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The life of a 'booth babe': high heels, long hours and leering visitors

Michael Kan | June 7, 2012
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.

"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."

Lee is looking forward to leaving the modeling work, especially after the Asus tweet. "I'm very sensitive to these kind of things, and I really want to leave this career," she said. "The industry is now moving towards making models show more skin," she said. "People will look at you, but do so in a way that's more sexist and sexual. There's no respect."

Ashley Hsu, 25, another Computex model, was helping to promote prizes from Taiwanese vendor Elitegroup Computer Systems. She sees it as a good part-time job, and does it when she has time away from her studies to become a hair and makeup stylist, or from her other part-time job as a dancer.

"It seems like more and more young women want to do this kind of work," she said. "It's easy to do, you can make money. You just need to talk to people and get your picture taken. I'm seeing a lot of people wanting to do this part-time."

Some models at Computex work full-time in the modeling industry, such as Regina Xue, 23, who was promoting PC vendor Micro-Star International by handing out plastic fans to visitors. "People think we are doing nothing and just daydreaming, but it's very difficult," she said. "You have to meet a lot of people."

She hoped that visitors would respect her profession. "This is a job for us, we just wear less," said Xue, who was in a blue mini-skirt and top. "We are doing real work."

 

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