To celebrate her 35th birthday, Alex Gonzaga held a party with family and friends. And all was well and fun and good — that is, until the blowing of candles. In a now-viral video originally posted on Dani Barretto’s Instagram story, Alex Gonzaga blew her birthday candle before promptly smearing icing on the service crew holding the cake.
— ʍ乇ω⚘ﾟ (@Shortee3MEW) January 16, 2023
As of writing, Alex Gonzaga has yet to respond to the issue. But many have called out her behavior as “immature” and “disrespectful”. Here’s a reminder for the actress-vlogger and every one of us that we should give service industry workers — the very people that help make our lives easier when we’re out and about — the respect and courtesy they deserve.
Not every trend should be done
Smearing or smashing a birthday cake is a tradition that some people like to do on birthdays. It makes for great, fun-looking photos and videos. However, it’s not so for everyone involved, especially if the person you’re doing it to is caught unawares, like the service crew in the viral video. He was simply doing his job, then he suddenly got cake on his face when he probably still had a long shift ahead of him.
On top of that, cake smearing is also a waste of good food that guests were probably looking forward to tasting. Cakes are one of the highlights of a birthday celebration, and using your hands to touch it and smear it on other people is not only unhygienic, but also makes the cake inedible. It’s a waste of food and a disrespect to the bakers who made that cake.
Those actions were unprovoked
The birthday song was sung. The candle was blown. And the cake was already about to be taken away for distribution to guests. But Alex Gonzaga just had to smack her hand into the cake and smear food on the service crew’s face. All without being provoked.
In this scenario, as Janina Vela points out, the service crew member is unable to do anything else but accept the cake smear due to the power dynamics between them as server and customer. Don’t use that power dynamic to take advantage of a service industry worker’s kindness.
A ‘joke’ that disrespects someone is never funny
Some might claim that it was all in good fun, that the cake smear was just a joke. But for the person caught unawares with cake on their face, it could be a humiliating and distressing experience. A joke that disrespects a person should never be considered hilarious, or else we’ll end up normalizing such acts as forms of entertainment when it should never be done in the first place.
Service workers are just trying to do their job
Remember, service industry workers are just doing their jobs. They’re not being paid to be mocked and have cake smeared on their faces like this. They’re working to bring you food and give you service so they can put food on the table and provide for themselves and their families. Service industry workers deserve respect.
What are your thoughts on Alex Gonzaga smearing cake on the service crew? Comment down below.