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Booth babes is a term used to refer to women (mostly women, with the occasional exception) employed by brands to staff booths at trade shows. Booth babes are paid to dress in sexually revealing clothing for the purpose of enticing men to come over to the booth, and ideally view and buy the products being advertised. Booth babes are frequently required to wear clothing that is demeaning, and behave in a manner welcoming of the people sexually objectifying them. This usually include posing for pictures with male attendees that showcase how much the men are enjoying the sexually attractive traits of the booth babe.
Critique of booth babe usage notes that:
- it perpetuates the sexist, objectifying notion of women as decoration, meant for male titillation and little else
- it relies on the sexist notion that men are primarily sex-motivated at events that focus on their hobbies, interests, or work
- it ignores women of any sexual orientation as well as homosexual men who may be making buying decisions (see Invisibility)
- it can contribute to an uncomfortable sexualized environment for female attendees
- it can contribute to an environment where female employees working booths are ignored, either in favor of the booth babes, or in favor of male colleagues, or due to patrons mistaken expectations that female employees must be booth babes and thus will not have any technical background
- it relies on the fallacy that attention to booth babes converts to revenue.
- E3 Girls -- a website devoted to booth babes at the E3 trade show
- Naked/bodypainted booth babes at CeBIT
- CeBIT booth babes Sydney 2009
- Booth babes at Interop '07
- WWDC Highlights: No (Wo)Man's Land
- ASUS booth babe tweet
- Seriously, stop with the booth babes
- Booth Babe Challenge: Show Me the Money!
- Has the security industry outgrown booth babes?
- Booth babes rant in relation to the idea of booth babes at Perl conferences
- ad:tech San Francisco: Why booth babes are a mistake
- Booth Babes: or, Let's Use Women's Bodies to Make Some Money! by Shanley Kane
- Booth babe ban: we must support EG Expo’s initiative
- Article on the sexist dicscourse around booth babes as geek culture posers as opposed to paid models