We've asked "The Booth Babe," the anonymous auto show model behind the hilarious "Do You Come With The Car," for a behind-the-scenes scoop on the world of auto spokesmodels. It's a series we're calling "Tales From The Turntable." —Ed.
Gentlemen, we need to talk.
I know my very existence makes you question why underwear was ever invented. Keep it to yourself.
I am an auto show model. A product specialist. A booth babe. A car girl. I am not a stripper or an escort. I will not give you my phone number. I do not come with the car.
The fact that I am an attractive woman being paid to draw your attention to a vehicle does not give you license to hump my leg, literally or figuratively. While I'm glad for you that your wife let you off your leash for a couple of hours, that does not mean you need to cram all the smarminess you can muster into our short interaction. If you try to sneak a photo up my skirt with your camera phone while I'm on my spinning platform I will not hesitate to "accidentally" kick it out of your hands with my five-inch stiletto.
Most of you are okay to our faces. You do a decent job of maintaining eye contact instead of looking down our shirts, complimenting me on my eyes instead of my ass and generally keeping your hands to yourselves. Quite a few of you do not, however, and that has to stop. 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?
Despite our appearance (which is dictated head-to-toe by the marketing department of the manufacturer we represent, including wardrobe, hair and makeup) most of us are not just there to be your eye candy. We have extensive training from the very engineers that design these vehicles. We have piles upon piles of confidential and public industry information we spend months studying before we take a single step onto the show floor. If we don't know the answer to your question it isn't because we're dumb, as you too often imply, it is because there is not an answer available to us.
Also, because we're not dumb, we know that one of the reasons we're there is exactly because we're attractive and direct your attention to whatever we're standing next to. 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.
And it sure as hell won't get you my phone number.
If you want to have a pleasant interaction with a booth babe without being mocked by her as soon as you walk away, here's a set of rules on how to handle your business, keep it in your pants and still enjoy an Auto Show:
Rule #1: Respect my personal space. Easy to do if I'm on a platform, but if I am at ground level don't get any closer than half an arm's length. If I could elbow you in the ribs or smell your nasty cigarette breath you're way too close.
Rule #2: Eyes up here, buddy. Give me the courtesy of looking me in the eye when I'm answering your questions.
Rule #3: Understand that the information I have comes directly from corporate and our engineers. If you don't like that information, I really don't know what to tell you. Arguing with me about it will not magically make an engineer appear, and even if it did he would tell you the same thing.
Rule #4: Please don't ask me any personal questions. You are a complete stranger. For all I know you could be a furry or a serial rapist. I am not comfortable telling you where I live and there is no way I'm telling you what hotel I'm staying in. There's pretty much zero chance of you getting my phone number for the same reason.
Rule #5: Unless it is really slow (less than 5 people in my booth, which never happens) or you are seriously considering buying this vehicle and want a walkaround, do not hijack my time. I'm being paid to do a job, and that job is not flirting with you for an hour.
Rule #6: Do not come back later with a present for me. You call it nice, I call it stalking. Again, you are a complete stranger. Our initial time together was very special and I will hold the memory dear to my heart always - let's just leave it at that.
So gentlemen, I do hope you take what I've said here today to heart. If not for you and the other great people who visit the auto show I would be out a big chunk of change, and I think I can speak for all the booth babes out there when I say we do appreciate your patronage. All we ask is that you behave yourselves.
The Booth Babe muses about life on the auto show circuit at Do You Come With The Car.