It’s High Time Auto Expo Stops Using Women as Visual Commodities

Auto Expo Stopped Using Women

The Auto Expo 2018 is underway, and like every other year, female models are being used as visual commodities. The core idea to have models at Auto expos must have been to give buyers and tech watchers, a human scale of reference for the dimensions of the vehicle. Nothing better to attract attention to that advanced steering wheel, than a pair of actual hands on it. But then, I am only taking a practical educated guess.

Endorsement or gratuitous visual commodities

The Expo organisers pay a huge amount of money to event management companies, to arrange for ‘pretty girls’, who will stand in fitting sexy dresses, and smile at the attendees.


For these models, it seems like an assignment of product endorsement. But haven’t they actually been reduced to visual commodities?

In a country like India, putting up these women on display, gives many men a free hand to leer at their bodies.

Even if the expo organisers provide physical protection to these women, how can they protect them from vulgar gazes of the attendees? Such objectification of women is a slap in the face of feminism, in an age when #MeToo has done so much to empower them against sexual harassment– both physical and non-physical.

Also, it comes across as an unimaginative way to promote the product. We are in the golden age of innovative advertising and technology, there are better options available, rather using women to attract attention.

Going the Formula 1 way

Just a couple of days ago, Formula 1 management announced that it will no longer be employing Grid Girls. Citing it to be an outdated practice, which had no value in modern-day sports. The increasing awareness among brands and corporations about gender equality has led many of them to uphold gender sensitive changes on the similar line.

Brands are making a conscious effort to not come across as misogynist and insensitive. Maybe it’s time Auto Expo does the same.

Discouraging this practice is important because it is more of a salacious intent than a tradition. With high-profile guests and big luxury brands, the Auto Expo has built a name for itself. Hence, it does not make any sense to engage visitors who are there to gawk at women than to know about the automobiles. The expo intends to showcase innovations in technology.  It means serious business. May the organisers think that models add a quotient of glamour to their show. But all it does is to divert the attention from where it should actually be.

Image Credit: Carwale

Also Read : Femfresh Ad Banned For Objectifying Women

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own