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Bikini Baristas Fight Order to Cover Up: Our Sexy Outfits Are Empowering

“The term ‘bottom one-half of the anal cleft’ is not well-defined or reasonably understandable.”

An ongoing legal battle over the enforcement of a dress code that targets Washington-state employees of “quick service” restaurants continued in a Ninth Circuit court Monday with the attorney for the owner of a chain of bikini barista stands arguing that bikini baristas find the job empowering.

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Attorney Melinda Ebelhar also said many of the women filed declarations saying they were making a body positive statement, according to Courthouse News Service.

Thong-wearing, nipple-pastied, bikini-clad baristas across the state would be particularly impacted by two dress code ordinances approved by the City of Everett in August of 2017. The city alleges that illegal sexual misconduct, including prostitution, takes place at the stands. “This is not about being offended by people wearing bikinis,” assistant city attorney Ramsey Ramerman told the Seattle Times in 2017. “Some of these stands had the characteristics of a poorly run strip club, and trying to enforce standards under the previous law was simply ineffective.”

In an injunction order written the same year, Judge Marsha Perchman found the dress code ordinance “likely void for vagueness under the 14th Amendment.”

“The term ‘bottom one-half of the anal cleft’ is not well-defined or reasonably understandable, and the ordinances otherwise fail to provide clear guidance and raise risks of arbitrary enforcement,” Perchman wrote.

Furthermore the court found that the ordinance “likely violated” the bikini baristas’ free speech rights.

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Ramerman addressed Perchman’s reasoning for granting the preliminary injunction in front of a three-judge appellate panel on Monday by arguing the meaning of “anal cleft” is not vague. The phrase is the same one “used throughout the country in different jurisdictions,” he said.

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Cover image: The owner of a bikini barista stand poses for two photos for social media. (Instagram)

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