By Amelia Dalgaard
In the world of auto shows, there is one dominant species that is the most elusive, most mysterious and often the most feared above all others—I’m talking about none other than the Booth Babe. Yes, it’s 2016 and we can clone people, create driverless cars and watch "Sex In The City" on our watches; must we still see scantily clad women standing next to cars? Well, for the same reason it’s not called "Spaghetti In The City"—sex sells, people, deal with it.
The good news is that, these days, the flawless female specimens adorning the latest and greatest automobiles are as modern as the vehicles they flank. I interviewed a bunch of lovely ladies at this year’s New York International Auto Show and here’s what I learned:
They are no longer just “Booth Babes.” These women are now “Product Specialists” and are often found standing next to their male counterparts on the show floor. (As a woman, I really appreciate this. Mama needs a little eye candy with her new ride too!)
They know their stuff! These women are now fully trained. One woman I spoke to told me that she’d been with her automaker for 10 years and is a part of a 100-woman team that travels the country with the auto shows.
They’ve upgraded their outfits.
Well, unless you’re a 14-year-old boy and then you’re thinking it’s more of a precipitous decline. That’s because Product Specialists are now dressed to reflect a more modern car show experience—and one to appeal to the female driver who is statistically involved in over 80 percent of car-buying decisions. No more QR codes on mini skirts, these women are elegant!
They know their place in the world (and auto shows aren't their whole world). In the process of interviewing these women, I found that a few called themselves “Booth Babes” in jest--including the one who is going to medical school and the one who is a part-time mommy blogger.
They admit it’s not easy. The biggest complaint from the group wasn’t the male gawkers, but the state of their feet! Although their bodies are now covered, their feet are still expected to be stiletto-ready at a moment’s notice. Although one Product Specialist did admit that the male gawker is still a problem even today: “It’s hard to be approached in here and not be able to react the way we would out there,” and with that she lifted her aching foot and kneed that imaginary sucker right where it counts!