Earlier this month we reported that amid the brave new world of sexual harassment lawsuits, #MeToo, social justice warriors, consent forms and rage over the “patriarchy,” Formula 1 and its FAI ruling body has decided to ban the use of promotional models, known as “grid girls,” from its events because they don’t “resonate with [the] brand values [of F1] and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms.”
Now, the allegedly “demeaning” practice of showcasing scantily-clad women at testosterone-filled events, is spilling out out from the race track and hitting your local auto show.
According to Bloomberg, whereas one year ago two blondes in skintight silver mini dresses and stiletto heels would greet onlookers at Ssangyong Motor’s display at the Geneva car show, when the annual event reopens this week, the South Korean manufacturer’s “booth babes” – as they are known in the industry – will be gone, replaced by male and female models dressed in boring sportswear to promote its line up of pick-ups and cars.
Eliminating women as display props isn’t new for some carmakers like French Peugeot maker PSA Group. “Visitors to the Geneva auto show will be welcomed on the PSA booth by male and female hosts whose mission will be to inform them,” spokesman Pierre-Oliver Salmon said in an email with a #nocarbabes hashtag attached.