January 22, 2009
Booth Babe on a Break
By Kim Hiss
With the other F&S blogs buzzing about the SHOT Show booth babes, the Huntress blog would be remiss not to chime in.
All I can add is my own experience with a booth babe at the first SHOT Show I attended a few years back. I was there as a suit-jacket-wearing outdoors journalist, and I'd never heard of booth babes. At one point, I found myself standing next to a woman in a ripped, black t-shirt that barely covered her considerable chest and shorts so tiny, her cheeks were visible below them. What's more, this particular woman had some kind of dirt smudged on her ankle and she looked miserably cold. I had no idea what this poor creature was doing on the floor, but I figured it couldn't be anything good.
I later realized the woman had been a booth babe, and thinking back now, I may have caught her on a break. As I spotted other booth babes throughout the show (who, to their credit, were all smiles, pep and cleanliness), I had the same reaction I've heard from other women in the business. I felt like an outsider (especially considering I was already a newbie), as though T&A was the the only way to fit into the man's outdoors trade show world.
I'm by no means generalizing "booth babes" to include all women at booths. And I don't pretend to know anything about booth babe credentials or their lives beyond the show. And I allow for the possibility that the booth babe scene today (pictured above) may be different. I just know that on that one afternoon, my experience with that one booth babe overshadowed the show. I couldn't tell you what booth she was working or what products she was promoting. I just know I walked away feeling depressed. -K.H.