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No More Sexy Auto Show Girls for China?

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Sexy Auto Show Girls Asian Models by J Sam

The only models attendees to Shanghai’s 2015 auto show might be seeing are vehicular ones
Photo: J Sam via CC

China, a relatively conservative nation, is facing a dilemma over its auto shows. While the expos, which alternate between Shanghai and Beijing every year, are the biggest opportunities for automakers to promote their new products to the world’s largest market, the country’s modest ethics have found the events…challenging.

If you’ve ever been to an auto show–or have even seen pictures of one, you know what we’re talking about: those infamous auto show girls. While gorgeous female models are a widely-used method of attracting attention at auto shows around the globe, China is wrestling with its morals. Models’ elegant dresses are showing off plunging necklines and rising hemlines (a lot of chests and legs, for those who aren’t familiar with women’s clothes).

Consequently, attendees at this April’s Auto Shanghai 2015 might not see those skimpily-clad women anymore. In fact, sexy auto show girls may be banned.

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Would the Loss of Sexy Auto Show Girls Be Good Or Bad?

Here’s what the organizing committee of the Shanghai Auto Show said in a recent statement: “Organizers are considering related measures to ensure that the show returns to its original spirit of showcasing auto technology and products…We’re not ruling out banning car show models.”

Sexy Auto Show Girls Asian Models by KRWonders

We could be seeing less leg and more car
Photo: KWonders via CC

There are multiple reasons this measure is being considered. First of all, how much attention is given by visitors to the vehicles on display? Chances are, most of the casual attendees pay more attention (and take more pictures) of the female models than the mechanical ones. To a degree, it gets in the way of the product being promoted.

Secondly, Chinese media sources, bound by modesty ethics, have faced complications covering the Chinese auto shows. China Central Television, the region’s broadcaster, has repeatedly filed complaints over the use of racy models at auto shows, particularly due to having to heavily crop and edit footage. Criticism has also been raised by the Beijing government, including in 2012 when authorities chastised organizers for allowing provocative models to pose next to cars. Some claim it’s “vulgar publicity.”

This change would likely affect the Beijing Auto Show as well, which alternates years with Shanghai and is managed by the same group. The Shanghai and Beijing auto shows attracted over 800,000 visitors last year (comparable to the LA Auto Show or North American International Auto Show)–some who probably didn’t attend  just for the vehicles on display.

What do you think? Would banning hot auto show girls help curtail the objectification of women, or is it a suppression of rights by the Chinese media/government and a loss of work for the models?

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Source: Bloomberg