Bikini Baristas Sue City Over 'Anal Cleft' Ordinance

Everett, Wash., has essentially outlawed the bikini barista
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2017 8:13 AM CDT
Bikini Baristas Sue City Over 'Anal Cleft' Ordinance
In this Feb. 2, 2010, file photo, a barista at a Grab-N-Go Bikini Hut espresso stand holds money as she waves to a customer, just outside the city limits of Everett, Wash., in Snohomish County.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

A group of bikini baristas say they have a right to bare their midriffs, and they're fighting the city of Everett, Wash., in order to keep it that way. At issue are two ordinances passed last month and effective as of last Tuesday that bar "quick-service" facility employees from wearing bikinis or showing their midriff, shoulders, or top three inches of the leg below the buttocks while working. This effectively puts an end to the concept of the bikini barista, as the women would at a minimum have to wear shorts and a tank top. And so some of them filed suit Monday in US District Court, arguing the ordinances discriminate against women, whose rights to free expression and privacy are being violated; they argue the latter would be violated if officers inspected the women to make sure they were compliant, explains the Seattle Times.

The city has promised to produce diagrams that will illustrate compliant dress; to that end, the suit argues the language is head-scratchingly confusing, and cites, for instance, language banning women from displaying the "bottom one-half of the anal cleft." As the suit argues, "It is unlikely that most citizens would be able to determine the location of their anal cleft." Per the Times, the city says the bikini-barista stands are hotbeds of nefarious activities and that the city's lewd-conduct ordinance has essentially had no effect. KING 5 reported last month that the city council hoped the laws would reduce prostitution in the city. MyEverettNews reports the suit points out that the Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders' outfits would be in violation of the ordinances, which could carry a fine of up to $5,000 or a one-year jail term, per FOX13. (More bikini stories.)

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