As the Bangkok International Motor Show 2016 (BIMS16) looms, the Thai government is once again playing moral police against models’ attire during the show. The Ministry of Culture, last Friday, launched its annual campaign against ‘showing too much skin.’
There’s a fine line between what’s ‘attractive’ and downright obscene. Scantily-clad young women or ‘pretties’ as they are affectionately known in Thailand, are a common sight at motor shows, used as eye candy for booths.
Just as these sexy booth babes are common feature at some tech trade shows, they bring up the question of gimmickry; dehumanising and objectifying women.
The moral debate
Yes, it is controversial. While some of us (men and women included) don’t consider it an issue, certain quarters do take the higher moral ground (not to say I have any less morals).
Thailand isn’t the only country embroiled in the moral debate, either.
In China, the government considers booth babes as ‘vulgar’ and recent laws have banned booth babes from events. Last year, the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show saw a dearth of beautiful booth babes. Allegedly unemployed models took to the streets to protest their rights to be sexy and to be paid for it.
At the motor show eventually, there were no official ‘booth babes’, but some operated under the guise of ‘high-end sales consultants’ or ‘tour guides.’
More ‘Thainess’ please
Meanwhile, back in Thailand, the culture minister, Veera Rjpojanarat and his team visited Grand Prix International Plc, organizer of Bangkok International Motor Show to ensure that models dress appropriately during the show.
Complaints have come from citizens who visited the show in recent years, fearing the sexy models present a bad image of Thailand. They also cited that it’s a bad example for children.
The ministry encourages the organizer to get models attire to represent ‘Thainess.’ Efforts to curb pretties at motor shows have been futile. Last year the ministry threatened legal action against models who exposed too much skin on the basis of them violating public obscenity laws. So far, no charges have ever been filed.
Lip service? All show and no go?
BIMS16 will happen from 23 March till 3 April at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani.
Check out our coverage of BIMS15 here.
- [Video] BIMS 2015 hottest booth babes
- BIMS 2015 – Brand Ambassadors (Outtakes)
- Mazda3 Racing Series Limited Edition shows up at BIMS 2015
- Ultimate highlights from the Bangkok International Motor Show 2015
- BIMS15 – Brand Ambassadors
- 3 BIMS Cars That Should Come To Malaysia
- Launch: 3rd Generation Toyota Alphard
- [Gallery] 2015 Ford Everest official press photos
- 2015 Ford Everest debuts in ASEAN
- BIMS 2015 Babes
- Just who are the Ford Ranger’s competitors?
- [Video] All you need to know about the new 2015 Ford Ranger in 90 seconds
- [Gallery] 2015 Ford Ranger Global Reveal event at BIMS 2015
- Ford unleashes 2015 Ford Ranger at BIMS 2015 – smarter, smoother, safer, stronger
- 2015 Ford Ranger and Ford Everest set for big reveal at #BIMS15
- Cars Of Bangkok International Motor Show 2015 (BIMS 2015)
- The 36th Bangkok International Motor Show!
And oh, have a look at the video we shot at BIMS last year, and we’ll let you be the judge of whether models do show ‘too much skin.’