To the Woman on the Turntable

I just got back from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this past Saturday. It was a pretty slow show this year, a lot like last year. No Nissan. No Infiniti. No Porsche.
My biggest disappointment wasn’t the caliber of the show over all, it was the turntable personnel or “Booth Professionals”. There have always been attractive folks standing on the turntable with the show cars or new production cars. In the past, however, they were all dressed professionally and had something intelligent to say about the car next to them. This year, in the Chinese electric micro car maker CT&C’s booth and in the Chrysler area, the booth professionals were ultra skinny women wearing not nearly enough fabric and said absolutely nothing. Worse, they were relentless about staying with the cars and posing, making getting a shot of the actual vehicle with out them nearly impossible. Now, I like the female form as much as the next guy, but I take seriously what Jesus said about lust and adultery. Besides, I’m there to see the cars, not them.
Jalopnik today has a post from one of these ladies, well, at least someone who works in that capacity. She’s, for obvious reasons, not letting us know who she is or even if she’s actually working NAIAS this year, only that she’s a ‘Booth Professional’.
In her post, she takes guys to task, rightfully so, for treating her like another object to be added to the options list. She says:

The comments on this and other websites that publish ‘Girls of the Auto Show’ posts can be downright disgusting. Do you have a daughter? A sister? Wife? Mother? What would you do if a total stranger walked up to her and asked how much she charges for the evening?
… I don’t object to being a sex symbol. I object to objectification. When you ask me, even in jest, “Do you come with the car?”, do you know what you are implying? Let me fill you in: that I am nothing more than an accessory to be bought, like 20-inch rims or a stereo upgrade. It’s not cute, it’s degrading.

She’s absolutely right, too many guys go there, and for every one who says it out loud, I bet there are at least 10 that are thinking something like it in their mind. It’s disgusting, plain and simple and keeping it to yourself doesn’t make it a whole lot better. Guys, man up and treat her with respect. She is someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, maybe even someone’s wife. If you can’t muster the cojones to do so, move on and go look at another booth.
She goes on to say that the way she dresses isn’t her idea, the marketing department dictates every last stitch. Now here’s where I’ve gotta challenge her. Look, no one put a gun to your head and made you take the job. They may have chosen the dress (and frankly, shame on them for that), you put it on. To think that all the guys will look at you in skin tight spandex and think happy thoughts about flowers and bunnies shows you to be very naive about the male psyche. Not to absolve them of the responsibility of treating you right, but to dress like that in a male dominated venue is a bit like opening a fifth of Jack Daniels at dinner with a recovering alcoholic and expecting him to stay sober. Sure, it’s his responsibility to stay clean, but you ain’t helping.
In case my comments above aren’t clear enough, nothing I’ve said here should be construed as meaning that guys have an excuse to lust. To be clear, I don’t care what she’s wearing (or not wearing), guys, you are responsible for keeping your thoughts pure. She’s still a child of God and as such should command your utmost respect. But, ladies, to paint on a dress and then complain when a man says or thinks something inappropriate, well, what did you expect? When you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned.

6 thoughts on “To the Woman on the Turntable

  1. Thanks Bob, I was nervous about this one. I’ve posted something like this before and I’ve talked to others about it. I sometimes get this push back, indicating it’s up to the guys to be pure and women should not have to be concerned with this. Sure, guys must ‘take captive every thought’, but I see a lot of women that are sending a message to immature, unspiritual men that I know they don’t want to. They need to be taught, and perhaps confronted, on this issue.

  2. Thank you for your supportive words. For the record, the vast majority of the women working at consumer auto shows are wearing conservative attire – these are family-friendly events, after all. In fact, Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep experienced immediate pushback when they featured girls in tight mini dresses at the Detroit show and had them in much more modest outfits within days.

  3. Thanks for your comments and I’m glad you found it supportive. It’s also encouraging to hear that the models in the Chrysler booth weren’t received well. I was there on public day #1 this year, I’m glad that they were toned down as the show went on.
    I’ve always appreciated the conservative models at NAIAS. I’ve longed to experience SEMA, but the reputation of the way the booth personnel are dressed and presented there has me leery, frankly.

  4. All I can say is I just wouldn’t look at the girl or the car with the girl. If all the cars have girls I just wouldn’t go. I understand sex sells but not to me.

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