Walking to work yesterday, I espied a matrona who seems to have made Victorina from Noli Me Tangere her model and aspiration: Despite having Filipina features, I wager she must have ingested at least 10 bottles of Glutathione pills (the alabaster tone of her skin was discolored and seemed...artificial), the hair piled up and colored in copper brown, and was dressed in what I can sumrise to be very expensive clothing.
Tagging along with her in hand was her daughter (she called the older woman "Mom" so this isn't conjecture on my part) who was in a rather skipping, jovial mood, dressed in her school uniform.
And behind them was their maid.
Dressed in an all white uniform - collared, ironed well, short sleeved, buttoned in front, with matching white pants, and white shoes, the maid was carrying around six shopping bags, plus the child's school bag, and Victorina's handbag. (The maid wasn't more than 5'2" and would give Kate Moss a run for Emaciated Look of the Year.)
I just find the uniform so pretentious.
I can't find a way to justify around or over my assessment: It seems to me that the uniform is a form of cattle branding, a way to say to everyone in public, "This is our maid, and yes, the uniform means she's ours."
The maid doesn't go into an office with hundreds of other employees, so the line that "it's for identification purposes" is a big bag of hooey.
I've seen these uniformed maids in restaurants, malls, etc.; in one particular instance, the entire family was seated on a round table, with a lazy Susan serving meals, and the maid was standing beside the infant in the group, feeding him, while she herself didn't get any food. (They arrived later than our party and left earlier so I knew for certain that she wasn't fed.)
And even for those families who do "allow" their uniformed maids to eat and sit with them, the uniform is a sticking point - remember that song from Sesame Street, the one that goes "One of these things is not like the others..."? The uniformed maid stands out conspicuously with the label "our helper".
Would it be so hideous and unthinkable if maids were allowed to dress themselves freely?
Why the uniforms?
Can anyone tell me any reason that will change my mind about this phenomenon being a modern form of "ownership"? (Not to mention something reeking of the nouveau riche label all over it.)
I'm almost expecting the next uniformed maid I see to have a bell around her neck and mooing to her "owners".
This is one time I really hope to be proven wrong.