In true creative artistic nature, the banned models of the Shanghai Auto Show still managed to steal the show, taking a stand on the ban of sexy models by dressing up as homeless to protest. The show this year was noticeably more formal, with the void left by the scantily clad models filled by stories of the ban. Overall, the Shanghai Auto Show sexy ban seemed to generate more publicity than the actual stars of the show–the vehicles.
The ladies working the Shanghai Auto Show this year were not permitted to wear the expected attire, instead draping themselves in formal long gowns and nothing too tight-forming. There were also quite a few less working ladies present, with many being left out of a job, perhaps one counted on annually for income. That could be the reason that a group of models chose to protest in Xujiahui, dressing as homeless to offer a visual on the could-be reality of out-of-work models. The series of photos circulated to show the models wearing what they used to wear to work automotive shows, but with makeup applied to make them appear down-and-out. Signs were hoisted stating: “We want to survive!” and the like, as a plea to the government over the loss of their jobs.
In the end, it is not likely that the show will immediately, if ever, return to traditional operating methods. The show this year featured what is being called “fresh-faced” women wielding tablets and information rather than breasts. It could be read as the new face of the future, with information being made available for each vehicle rather than simple temptation. It is difficult to fathom a long-term separation of something like girls and cars, which have paired like peanut butter and jelly throughout history.
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