The proper term being “promotional models” have been a subject of controversy for a bit. The definition of this title, according to wiki is, “a model hired to drive consumer demand for a product, service, brand, or concept by directly interacting with potential customers. A majority of promotional models typically tend to be conventionally attractive in physical appearance.”
Now, a lot of us have gone to a convention, whether it be for anime, gaming or comics and have spotted a couple of these models. This issue seemed to escalate when PAX East, a gaming convention in Boston, MA decided to implement a ban on these models, saying that it made people “uncomfortable”. Well, the way some people smell at conventions make me uncomfortable, but we haven’t really started a ban on that, have we?
Some people argue that promotional models are sexist and demeaning to women, but I’m a woman, and I don’t feel like these women doing their job at promoting a product are belittling me as a human being. Now, jealousy is a thing I feel for sure. They usually evoke the response of “dammit, why can’t I look like that and make money doing it?” from me. I’ve seen scantily clad women ALL OVER convention grounds and they’re not getting banned from conventions, because they’re not being paid professionally to do so, or they’re not as sexy? That, in my opinion, is just silly, and it wouldn’t be an issue if it were men dressed sexily, so why is it an issue at all?
But they’re paid to do more than just stand there and be pretty, though that is a big part of it. They’re paid to also draw people in with their personalities. They have to have Charisma +100. They’re bards, essentially. I’ve met promo models and they’re usually super friendly and willing to tell you about the product at the booth or give cosplay tips. That being said, I’m sure they have had bad experiences with the job with being objectified or belittled by the consumers, but it’s not the models being the problem, it’s the consumers themselves that don’t know how to treat people right, regardless of how they’re dressed.
This industry of gaming, comics etc. used to be a very male dominated thing, but as we at SheAttack represent, we are pretty much half and half now. So, if we could just stop this war on booth babes and start hiring more booth hunks too, that’d be great!
How do you feel about the ban on promo models? Let us know in the comments!