Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sex sells (autoparts)

What the guys see and what the girls see

A couple of weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of spending three full days at Expo Automotriz at Centro Banamex here in Mexico City. The massive expo was full of stands for things like spark plugs, door handles, car jacks and what-not. The aisles were full of Mexican mechanics and the stands were full of hot girls in lycra outfits (which, thank God, I was not rocking).

I was representing my new employer, who develops industrial parks throughout Mexico. Hopefully, we'll snag some new clients out of the Expo - most of my day was spent handing out pens and little red balls with our logo on it and telling confused-looking people just what we do. Most of the guys were more interested in hitting up the stands whose hostesses were wearing less clothing. The girls above were the unofficial favorite, causing a mild traffic jam for the entire three days. There were lines 30 deep in some places to get a signed poster.

There were three of us blondes in our stand and even we fielded a handful of requests for photos. Just what these photos are used for, I don't even want to know. I was walking behind a middle-aged couple and the woman remarked to her husband as they passed, "Ella está buena. ¿Quieres tomar una foto con ella?/She's hot. Want to take a photo with her?" Right...

My new vocabulary word of the week was: edecán, which is a catchall term for sexy girls who promote stuff. We had two of our own edecanes in the stand, one of whom runs her own edecan service and filled me in on this fascinating line of work.

1) The girls come in three flavors: A, AA and AAA. AAA are really hot, basically supermodels and they get paid as much as $35 to $40 an hour. AA are cute, swelling the ranks, and don't get paid quite as much. A would be classified as normal people and they might only get $70 for the whole days work and more gigs like serving samples at Costco.

2) The gigs include everything from working conference booths during the day to handing out free shots of whisky at a night club from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sometimes they get to travel to nice resorts and work there all week.

3) Work attire ranges from suits to little spandex outfits. One of the girls said she worked an Axe promotion in a nightclub. At one point a guy started spraying axe all over himself and that was the cue for the girls working throughout the club to start stripping.

4) Clients request what kind of girl they want and look at photos. They might request Mexican girls or güeras or Brazilian girls or who knows what. One time, she had a client request 40 blue-eyed blondes.

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