MELROSE, Massachusetts –
George Emerson suffers from gynecomastia, a condition marked by the swelling of breast tissue in males. Thousands develop the condition, usually during puberty and as a result of hormonal imbalances. Many men opt for surgery to remove the excess tissue, but unlike other men diagnosed with the ailment, Emerson instead decided to keep his breasts and capitalize on them.
“I don’t want any invasive surgery,” he said, “and I was tired of hiding and binding my chest. One day I decided to put down the ace bandage, and slip into a loose-fitting shirt. I felt free for the first time in my life.”
Emerson’s new freedom gave him a sense of confidence he had never before possessed. One day, while driving through the nearby town of Saugus, Emerson decided to test the limits of his empowerment. He marched into the local Hooters and asked if they’d consider hiring him as part of the wait staff. “I met the physical requirements of the job and I guess I was feeling a little bit daring,” he said. “Plus, I have years of server experience from back in high school and college.”
Emerson’s measurements were the equivalent of a women’s 34C. “They thought I was trying to prank them – like I was wearing a padded bra or something, so then I took off my shirt and ‘boom boom,’ there I was, or there they were I guess. That’s when they called the manager.”
Dick Rodman, manager of the Hooters, spoke with Emerson and explained that it wasn’t part of the corporate business model to hire males, as the trademark for Hooters is built right in with their name and logo, and is pretty self-explanatory.
“I said for them not to consider me was a form of discrimination, and a violation of equal hiring practices. The manager wasn’t convinced,” said Emerson. “He told me he didn’t want his restaurant to turn into some kind of freak show attraction, and that’s when I decided to hire a lawyer.”
Nancy Grace has booked Emerson for an upcoming appearance on HLN Network, and celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred has been contacted by Emerson for possible legal representation.
“This isn’t about me,” said Emerson. “It’s about the thousands of men who suffer with the stigma of gynecomastia. We’ve had to hide our shame under tight, restrictive garments and bulky layers of clothing. Instead of standing tall, we’ve lived in our own shadows of embarrassment. If I can convince just one full-figured guy to stand tall, chin held high and chest thrust forward, then my double-barreled efforts will not be in vain.”
Emerson’s case will begin mid-December, and he has decided to represent himself in court. Legal experts say that an out-of-court settlement amenable to both parties will most likely be reached.