Historically music videos have not exactly been known to provide an accurate lens into the lives of the characters in them—after all, if we were to take their stories as truth all the “business women” I know are wearing clothes that are not nearly tight or short enough. And the role of video waitress, as too much time spent combing You Tube proved, has been subject to a variety of interpretations over the years (none, surprisingly, by the actual band The Waitresses). Herewith, a few of our favorites for your Friday viewing pleasure. Happy long weekend! FIORELLA
“Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders
Our hands down favorite waitress music video moment. Though it’s true that Chrissie Hynde would be the coolest anything—hot dog vendor, bus driver, Gap sales associate etc—ever, she brings a new level of insouciant hip to the role of crummy diner waitress in the video for seminal Pretenders song “Brass in Pocket”. With her kohl-rimmed eyes and top-heavy bouffant, there really is nobody else here like her. Best part? The “I’m special” line is accompanied by her bandmates pointing to the “Specials” section of the menu. Pretty clever in a low-fi kind of way if you ask me.
“She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer
The titular “she” in Donna Summer’s female anthem really does work hard for the money. Ridiculously hard in fact. First she has to report for coffee-doling duties (with a side of ass-grabbing from male customers) at the low-grade diner she waitresses at before going to man a sewing machine at some sketchy sweat shop in the garment district, all before returning home to contend with her two bratty kids who yell and spill stuff. Oh, and did we mention her house gets broken into too? And all this waitress really wants to do is dance. Thankfully she gets to do just that—in the streets, with an army of other working women—at the end of the video. Phew; otherwise it would have been too bleak.
“Womanizer” by Britney Spears
It should come as no surprise that in the land of Brit Brit a waitress is a highly sexualized creature who favors form-fitting attire and likes to think of that thing called a serving tray as a mere prop during spontaneous heated dance routines. No, really, what else is it for? And the inimitable Miss Spears has taken a turn as a waitress in two of her video opuses. In “Womanizer”, in which she also takes on the very sexy jobs of chauffeur and that aforementioned abstract “business woman”, Brit is a bad-ass (you know, cause she has tattoos and wears pleather pants) cocktail waitress at a rooftop bar, while in “Drive Me Crazy” (which features cameos by a pre-Entourage Adrien Grenier and Sabrina the Teenage Witch) she is a pigtailed, gum-snapping waitress at what appears to be a club.
“Again” by Lenny Kravitz
Gina Gershon is sooooo high maintenance. Or, at least that’s what Lenny Kravitz thinks in this video for his song “Again”. I mean, imagine a girlfriend who lives with you demanding a little affection and attention? It’s just so depressing for Kravitz, and his amazing Soho loft apartment, general fame and fortune, and chiseled physique (so much of it gets screen time it sort of warrants a mention) do nothing to make him feel better. So he’s forced to walk his lonely, sad self down to Café Habana and woo the beautiful lanky waitress working the counter there with claims that “he’s never had a yearning quite like this before”. Lies.