The concept of the Booth Babe is a strange one. In the eyes of many tech companies, littering trade shows with semi-naked women helps sell their products, but to most people living in the modern world it seems incredibly sexist and outdated.
Now, IT World has taken a look behind the scenes at this week's Computex, investigating exactly what it's like to be a Booth Babe. They've spoken to a number of women involved in the trade, and the message seems fairly clear: the work might be easy, but it's tiring and underpaid. As a taster from their article:
For six to seven hours on Wednesday, 22-year-old Amanda Lin will pose in a short black cocktail dress with a laptop from Gigabyte Technology, the company's logo stamped across her upper arm. Her main challenge: trying to stand comfortably in her high heels. "They can hurt," Lin said of her shoes. "But the work is pretty relaxed and you don't have to do a lot in order to get paid."
On average, Computex models make $US100 to $US170 for about 8 hours of work, she said, while models at other shows can make as little as $US60. Lee decided to model at Computex for the money, after working in the modelling industry part-time for four years, in music videos and commercials...
"It takes a lot of energy, because you stand for a long time," she said. During her eight hour day, Lee stands for 30 minutes holding a product, then takes a 10-minute rest and repeats the process. "You have to look happy all day and smile, but it's not that easy," she said. "It gets very tiring."
In fact, the report goes on to suggest that some models can earn as little as $US60 a day. While Consumer Electronics Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro doesn't see anything wrong with the practice, maybe the situation could be improved if things weren't quite so... cheap. In both senses of the word. [IT World]
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