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A Day In the Life of a "Booth Babe" 687

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-day-in-the-life dept.
jfruh writes "Booth babes," promotional models paid to showcase products, are ubiquitous figures at tech trade shows. Ever wonder what they think of their jobs? Well, it may not surprise you to learn that standing up for eight hours in heels isn't much fun. Some enjoy the work, while others don't enjoy being the subject of stares. And one model adds that 'The industry is now moving towards making models show more skin.'"
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A Day In the Life of a "Booth Babe"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:20AM (#40241749)

    Why not quit their job?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:58AM (#40241947)

      Maybe, just maybe, they can't find another job? Or they dislike the other jobs they can get even more?

      Quitting your job is not an option for everyone. Don't paint everyone with the brush that you've been painted with, some have less options.

      • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @05:14AM (#40242019) Homepage

        By definition, the vast majority of women can't get this job.
        Should they feel sorry for those that can and do but don't want to?

        • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @07:38AM (#40242607) Homepage Journal

          So since the vast majority of women can't get this job that sucks, the ones who have it but think it sucks should like it? The difficulty of getting a job == the desirablilty of the job? What?

          This case proves that economic value determined by supply and demand (scarcity = value) is not always real value.

          • by Tharsman (1364603) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:33AM (#40243479)

            Sadly that’s part of the issue.

            There are two paths that can take a good looking woman to be a "booth babe": Marketing or modeling.

            A model or aspiring marketer (perhaps with a full degree) seeks a job, the marketing/modeling agency sees her, she is good looking and will offer her no other position than "Booth Babe" mainly because they know they must force all good looking women that path or they will have no booth babes to sell.

          • by jonadab (583620) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:52AM (#40244477) Homepage Journal
            > So since the vast majority of women can't get this job that
            > sucks, the ones who have it but think it sucks should like it?

            No, absolutely not. If they don't like it, they should get another job -- probably one in a field other than modeling, because if they don't like wearing heels and showing skin, modeling is really not the ideal career.

            Let's talk about career choices here.

            I don't like walking, hate uniforms, and am absolutely terrified of dogs. I think I'll be a... mailman! Yes!

            I prefer to remain fully clothed, especially in public, don't like wearing uncomfortable clothing such as high heels, and I don't like to have people stare at me. I want to be a... model! Yeah!

            Really? Are you totally sure about that?
          • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @11:21AM (#40244941) Homepage

            No, but at the same time these are obviously just girls used to having it easy, complaining.
            They work 8 hour days, with 1/3 of the time being BREAK TIME.
            And when they are working all they have to do is stand and smile, and they think they have it hard and that they are doing real work.

          • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @02:27PM (#40247549)

            If someone complained to you about their job as a sewer repair person, wouldn't you say "Well, you chose to work in that field, so stop complaining!"?

            If you choose to work in a slaughterhouse, you can't complain that you have to kill animals all day long.

            Likewise, going to work as a model is one of those jobs that don't afford much sympathy for being "stared at" or treated like an object. They knew going in what it was like.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @05:18AM (#40242049)

        I would prefer it if the bodypaint is kept to the booth babes and not the majority of slashdotters.

      • Don't paint everyone with the brush that you've been painted with, some have less options.

        It's all in the mind

        If you think that you have less options, you _will_ have less options

        • Re:Options? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @06:47AM (#40242419)

          *fewer

        • Re:Options? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Lotana (842533) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @07:20AM (#40242537)

          It's all in the mind

          If you think that you have less options, you _will_ have less options

          Oh very much so. But the thing to remember that modifying your thought process is right up there with some of the hardest things in life.

          Low self-esteem is something that feeds off of itself and just gets worse with time. Depression is not far behind, which puts the person into real trouble because that kills any motivation to try to improve yourself.

          The sad part is that there is still this common misconception that low self-esteem and depression are easily overcome. The sufferer just simply can't "Start feeling better". Without professional help, there is really no way out, thus limiting his/her options for life and careers.

          'He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.' -Lao Tse

          • Re:Options? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:16AM (#40242819)

            Plus, the Dunning-Kruger effect [wikipedia.org] doesn't help.

            Speaking as someone that's dealt with depression since I was a pre-teen along with the extreme lack of self-esteem, it's incredibly demoralizing and makes it difficult to advance. Every time a promotion came up, I would tell myself I was going to go for it and try and psych myself up but in the end my own fear of failure and disappointment kept me from even trying a lot of the time, and when I did actually manage to get promoted, due to the way I internalize everything, I was never able to let the "shit roll down hill"...it always stopped at me and compounded my neuroses and lack of self confidence.

            Coupled with the stigma that still comes along with mental health issues, particularly in the work environment (you can miss a day if you wake up puking your guts up and nobody bats an eye...try and miss a day because you feel like you're a worthless piece of shit that ruins everything he touches, see how that goes over), it's really quite debilitating. This is why it makes me so fucking angry when people make glib comments about the subject, because it really is a handicap. It would be ridiculous to tell someone that lost an arm "just think positive and everything will be okay", but for some reason, when the subject of depression comes up, there are still a large number of people out there that think you can just turn it off.

            God, I fucking wish I could just turn it off. I wish it was as simple as telling myself I'm awesome every morning while I'm staring at myself in the mirror, or reading a few self-help books.

            • Re:Options? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:45AM (#40243009)

              It could be a matter of finding the right drug.. or the right supplement.

              I have used supplements to cure in a medical way, gout, high blood pressure, and hemorrhoids. By "medical", I mean the results were very fast and repeatable. Not, "take this for 60 days and there will be a 5% improvement".

              The esteem issues may be related or unrelated to your depression. You might be able to reduce the size of your emotional problems slightly and make the total load easier. Esteem issues are often parent related. If you have any open issues with your parents, you might be able to resolve those and get some closure.

              I had work induced depression last year and had to go on anti anxiety and anti depression medication. I'm still left with sleeplessness now that we are past that period. I think my adrenal glands are still messed up from so much stress. And the hemorrhoids came from sitting in a hard plastic chair for 70 hours a week for several months.

              I hope you find something that helps. It sounds like you are intelligent, rational and successful.

              • Re:Options? (Score:5, Informative)

                by HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @11:49AM (#40245341)
                One interesting thing is how broad the spectrum of depression is. For instance, you mention you had work induced depression. That sounds difficult, and I'm glad you were able to find a way to get through it. It's always difficult to discuss this because a great many people really, really struggle, and it feels somehow holier than thou to say "well, yes, but I'm talking about something different here..." I truly mean it; I think it's awesome that you've come to where you are, and I'm sorry that you still have troubles hearkening back to those days. I hope your recovery will continue.

                Now, the sometimes awkward bit. I'll put a TL;DR summary of the below here: For some people, depression is a different beast. We've struggled all our lives to understand it, to combat it, and there IS no "emotional problem" or "open issues with parents" that cause it. Much like a diabetic, it's just there, and just like taking insulin, we take our meds to lesson our symptoms, but these symptoms are always, always, always there, in good times or bad. Often, the best we can hope for is "Take for 60 days with a 5% improvement."; lord knows that the 5% improvement I get from my Lamictal and Depokote cocktail might just be what holds this job down by letting me stagger to the shower in the mornings, instead of sleeping through the alarm and feeling vaguely disappointed I woke up at all. The same goes for important relationships; I have my girlfriend and kids to love; even with my meds, it's a large task; without them... well, I already had one divorce, causing me to lose nearly everything. That is not something I'll risk again, even though it's still difficult. The symptoms themselves are less "horribly sad and emotionally troubled" and more "completely empty and motivationally lethargic" from what I've found, and that is simply not a feeling that's easy to convey.

                The long version:

                Another area of depression, though, is no "reason-induced" depression; it's just there. To many of us that have struggled with depression all our lives, our parents tell us that even as a very young child we were "moody". Of course we feel bad when we go through the normal struggles of life; job issues, deaths of family members, divorce, etc, just like everybody else, and we can get through those moments, just like everybody else. My dad's death and my divorce were rough, but at no time did I think I couldn't get through them, bad as they were, unless I was also feeling this second kind of depressed, too. I guess I had something of a rough childhood, but there's really no trigger point I can point to that says "Yup. That's why I got sad for no reason last Saturday and couldn't shake it until yesterday". Even "sad" or the common meaning of "depression" aren't the right words. It's more a feeling of complete and total apathy, lethargy, no motivation, just no... substance or will. I think of it more as simply and totally "empty" than "sad", and most of my focus group members have felt much the same.

                In my early 20s I would wonder if I was "self-faking" it (something like the Dunning-Kruger link above) to avoid success, or that if I could just find the right supplement or eat right or exercise I'd feel better, but was the lack of motivation my problem? Everybody else seemed to think so, well-meaning or not. If I could power through and find that one thing I need to shake this shit off, would I feel better? I felt so hopeless after I'd let myself get dragged to various drug stores or gyms and find that the latest thing to "cheer me up " STILL wouldn't work. What a pain in the ass.

                I had an epiphany one night in my late teens when all my buddies convinced me to take ecstasy. Being on the high-octane side of the bipolar coin at the time, I thought this was a balls-to-the-wall good idea. While everyone at the party was having a great time, I got nothing, all night and after 3 or 4 pills (I assumed the first 2 were duds). May has well have been a handful of Tylenol. In the 12 years since, I've tried q
            • Re:Options? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by datavirtue (1104259) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:36AM (#40243529)

              I know at least two people who cannot advance in their careers because of the exact problems that you mention. They can hold a job, do the job, but their chances of improving themselves beyond that is nil. To advance, you need to be able to maintain a confident outlook for a long period of time, even through adverse conditions. This is not possible when you have devastating depressive moods that color your thinking and prevent any type of progressive forward thinking.

          • Re:Options? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Hatta (162192) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:54AM (#40243107) Journal

            The sad part is that there is still this common misconception that low self-esteem and depression are easily overcome. The sufferer just simply can't "Start feeling better". Without professional help, there is really no way out, thus limiting his/her options for life and careers.

            The really depressing part is that there is no treatment for moderate depression that works significantly better than placebo. SSRIs [science20.com] only actually work on people with severe major depression. The most empirically supported type of talk therapy, CBT, is effective only in anxiety disorders [nih.gov].

            There's really no effective treatment for depression, because depression isn't really an illness. It's a rational response to an abusive world. The real sickos are the ones who are ok with the way things are.

        • Re:Options? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rvw (755107) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:20AM (#40242833)

          Don't paint everyone with the brush that you've been painted with, some have less options.

          It's all in the mind

          If you think that you have less options, you _will_ have less options

          “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” -- Bruce Lee

          • Re:Options? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @11:21AM (#40244931)

            In short, you have nothing to gain by assuming failure. It gains you nothing. If you glibly assume success, and then fail, you still are not in any worse a position than if you assumed failure from the outset and did nothing.

            I remember in college someone on an IRC channel complaining that he couldn't get a date because asking girls out was hard. Thing is... there were obviously girls in the channel. The thing that struck me, other than being surprised to see a female in an IRC channel (this was like 1995) was that instead of trying chat them up, he was making himself into a pity party. Now, say what you will, but if a girl is willing to listen to you feel sorry for yourself, she's probably open to listening to you in general. Girls don't usually waste time listening to men be whiners unless they actually think well of them.

            Needless to say, I felt that an obvious opportunity was being wasted. I berated him for allowing his waangst to override his ability to see opportunity, and then simply asked one of the girls out. I expected to fail, obviously, but I wanted to demonstrate that failure doesn't kill you. Instead she accepted and we ended up dating for a few months until the end of my senior year.

            There is only really one set of characteristics that separates highly successful people from others: recognizing and acting on opportunity. While I admit, being reckless is not a good idea either, you would be surprised about the number of opportunities out there that are really pretty low risk. The catch with those is that they don't come regularly and you can't psych yourself up to take advantage of them, you have to just see them and go for it. Being smart enough to see the angles helps a lot, but that shouldn't be a problem in this forum.

            You have to accept failure as a possibility of any action, but you have to understand that inaction is always worse than a failed action. Doing nothing ensures that you get nothing.

      • by TheLink (130905) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @07:10AM (#40242493) Journal
        Hey genius, if they can't find another job, or dislike the other jobs then getting rid of these sort of jobs won't help them will it?

        If they really have no skills and qualification for other jobs they should be thankful that they're not an ugly girl and qualify for these easy and relatively high paying jobs (pays more than McD right?).

        When opportunity knocks too many women just complain about the noise.
      • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:37AM (#40242955)

        No, but at the same time, they knew exactly what was expected of them when they applied for that job. They knew exactly what was going to be involved. They sought out that job, probably because they felt they were too good to flip burgers or ring people out at Target, or those jobs wouldn't afford them the wage that they desire.

        If you want to talk about the way the industry objectifies women, then fine, I'll agree that there is objectification there. If you want to ban booth babes to try and change this, be my guest...personally, using sex in advertising has never, ever worked on me (and honestly, I've always felt that it was fucking stupid). But let's not pretend that the women doing this job are oppressed in some way. They know exactly why they're standing there in that skimpy-ass outfit in their Fuck Me Pumps, and if that bothers them, then they probably shouldn't have applied in the first place. It's really no different than a vegetarian working at McDonald's bitching about handling meat.

      • by Eraesr (1629799) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:43AM (#40243003) Homepage
        Maybe I'm being a bit blunt here, but these women know they are selected on their looks, they know they are put in convention centers filled with a predominantly male audience, they know they are put there to garner attention by flaunting their female properties and yet they complain about being looked at in sexualized ways? Sorry, but that's like a prostitute complaining about people only wanting to have sex with her and never come by for a good talk over a bottle of expensive wine.

        Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the ladies waving their "accessories" left and right on the shows (like E3). It only helps to reinforce the stereotype image people have of games and gamers. I think the games and gadgets industry (and probably the cars industry, another big offender) is better off without these stereotype girls draped all over flat screens and hubcaps. Still, if these girls have a problem with the job they have, then they shouldn't do it.

        I see the other reactions about how some of them may have no choice, but that's such self-victimization. Everyone has a choice, the only thing that's stopping these girls from getting a different, more appropriate job is their own lack of belief that they can. If you think the job sucks, sure, I can understand that, but don't enter a room filled with oversexed nerds wearing nothing but a bikini or figure hugging cat suit and expect them to judge you on your intelligence.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @07:37AM (#40242603) Homepage Journal

      Why not quit their job?

      Why? This quote from the article is illuminating:

      "But the work is pretty relaxed and you don't have to do a lot in order to get paid."

      Because we have trained women to accept, even seek, objectification.

      • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:51AM (#40243079)

        I think it's more that humanity is inherently lazy.

        How many men out there would gladly be a 'booth boy' if given the chance? Head on down to your local Walmart, McDonald's, pretty much any retail establishment, and ask any guy working there if he would trade in his shitty job to stand around in a speedo looking hot for the ladies all day. Go ahead and ask. I guarantee you, 99% of guys would gladly agree, not because they've been trained to seek objectification, but because it sure as fuck beats real work.

        You want to pay me to stand there in a skimpy outfit and feign interest in people? Where do I sign up?

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @07:52AM (#40242703)
      This isn't a job. It's a way to make a few bucks while a trade show is in town. When your job is "Stand there and look hot", complaining about the fact that people stare at you, when the entire point of you being there is to have people stare at you with the small hope that they might glance at whatever nonsense you're holding in your hands for a second, seems rather silly. Walmart, McDonalds, Department stores, all pay more than $100/day. The only difference is they'd have to WORK while there and they couldn't claim to be a "model"

      I have no pity for people that base their entire carer on their looks and then complain that it's not lucrative enough. It's not lucrative enough because you're not all that good looking. If you were hotter you'd have better options than booth babe. Sorry, but it's a shallow business you got into there.
      • by Shadow99_1 (86250) <{theshadow99} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:13AM (#40242805)

        Where the heck do you live that McD, Walmart, and 'department stores' all pay more than $100/day? Doing the math $100/day is $12.50 an hour with 8 hours. Where I live in PA those places pay minimum wage to $9/hour (capped) and you have to hope you can actually get an 8 hour shift.

        That said, I don't have pity for them either. Most of the women interviewed worked as models or dancers most of the time. What exactly do they think those fields are about...?

    • by GreenTom (1352587) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:41AM (#40243579)
      OK people, let's not be quite the gynophobic nerds we're made out to be.

      First, RTFA. There was essentially no complaining at all in the article, besides a little "it's tiring to stand in heels for eight hours" Really really sad the number of slashdotters who without reading the article just assumed that it was a bunch of women whining. Not to mention the number of posts here responding to accusations of sexism that were never made. Defensive much?

      Second, to the parent post, you know what the one who didn't like it did? She quit and got a different job.

      Given that like every third slashdot post is someone complaining about their job, you'd think people here would maybe cut these women a little slack. Or is it really that offensive to hear a women who's job is to be professionally pretty talk about it just like it's any other job?
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:20AM (#40241755) Homepage Journal

    These women have taken a job where their bodies will be used to manipulate the minds of lonely men by displaying their sexual atttributes, and then some of them have the gall to be upset that they're being regarded as sex objects? Wake me up when someone intelligent is interviewed. They oughta be happy that someone will pay them for something if standing around in heels is one of their finest talents.

    • by jittles (1613415) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:15AM (#40243287)

      I have sympathy on these women. I work a major tradeshow every year and have seen just how bad these women have it. This last year, there was a "Booth babe" across the way from me. Around 3pm every day, booths would give out free alcohol. Around 3:15 she would have 10-15 men all trying to pick up on her at the same time. Literally. On the last full day of the show, the company she was working with threw a big party. I went to it and she was there. She was stuck at the entrance (near an ice sculpture people were taking shots out of) the entire time. She had even more drunk men hitting on her. By 10pm, she looked sad and forlorn, but no one seemed to notice. I went up and talked to her. I told her how I had seen her there all week, being slobbered on by disgusting men, and that I was sorry that she was treated so poorly. After apologizing, she got a huge smile on her face. It literally turned her entire night around. At that point (to show that I was genuine, and not just making a pass at her), I told her to have a goodnight and that I'd see her the next day at the show. The rest of the night she was all smiles.

      These women may be pretty, but she was quite smart and didn't like being recognized only for her looks. She was doing this to earn extra money for school, and she had a real job in addition to this side gig. I imagine she is absolutely terrified to work around engineers now, because she is afraid that she will encounter the same treatment in the real world.

  • Be thankful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:22AM (#40241759)

    Nobody pays us for standing around. Imagine having to do actual work.

    • by _merlin (160982)

      Nobody pays us for standing around. Imagine having to do actual work.

      Thing is, business relationship management is real work. I'm a manager of sorts in the finance industry, and part of my job is maintaining relationships with brokers. That involves, among other things, having Yahoo IM open all day, presenting a particular persona, and being prepared/able to flirt with Korean women on demand. And evidently it isn't as easy as you'd think, as there are a bunch of people at work who just can't do it and he

  • No, I don't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:22AM (#40241761)

    Ever wonder what they think of their jobs?

    I couldn't care less. Why is this on Slashdot again?

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xtense (1075847) <xtense@o2BALDWIN.pl minus author> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:22AM (#40241765) Homepage

    How do you...

    Ah, yes, there's a certain form to these things, let's see...

    First you write "Obligatory" and then your medium.

    Ok. I can do this.

    Khm.

    Obligatory Penny Arcade. [penny-arcade.com]

    Yes! Nailed it!

  • Pass the popcorn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:25AM (#40241773) Homepage

    These comments should be funny...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:27AM (#40241779)

    She said problems with sexism have been absent from her own work as a model. "I'm used to it," she said

    Just because you are used to it doesn't mean that sexism is absent. There really needs to be a boycott of companies that use these tactics. The tech industry is probably the last major holdout in the understanding that women are not simply sex objects. Women refuse to work in the tech industry because of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, the field becomes dominated by men who don't understand it, which then perpetuates the alienation cycle.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:29AM (#40241789) Journal
    Look, these women are doing a job. They KNOW that it involves sexism. The clothes that they wear is more conducive to a model shoot, then to an office job. It is silly, that they grip about it. If they object, they should NOT do the job. Simple as that.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:32AM (#40241807) Homepage

    "Her other part-time job as a dancer" ... dads, it's up to you to keep your daughters off the pole. 'Nuff said.

  • by Andtalath (1074376) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:51AM (#40241897)

    This career is dead-end, 100% shallow (they don't even have to know what the fuck it is they are holding) and based on their looks.
    It's also an obviously annoying work-place.

    However, your reviews are based on your abilitiy to smile and how you look, meaning it only requires you to do exactly ONE thing.

    And they complain?

    Work in mcdonalds or any other no-skill job and see how funny it is.

    Fucking whiners.

  • by DontScotty (978874) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:52AM (#40241901) Homepage Journal

    Really?

    Did you engineer the product?

    No? Ummm.... so you're wanting respect simply for standing up at a booth meeting people?

  • sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arikol (728226) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:54AM (#40241923) Journal

    I'm sorry.These women take jobs that are sexist (their job is to arouse the customer and link sexiness and sensuality to some plastic product that isn't really sexy at all) by some sexist companies and then get ogled by the people who are supposed to ogle them.

    No. Sympathy. At. All.

    While I don't agree with the whole concept of booth babes (I would prefer having real people from the companies instead of models. Not scantily clad, just real people who know the product) it is very hard to sympathise with those who choose to take part in it. They knew what the job was about when they took it. If I take a job that entails wearing a Borat style Mankini then I know I will be the subject of stares (not for the same reasons as these women, but still, my crotch will garner some stares) and then it's my own stupidity to blame if I'm unhappy about being stared at...

    But, again. Stupid companies. Stop using booth babes. It makes the industry look adolescent in nature, and is disrespectful to all women, and even more disrespectful to women in tech.
    THIS kind of attitude is why many of us geeks can't get a date.. change it!

    • Re:sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by neyla (2455118) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @05:10AM (#40241995)

      How about sympathy for those of us who are female and work in the industry, then arrive at a trade-show only to see women used purely as decoration over-and-over-and-over again ?

      It's insulting, and sends the message that this is a thing for guys, that we don't really *belong* here (other than as decoration)

      • Re:sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arikol (728226) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @05:37AM (#40242143) Journal

        As I said (lower in my first comment), the COMPANIES should stop this because it is disrespectful to women, and in particular it's disrespectful to women in tech (those are the women who might want to go to tech trade shows, right?)

        I have no sympathy for women who choose to get paid for being decorations. That's who the article is about.
        The article SHOULD really focus on: "WTF is going on? It's 2012 and big tech companies still act like a horny teen boy. WTF?"

    • Re:sexism (Score:5, Funny)

      by stms (1132653) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @06:02AM (#40242241)

      THIS kind of attitude is why many of us geeks can't get a date.. change it!

      The NFL has had the same problem for years all those sexist jocks make girls dress up in skimpy outfits and jump around on the sidelines for them. If only they realized the end result is that football players can't get a date they would stop.

    • (Lost all my mod points in The Great War, so I'll post instead...)

      People have to earn a buck to live in a capitalist system.

      Some people whore themselves out as booth babes. Other people whore themselves out as hired lawyers by Microsoft.

      I'm sure they wish they had better jobs. I'm sure they didn't think when they were 14 years old, "When I drop out of high school I wanna be a booth babe!". Something bad happened in these people's lives where "Booth Babe" is what they had to do to make ends meet.

      How do I

  • by tommeke100 (755660) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @05:38AM (#40242149)
    Please tell me where a 40 yr old male or 50 yr old female can apply for the job as booth babe?
  • NEP;DR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @07:31AM (#40242583) Journal

    Blah blah blah feminism blah blah blah don't exploit women blah blah blah if I had a daughter blah blah blah.

    In fact most of us didn't read it because there weren't enough pictures.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:38AM (#40242969)

    You know what I find sexist: Being seen as someone who is more driven by his libido than his rational thought processes, which is the premise of employing "booth babes". Those women are actively and willingly participating in this sexist (misandrist, in this case) type of advertising and have the nerve to complain about the cases where it succeeds.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:08AM (#40243893)
    I used to attend the West Coast Computer Faire in the late 1970s. Skinny red-hair Gates was there hawking his BASIC and FORTRAN. There were not many apps for software developers at the that time so MicroSoft stood out even then.
  • That's modeling (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:28PM (#40246661) Homepage

    That's modeling. Below the top 100 or so supermodels, nobody is making much money. If you've spent any time in LA, you've met actress/model/waitress types, competing for low-end modeling jobs. There's trade show work, like this. There's catalog modeling ("OK, the next item is S-3721, the beige skirt, and hurry it up, we have 50 more to do before lunch"), fit modeling for designers ("it's too loose in the back, stand still while we get the pins in"), and extra work in movies ("be in makeup at 4 AM, we shoot at dawn").

    In the early days of Autodesk, the company was doing about 30 trade shows a year. They hired two young women to run the trade show operation. They were both California blondes with cheerleader personalities who liked to travel. They could do a small trade show alone; they knew how to use the software and do demos. For bigger shows, they'd have assistance, but for smaller ones, it was sometimes just the two of them. It surprised some people that they weren't just decorative, and it amused them to be underestimated.

    They had booth setup down. They had a space-frame booth made in Scandinavia which fit into a large rolling suitcase. (Those were rare in the early 1980s) They'd roll their cases up to a booth space, take out the space frame, grab hold of the ends, pull to unfold it, and lock it open. Setup took about two minutes. One of the women described to me the look of anger and hatred she got from union labor at Chicago's McCormick Place when doing this. She grinned back, and wasn't intimidated.

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