight t-shirts that got her elected as a state representative in the November election. Julia Hurley, 29, says in the current edition of Hooters Magazine (to which I subscribe solely for the articles), “If I could make it at Hooters, I could make it anywhere.”
Not hurting Hurley’s chances was the fact that several former customers contributed to her campaign. She beat out a Democratic incumbent in a conservative district west of Knoxville. Hurley claims she honed her business sense and networking skills while working at Hooters.
Her opponents tried to make her Hooters history a campaign issue, but even the release of her employment history, including photos, failed to stir up voters against her.
“I have taken quite a bit of flack from the public at large during my run for State House in Tennessee for being a Hooters Girl,” she said. “But I know that without that time in my life I would not be as strong-willed and eager to become successful.”
This was Hurley’s first run at political office. She currently works as a “consultant and entrepreneur” and is a member of the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America. She campaigned on issues including reducing illiteracy, creating jobs, and filling empty retail space in her district.
So, the question is: Is she a role model for young girls? At a young age she’s been elected to an important role and is in a position to make some very positive changes in her community. But does she really need to boast about how working at a place that arguably exploits women got her to where she is today? By all means, take pride in working as a waitress, but a waitress at Hooters? Is the message to our daughters that you can go further the tighter your shirt is? It’s too bad she didn’t let the issue die with her victory and she had to keep the topic alive in the press — if that’s what we’re calling the Hooters magazine these days.
Do you think Julia Hurley is a role model?