Campaign to close bikini coffee bars

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Chilean politicians are campaigning to close around 100 coffee bars where waitresses wear bikinis.

Santiago congresswoman Maria Antonieta Saa says the non-alcoholic cafes appeal to the "depraved simplicity" of men's minds.

She said: "On the surface, they're selling coffee, but really they're selling women's bodies.

"I'm not against the coffee bars for puritanical reasons, but because it uses women's bodies for commerce."

But Margarita, a coffee server who refused to give her last name, says it's the men who lose their dignity in the coffee bar setting.

"It's a total game," she said. "I like to look at the guys in the mirrors as I walk away and watch them ogle me. They look so pathetic."

Some entrepreneurs have tried to export Santiago's coffee bars to more liberal Argentina, but it didn't work.

Miguel Angel Morales, who opened the first bikini coffee bar seven years ago, said: "It failed because the Argentines are used to seeing topless women on the beach.

"Coffee bars will only work in Santiago, because Chileans are so uptight."
 

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