Another year, another E3, another round of angry protests over booth babes. It happens every year and generally anytime there are scantily dressed people running around with other people who have clothes on. As someone who has been to many conventions, including E3, I can tell you that the booth babes (I hate that term, but let’s keep it for reference right now) are generally harmless women who are simply doing a job. The problem does not come from them. The problem comes from the sleazy ideas behind the hiring of booth babes.
Instead of listing off a standard set of reasons why booth babes are so ridiculous, I decided instead to post my top 5 alternative booth babes who I would love to see at a convention. (Truth be told: I would rather see NO booth babes. It’s a stupid practice, period. But I was going to write a “top 5 celebrity crushes” list and decided to combine the two topics.) Let’s get started. Note: of course, the writer’s wife goes at the top of the list, stupid. But you can’t play the game “F***, Kill or Marry” and go “Ohh, I can’t play this, my wife would get so mad!” Those people are silly and a bore at parties. Plus, my wife has her own list. Lists.
1) Regina Spektor: What a beauty. I like a lot of her music and dislike a lot of it as well. She just seems like she is trying to do what she wants to do, and that’s sexay. Also, she is very girly and giggly in interviews, but then sings about dying and other dark topics. She could play the piano and tell the gamers at E3 how dangerous the boss monster is. Her song about swordplay could also feature weird, random sounds that she makes in the middle of an otherwise great song.
2) Kristen Schaal: I love how absolutely funny this woman is. And, she wears Mom jeans on Flight of the Conchords all the time…that’s sexay. I know, I know: many of you might think I’m throwing her in there for some sort of indie cred, but that’s ridiculous. I think she’s quite pretty and sexay. (Remember, these are alternative booth babes and must have the sexAY.) No, she is not a “typical” Hollywood beauty, but remember the number one point about Hollywood: Hollywood is filled with stupid people. Kristen is not only funny, but seems confident. Confidence is sexAY, I think we can all agree. She can tell the E3 gamers about her favorite new title by making them pee their pants because they laughed so hard. Wouldn’t that be awesome, to make those dorky gamer guys who would normally call Shaal “ugly” pee their pants? I’d pay to see that.
3) Adele: Well, yeh. This is obvious. She can sing, but I’m not really into her music. Feels a bit too polished for me. Still, what a talent and what a beauty. It bothers me to no end that people cannot talk about her without mentioning her “size” as though she is defined first by her singing by quickly after by her curves. Again, remember: Hollywood is dumb. These are the same people who say that Kate Winslet was fat. (Yes, the goddess Kate Winslet.) Adele could sing a song at E3 about one of the sappy JRPGs…they always have intence, cheesy romance in them. I think. I’ll have to ask my friend Cindy.
4) Kat Dennings: Another obvious, at least to me. She is the closest to a “normal” Hollywood hottie on this list, but if you watch her career you’ll notice that, as pretty as she is and as classicly curvy as she is, she never quite breaks the starring roles. Could you imagine her in the girlfriend role in Transformers instead of Megan Fox? Don’t get me wrong, Megan Fox is, of course, a pretty woman. I’m just saying that there is something up with Kat seemingly not having the same star power as many other women in Hollywood. This might be a little consipracy-theoryish, but I think it’s due to her…curves. Ifyouknowhudimean. Seriously. Hollywood likes curves, but only the curves (or lack of) that are currently in. Kat is a classic looker, and I think that sets off a lot of people. This is another girl that many gamer dudes would literally describe as “chubby” without noticing that they, themselves, were more than slightly overweight. She could easily entertain the E3 crowd but just saying “meow meow” in the mic, over and over. (Watch Thor…it’s the sexAYist line ever.)
5) Casey Wilson: You might be all like “huh?” when I mention her, but if you have seen Saturday Night Live during the 2008-2009 season you would have seen her. She’s funny as Hell, but for some reason she didn’t get much airtime. I would have liked to have written more about her talents or abilites and why that’s super sexAY, but instead I’m just going offa’ looks. She could entertain E3 by telling stories about how she left SNL. I have no idea, but I can only imagine (er, will only imagine) it had to do with late-night pillow fights with Kristen Wiig (rrrooowww!)
Now that my top 5 list is complete, and although I will probably kick myself later and be like “AGH! Why didn’t I add ______?!” the point is that, speaking only as a straight man, I can say that in my experience men don’t really give much of a poo about looks. No, seriously. There is something that happens when men get together with other men; they tend to tell stories or nasty jokes or whatever, and that’s all normal and fine. If I were to get together with my 4 male brothers, we would probably talk about the nastiest stuff. You know, old stories about old girlfriends or jokes about…you know, boobs and stuff.
Men can often do that. Hell, ANYONE can do that in a group of their friends. I know LGBTers who can tell the naughtiest jokes of anyone. But, since we’re talking about E3 and booth babes, I just wanted to point out that “babe” has such a wide meaning that it’s offensive that these d-bags who spend their time picking out these women need to understand that they themselves are lying TO themselves when they judge these women. The standards of beauty are bullshit. Again, speaking as a straight male, I can say that men really don’t care.
Sure, men have their standards but that is a personal thing. I tend to find certain people unattractive mainly because of bad hygiene, lack of imagination, lack of sense of humor, etc. There are so many factors going into what someone finds attractive that the whole booth babe thing offends me due to lack of of imagination.
Yes, the booth babes are pretty women. Yes, they attract a certain group of gamers to your booth. (Strange, I thought your game was supposed to do that?) But those chubby, bearded dudes walking around E3 (and the non-chubby, clean-shaven ones) are lying when they say “so-and-so is ugly.” They’re LYING.
In an example, recently I stumbled across a discussion over whether or not G4’s Morgan Webb was hot or not anymore. Yes, this really happened. I also once had a friend of mine say that black women were “gross” when we were discussing a pretty black woman on television. (Men talk about girls that show up on TV. Hell, all people do.) I’ve also seen the funniest looking dudes (and dudettes) slam actresses or actors who we both knew would not be refused if they showed up all of a sudden.
How do you fight such stupidity? The same way you fight any other kind. If someone was attempting to say that gravity does not exist or that the world is flat, you would say “You’re lying, or you are literally that airheaded.” You would call them out.
You do the same thing when someone attempts to set some sort of standard of beauty, either by hiring a skinny girl in a bikini or by saying that Tyra Banks is ugly. You would say “You’re lying to my face. If that woman came here right now and asked you out on a date, you would just drool and collapse. Idiot.”
Or you say something like “Booth babes ARE sexist, period. PLEASE do not try to explain to me how they are not. Where are the booth dudes? Or the booth trannies? It’s ridiculous. Booth babes presume that men have set a single standard of beauty and only adhere to that. That is the purest of bullshit. Straight men, especally the men you typically find wandering around gaming conventions, like women. They all have particular tastes, but tend to find women in general appealing. You’re attempts at defining gamer beauty are sad.”
I just want people to stop bullshitting about the whole thing. If you want to hire a model to grab gamer dudes for pics so that you can sucker them into listening to you about your new game, just say what you are doing. Just ADMIT IT.
But, if you admit that, you must also admit that you are leaving out SO many people who are not attracted to women in bikinis. You are also making people who want to come talk about games uncomfortable.
Last year I went to E3 with a group of women. Three smart, capable women who all love and play video games. They were stereotyped several times, pushed out of the way a few more, and were generally treated as though they were in the wrong place. All of these women had their own beauty, and had people in their lives who thought they were babe-lishish. Booth babes tell women like those three, women who are busily making up HALF of all gamers, that the developers DO NOT THINK THEY EXIST.
So, yeh. There’s my list of sexay ladies I’d rather see at E3. Although, of course, I’d rather see them in some business caz, telling me about their games. Gaming is on the edge of becoming the cliche that it was supposed to be during the D and D years: fat guys in their basements, playing violent games and judging any women who was not skinny and in a bikini.
If you cannot see how that image leaves out SO many gamers, then you might just be from Hollywood…land of the stupid people.