Chinese “Spicy Girl” Booth Babes Forced to Cover Up
At this year’s ChinaJoy game expo—the largest of its kind in China—organizers stepped up their regulations regarding the show’s booth babes, better known as “spicy girls“. In accordance with a government campaign against “vulgarity” in the online game sector, the new policies prohibit costumes that show more than two-thirds of the back and ban the strategic placement of stickers on “sensitive positions.”
Last summer, the Chinese government launched a nationwide crackdown on the use of sexual imagery in advertisements in online games, giving local officials the power to force game companies to remove “inappropriate” content in their promotions. This is not the first time the government has stepped in as the self-proclaimed custodians of public morality; in fact, Reuters reports that they “once bann[ed] ‘sexually provocative sounds’ on television — but to little apparent effect.” Like it or not, scantily-clad women have become irrevocably intertwined with the entertainment industry in China.
In an interview with the Shanghai Daily, two-time ChinaJoy showgirl Zhou noted, “The length of my dress is longer than before.” According to Kotaku, previous shows have seen “spicy girls” in everything from “skin tight nearly see-thru shorts” to “game adverts placed on [their] chests.”
Defending the changes, the fair’s organizers issued a brief statement on their website:
To eradicate vulgarity and cultivate a good expo atmosphere [and] avoid a negative impact on ChinaJoy through bad activities … the commission will conduct strict checks on the number, costumes and performance content of performers at the site.
Beneath the veneer of ChinaJoy’s earnest effort to restore their good name is the reality that sex does sell. And despite the new policies, photographs from the event were aplenty with bare thighs and generous cleavage.
In fact, the planning committee went through considerable lengths to make sure the show’s “spicy girls” were of the highest quality (though we can’t really say the same about the games). According to expo guidelines, companies in the bidding to provide showgirls were required to “have at least 10 models who signed contracts” and “rich resources of models, at least over 300″.
As the folks at Destructoid so elegantly put it:
While this crackdown on “vulgarity” may have dampened some spirits all was not lost as ChinaJoy (China’s largest online gaming expo and victim of the policy) still hosted a beauty pageant for female players models and showgirls. So ‘ha’ to anyone who thought China’s edict meant a step forward for women’s rights and a move away from objectification of females.
The beauty pageant, marketed as “the most delightful platform for female players, models and showgirls for gaming companies”, reaffirms concerns that the show is more about the girls than it is about the games. As one student told the Shanghai Daily, ”To be honest, I came here largely for spicy girls. I’m satisfied with the female models for this year’s ChinaJoy… I care more about them rather than only sexy clothing.”
Of course you did. Much like how former Democratic Party legislator Chan Ka-wai visited a prostitute for a 40-minute “interview”, no?
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TAGS: booth babes • censorship • China • ChinaJoy • public morality • spicy girls
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