This may be the least classy gimmick ever: a nightclub with a one-way mirror in the women’s bathroom.
In a creepy combination of peep show and police interrogation room, customers at Glasgow, Scotland's Shimmy Club can hire two private “Smoke & Mirrors” booths that align with the women’s bathroom sinks. On the other side of the glass, girls wash their hands, retouch their makeup, and pose for drunken selfies—unaware that they’re being watched.
Thanks to guys posting their “Smoke & Mirrors” pics on Twitter and Instagram, Scottish newspaper The Express broke the story earlier this week, provoking disgust among, well... anyone who has ever used a bathroom. While the Shimmy Club claims that there are signs posted to alert women of the two-way mirrors, the Express quotes horrified club-goers who were completely unaware of the situation.
So far, the Shimmy Club has done little more than post a non-apology on Facebook. “The Shimmy Club’s two-way mirror is a design feature created as a bit of fun,” the message reads. “The vast majority of people who have visited the club have taken it as such.” Additionally, a representative from G1 Group, the company that owns the Shimmy Club, is quoted in the Express as saying that there are no one-way mirrors at all. An intriguing statement, considering the fact that the club’s original promo video features what seems to be a short clip filmed through the mirrors themselves. Not exactly a PR success story.
Photo via @codeinedrums
On the club’s website, it’s possible to book everything from a £5 “Boys Afterwork” pass for the Smoke & Mirrors booths, to an £800 ($12,000) package deal for a group of six people. Although the club is currently under police investigation, their Facebook statement doesn’t indicate any plan to replace the mirrors. Instead, they write that they’re committed to “you guys who are our core customer base,” and will only remove the mirrors if they receive negative feedback from customers. Not a great strategy in the long run, as the main selling point of the Shimmy Club (according to its promo materials) is that it’s full of hot girls. And we doubt that many girls will be hugely enthusiastic to go to a club that’s famous for having guys creep on you through the bathroom mirror.
Amazingly, this may not even be the only club in Glasgow that features the mirror gimmick. The Shimmy Club’s Facebook statement mentions that popular nightspot The Corinthian (notorious for its 6am “casino license” closing time) has two-way glass in both women’s and men’s bathrooms, while many commenters claim that Glasgow gay bar Polo has long had a similar mirror behind the urinals.
Even if the Shimmy Club isn’t the only place to feature a gimmick like this, it still seems pretty obviously gross to allow people to pay to spy on women without their permission. In an online petition to have club and bar awards retracted from the Shimmy Club’s owners, petition sponsor Jamie Murray writes, “This is precisely the kind of practice that encourages the objectification of women, breeds sexual violence and is leading society away from sexual equality.”
Still, the Club’s owners don’t seem to be taking the issue very seriously. Their Facebook statement signs off with a jokey, “God help us when they find out that we have buried vibrators into sections of the dancefloor...” and their most recent post is an ad to hire booths for tonight.
The first comment in reply to that one? “Can I have the one looking into the boys' urinals?”
Screengrab via YouTube/ShimmyClub