Sex Sells… SUV’s, MPV’s and Zero Emission, is driving a car still sexy in our ever changing world, or are we perishing into a new era of gender neutrality and non-binary identity?
Once upon a time cars were sold with scantily clad young ladies draped on the bonnet, at least, that’s how they were pictured in the brochure. For safety reasons and domestic peace hood decorations were usually limited to small logo’s. And lets be honest, it might look good in a picture, we all prefer not to have a girl laying herself down on the bright paintwork of our latest asset. High heels make scratches, sun cream nasty stains and the horror of a buttock shaped dent in the bodywork is more than enough reason for many sleepless nights. Nights we’d probably spend downstairs on the couch or in the spare bedroom at best.
As early as the nineteen twenties automobiles were related to virility. Did Bugatti compare his cars to thoroughbred race horses, many of the other makes did love to divagate on the stamina of their products in the utmost fierce circumstances too. Races, expeditions, everything was set out to show what a real man could accomplish when issued the right material. With the development from coach to coachwork, the automobile itself is fitted with more and more female forms. Lascivious or coquettish, the ever so masculine engineering now gets and exterior that is aimed at seducing the still mainly male car buyer. The coke-bottle-shape is nog longer reserved to sharply cut skirt suits and red-carpet-dresses, ye ol’automobile has become sex-on-wheels.
It shouldn’t surprise that the new all metal beauty standard is embodied by the supermodels of their time. Exotic beauties in flaming red next to gentlemen preferred blondes in 50 shades of grey. For the star struck commoner advertising agencies world wide put in their best efforts to present the unnoted girl next door with a bit of glamour too. Cars are appraised by young ladies in bikini or hotpants, the slogans are provocative, ambiguous and ever so often downright sexist. Ancient stereotypes are blown into life again, sometimes tongue in cheek, mostly straight to the point. Women you seduce by offering them a car in the right shade of lipstick, men with the illusion of getting a smear of that lipstick on their collar. With the right car, that shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s 2018, men and women alike no longer know what they are, who they are or wat they’re expected to be. Most cars look exactly like that. Surf nor turf, shapes dictated by wind tunnels and safety restrictions. Real beauty is on the inside, that kinda nonsense. Barely dressed promotion chicks are banned from Formula One, car tyres are no longer promoted in bikini and topless has fallen out of fashion due to smartphone camera’s. Those who don’t want to move themselves around in a silver hybrid, an anthracite minivan or a black station wagon drive a convertible once again. Decently, no sticking out of the crowd. Where the motorcar once was an exploit of personal freedom, individual mobility now slowly becomes a right we should protect. A hunger for a ride into freedom, sun in our face, arm around her shoulder and enough grunt beneath the bonnet to make the entire girls school giggle on passing by.
Marc GF Zaan