But, for their part, folks like Mandy and Holly are united in their feeling that what they're doing is good for them and for their sex in general, because they get paid well to love their bodies and promote, employ, and celebrate other women.
Holly fields questions all the time from people worried she's sending the wrong message to young women. While we talked, a female customer in a Prius drove up and ordered a white chocolate mocha. I asked her why she chose to get her coffee at Dream Girl rather than at a "clothed" coffee kiosk down the street.
"It’s a nice halfway point between home and work, and sometimes you just have to treat yourself, you know?" she said. "And I don't see my coming here as weird or anything. No one should be afraid to support a business just because a pretty girl is working there. Solidarity, sister, you know?"
Bikini barista-ing is, at the same time, a young woman’s game. Now that she's pushing 30, Mandy is ready to hang up her bikini and work behind the scenes full time. She says she feels like a mama bear to her employees, both of whom are in their early 20s.
"I'm sort of ancient, really, but I do love the work and when I stop being a barista, I’ll miss it."
That includes the customers. The men, sure, but also the families.
"The kids love me. The little girls especially. They get so excited. They're like, 'Wow, you are so pretty. I want to be pretty like you when I grow up.’"
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Deborah Kennedy is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon with a weakness for non-fat, two-pump, extra-shot vanilla lattes. She's had the same Target bikini since 2002. Follow her for all the feels: @fabulousdk.