This year at Comic Con we had many crazy opportunities, one of them being shamelessly handing Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame an Omni-blade. But other than invading a time lords’ personal space, we were also part of a variety of other events and panels. One such panel that I was on was “The Most Dangerous Women of Comic Con” hosted by the lovely Bonnie Burton and organize by Action Chick, Katrina Hill.
The Most Dangerous Women of Comic Con
Panelists Include (though not in order in the picture): Leah Cevoli (Robot Chicken), Holly Conrad (Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope), Adrianne Curry (Stan Lee’s World of Heroes), Abbie Heppe (Respawn Entertainment), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Kristen Nedopak (Skyrim: To Lydia with Love), Milynn Sarley (GeekNation’s Lairs), Stephanie Thorpe (ElfQuest: A Fan Imagining), and Patricia Tallman (Night of the Living Dead, Babylon 5), and Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill herself!
Those of us on the panel weren’t just ladies; we were also a talented group of individuals. Actors, models, cosplayers, game industry taste makers, business owners, these folks are serious.
And of course, at one point, the conversation shifted to booth babes. I mean, it also shifted to a naked guy in a Princess Leia outfit who said he wanted to do everyone on the panel. I’m just going to pretend that didn’t even happen and move on.
Why does this train of thought always happen at a panel in which none of the above people are there to represent a company or work at a booth, but are there to encourage women and represent their skills and status in the industry?
I think the main issue with this is that as a convention culture we need to remove the booth babe stereotype from our vocabulary. Booth babe, hired guns, booth beef (if you prefer), all of these phrases invite a negative connotation implying that these people, mostly women, are only there to be oggled at. That not only should be removed from cons and trade shows, but it should be taboo for a company to hire uninformed staff, period. We as a culture need to make sure companies know we don’t want booth babes, we want informed booth staff regardless of looks, and if they happen to be dressed up and attractive, great, but they better be ready to be passionate about their product and their industry regardless. By discouraging the hiring of uninformed staff vs. hiring intelligent, knowledgable staff, regardless of looks, costume, etc, makes the booth babe obsolete. It makes companies realize that crowds are responsive to intelligence and passion, rather than just looks.
And this brings us back full circle, that panel wouldn’t have been getting comments about booth babes if we just recognize all the awesome ladies up there as talented, passionate individuals, rather than women in costume or women promoting brands or women that (GASP) play games, or any of the above.
Passion and intelligence will be the most visible of all traits, regardless of looks or gender.
~This concludes your Monday thoughts from Holly