Books by Glenda Young

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are Promo Girls High Street Porn?

I was in one of the big multimedia barns on London’s Oxford Street the other week, ooh, let's call it HMV for argument's sake. Browsing the CD racks, waiting for new tunes to catch my eye and shout ‘Buy Me’, I heard an almighty roar at the back of the shop. Turning to see where the noise was coming from, I saw a line of teenage boys, all hormonal and angsty, all of them moving, jitterish, but none of them speaking. It turns out the noise was coming from a new computer game being previewed in-store and the boys were waiting in line for their turn on the new game. Well, ok, I thought, so that’s what the noise is. But then I noticed the girls.

The girls – and they were girls, not women - weren’t waiting in line and none of them looked angsty. But that’s because they were promo girls, being paid to look chirpy and sweet and to give the boys some eye-candy while they were waiting in line to play with the machine.

The girls in skimpy clothes and full make-up; the boys itching to spend cash on new gadgets was a scene I thought couldn't exist in 2010. It looked as anachronistic as it sounds and to this feminist spectator it felt far worse.

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