For years, skimpily dressed female models in stilettos and plunging necklines were ubiquitous at Chinese car shows and one of their biggest draws. Some might even say they made the auto shows enticing.
Not so anymore. Professional models at car shows around China, like the famous Shanghai Auto Show, which started yesterday, were banned this year so that crowds, fans and potential buyers could concentrate on what’s actually being sold.
Only time will tell if the move will affect the shows given that models played important roles in China’s auto shows. As Reuters points out, models have been used as a marketing strategy and a way to attract crowds. Ostensibly to sell cars, female models have appeared naked, swallowed and fondled snakes, and kissed crocodiles.
He Yingrui, a spokeswoman for the autoshow, emailed Reuters and said that since models have been banned, organizers hoped automakers would “resolutely stop evil activities and all kinds of low-brow delights and corrupt public morals.”
As for the models, they weren’t going to go away quietly. Groups of now jobless models wearing their most fashionable rags staged a protest yesterday. Pretending to beg outside of Metro City at the Xujiahui Station, the young females fought for their right to be paid to bump and grind on souped-up cars for the super rich, carrying signs declaring, “We want to survive!”
However, not all of the models went workless. At the Shanghai Auto Show, car companies still relied on the young and attractive. Perhaps only a matter of semantics, many of these people were instead hired as “sales reps,” “Miss Etiquettes” and “car cleaners.” Whatever you call them, there were many beautiful women at the Shanghai Auto Show standing next to cars or posing with them for photos, despite the ban. Some seemed to have just changed their titles in order to crash the Shanghai event. Dai Jun, 25, dressed in a smart suit and found standing near a European luxury car, told Reuters:
“I’m not called a ‘model’ here because they banned models this year.”
So what should we call her and the other young and attractive sales reps? “Young, Attractive Woman Who’s Definitely Not a Model Posing Near a $801,624 Hongqi L5”? Or how about, “Please Take This Pamphlet From Me, An Attractive Female Whose Profession Has Nothing to Do With Modeling”? Or simply, “I’m Not a Model, I Just Look Like One”?
Whatever you call them, there’s still plenty of attractive females out there who will go by any name just to have back their “right” to slink off an engine or playfully pose on a car roof.