Perhaps the closest translation of kanban musume (看板娘) is spokesmodel. The trade show variety are often derisively referred to as “booth bunnies”, and strident complaints have pretty much eliminated them outside of Asia, where company leadership isn’t so woke that they shoot themselves in the foot to pacify people who will never be their customers.
But “spokesmodel” doesn’t really cover how it’s used in Japan, where it’s just common sense to have a pleasant, attractive “face” for your business, whether it’s a café, apartment building, or even noodle delivery service. Or artists on Pixiv, to get you to click through and see the rest of their portfolios.
Pixiv’s own translation of the tag is “showgirl”, which is very, very wrong. Not that some of them aren’t putting on a show…
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