Sexism 101: Hyper Uses Naked Women Covered in Body Paint to Sell Their Stuff at CES

Even if we are supposed to be used to sexism in the technology world, sometimes it can still be shocking how blatant and brazen it is.

The Consumer Electronics Show is currently taking place in Las Vegas.

Hyper is there promoting their business, which is apparently selling external batteries and hard drives for Macs.

And so obviously, what you do to sell those things at CES is have naked women stand around and be painted. Obviously.

Emily Price tweeted out a picture of this late this afternoon with the line, “Because this is an appropriate way to sell hard drives” and that tweet has now been re-tweeted over 500 times.

Hyper’s instagram feed is full of pictures of these women and they are happily tweeting them out into the world.

These women are being used solely for their naked bodies. They are on full display on the floor of a conference hall. They are silent. They are passive. They exist only to be looked at and leered over. In order to sell computer add ons.

It’s incredibly dehumanizing to the actual women on display, the women in the crowd at CES, and, you know, ALL women everywhere.

This is just plain old, disgusting sexist garbage.

Shame on you, Hyper Shop.



UDPATE: there is already a Twitter campaign underway asking Hyper to stop using these women’s naked bodies to sell their stuff. The hashtag is #NotBuyingIt. For more, Imran at Miss Representation’s blog.

UPDATE #2: Hyper has responded to “a small group of people [who] have chosen to view our booth as offensive and hateful:”

#NotBuyingIt is what many of her followers are posting through their social filters in regards to HYPER and our products – an overwhelming majority of which did not attend the show. We are a company co-managed and co-owned by women – and our motivated and well-educated CES product specialists acted as the main information source for booth visitors during the show. We are prideful of our company image, and will continue to depict our products in a fashionable manner moving forward.

I’d like to 1) quickly point out that the original person who spotlighted this was actually there, 2) note that women often partake and promote sexist culture, 3) what does the “well-educated” part have to do with the critique at hand?, and 4) “depict our products in a fashionable manner” is the heart of it >> you used women’s naked painted body in order to depict pieces of technology and you think that’s “fashionable.” It’s not. It’s dehumanizing to women. The end.

UPDATE #3: Love this so much:

According to Karen Chupka, senior vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association, the industry giant has no plans to remove models from CES.

“The story has been overly sensationalized,” Chupka says. “A lot of people are hired to come in and support exhibitors, since the booth is only one-third of the cost of attending the event.

“I can’t understand. This is the year 2013, and I thought women had come farther than this.

I’m really appalled that anybody prints the word ‘babe’ and thinks that’s okay.”

The VP of the CEA, which hosts CES each year, is a woman. So they sent her out to issue a statement about how the REAL problem is the term “booth babes.”

YES. That’s it! It’s just a rhetorical issue. The use of actual naked female bodies on the floor of the CES to sell products is NOT a problem.

Chupka also said:

“I can understand why people have different feelings about what’s comfortable to them,” Chupka says. “I walked in and saw a man in a completely tight body suit and thought, ‘Hmm that’s a little interesting.’ Women walk around in yoga pants. Why? Because they’re comfortable.”

Try harder, CEA and Hyper. You guys are just dipping into the Sexism 101 Textbook (I’m 100% sure that is for sell somewhere on the internet — I’d check Reddit first. zing!) in order to try to explain away sexual objectification of naked silent women used as props to sell things. Smart people! RED HERRING! Yoga pants! RED HERRING! “Booth Babes”! RED HERRING! We hire women! RED HERRING!

Finally, for the record, the only time I ever want to hear the term “fembot,” which is what Hyper dubbed these silent naked women, is when Robyn is singing about being one:

And as she says, “I’ve got some news for you. Fembots have feelings, too.” WORD.


21 thoughts on “Sexism 101: Hyper Uses Naked Women Covered in Body Paint to Sell Their Stuff at CES

  1. Grow up is such an interesting response. It suggests that anyone objecting to their own debasement and objectification for the pleasure of others are children. And stupid ones at that. In addition, it is arguable that it’s not offensive at all – its a norm. The norm is the offense, as illustrated by your response. Rape offends me and maybe you too, but 50 kids watched a girl get dragged around Steubenville like a sex doll on night in August and they weren’t offended AT ALL. So, by your logic, when they grow up they’ll stop tolerating it and get a sense of humour about how awesome it is that women are treated by products and sex toys. Lastly, even if they’re well compensated, if a man were reduced (and yes, I use that word specifically despite your contention that they know what they’re doing and apparently, as a corollary, are making choices based on equal opportunity both in culture and the economy) to doing this job he’d be paid more or would, if paid the same amount, be permitted to wear 25% more clothes to make up for the loss of income. All of which is just super funny!

  2. Pretty soon we’ll have no choice but to walk around with our heads down ALL THE TIME! Just because you get paid and consent to something doesn’t mean it’s morally or ethically correct!

  3. I’m offended that shows like Girls on HBO use nudity to get more viewers. Aren’t you offended by that? So many things to be offended about…. Lets all be offended!

  4. When is it alright to celebrate the female body as art? I’m not saying that show girls and the culture around it is art but its a question that is worth asking. The girls at the show where entitled HyperArt, and while I believe they where just using the male gaze to sell products under other circumstances the painting of the body in the same way could be a very intriguing thing.

  5. Seriously you all need to get a life. It is art. I actually spoke to a few of the product specialist women in the black dresses and they were so knowledgeable. Their marketing campaign & booth design is so above your head if you are offended.

  6. I take seriously the suggestion of someone who leaves comments on small, little blog posts when they tell me “to get a life.”

    No one ever said those women aren’t smart. I don’t even know how that is relevant.

  7. Well Sara, what exactly do they need naked women in body paint for if their product is good? Do you actually not understand “sex sells” and further that when women (’cause it’s almost never men) are used to sell a product they are used specifically as objects? And do you really not understand that by doing such a thing at trade shows or conferences they are creating an environment in which women are viewed primarily as decoration rather than equal participants?

    Guess not.

  8. celebrating the female body as art? please. this isn’t an art show. it’s a technology convention…which I would venture to guess has a majority population of men (ah the cycle!)

  9. 1. This is classic derailment and really has nothing to do with the article. It’s possible that two things can be problematic at the same time. That doesn’t mean that this is any less problematic. The author has chosen to focus on one issue at hand. If they focused on every time we can see women being objectified, in one article, there would be way too much to talk about.

    2. Girls uses nudity when there are scenes with sex. People usually get naked during sex. It makes sense in terms of the show. People don’t usually get naked in public, douse themselves in paint, and remain silent and still to be gazed at/sell a product.

  10. I’m curious. Would you be offended if instead of females there were naked males? Would it be a “sexism”?
    And I think that every human have a right to do everything with their body they need until it does not directly violate the rights of others.

  11. 1) That would never happen. Because naked men standing silently in body paint would never be considered a good marketing ploy because patriarchy.

    2) I don’t even understand how your second point is relevant. Yes, people have a right to do with their body what they want. I never said otherwise. My post is about and to Hyper, not the women in the body paint.

  12. I understand that in real life that would never happen. But what if we imagine this?
    I wrote the second part of my comment because you stated that it’s “dehumanizing to women” but actually this is only your point of view. Those women decided by themselves to do this job and you don’t know if they and all other women of planet think that this is dehumanizing and/or sexist.
    And also part about “dehumanizing” can be used as well for all the models and men and women, don’t you think so? They are being used just as walking bodies wearing clothes.

  13. But why imagine it? I don’t get this kind of exercise. The day that happens, you come find me and then we’ll have a conversation about it.

    If the bar for discussing anything about women is that “all other women of the planet” have to agree with me, you have negated my ability to say anything. That’s convenient. That a consensus is necessary is ridiculous and unfair.

    If those individual models felt empowered by participating (or if they were doing it so they could afford to eat or pay their rent), that is the silver lining (and, again, why I’m not talking to or about them). But that the job exists is for solely sexist reasons: women, naked ones especially, are useful props for selling shit because we live in a society where we value women who we can leer at without having to hear from them. There is no other framework here. It’s a REALLY old, rather common framework.

    The problem here is not me pointing out that Hyper made a poor decision that makes a whole lot of women feel shitty but that Hyper made a poor decision that makes a whole lot of women feel shitty.

    Also, I’m not sure if you know how blogging works but “this is only your point of view” is kind of the point of all of this.

  14. Imagine to find out, maybe your views on what is sexism and what is not are a bit one-sided and work just to woman.
    The only reason I said about all women on the planet and that it’s just your point of view was this sentence: “It’s incredibly dehumanizing to the actual women on display, the women in the crowd at CES, and, you know, ALL women everywhere.”
    And even if we imagine that it’s really dehumanizing to woman on display, it’s really hard to imagine how can this apply to all women everywhere.
    Also I completely agree that Hyper made a poor decision but not because it’s sexist just because it shows what is their target audence (presumably low intelligent if it likes so low level art) and it’s not creative at all.

  15. You don”t seem open to discussion at all, and yes as far as history goes im well aware of the presadent on the issue. I just wanted to explore the subject as Alexey Guzey does (asking what if they where men) were not idiots and anyone commenting here obviously sees the major issue and probably is in favor of addressing that but this IS an interesting case study on which you seem to only have one opinion. no need to be so disrespectfull to your followers.

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