Clout, Instagram Models, and Women in the Car Community

 

Clout, Instagram Models, and Women in the Car Community

 

This might be controversial, and I might get a lot of negative feedback and hate. I wanted to share my perspective on women and models in the car community and the debated issue of clout. I’ve also integrated other women’s perspectives throughout the article, you can find their profiles at the end! Please keep an open mind while reading this

 

WOMENS BODIES IN MEDIA

 

Let's start with a fill in the blank:

“____ sells”

 

Chances are you said “sex sells” much like the 9 out of 10 people I asked who said the same. Let’s tackle the question, why does sex sell? This is part of a larger societal issue surrounding women’s bodies being sexualized in media. This is somewhat a loaded statement so let me break it down. 

 

“girls are depicted in a sexual manner more often than boys; dressed in revealing clothing, and with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness”

-American Psychological Association (APA)

 

Women’s bodies are sought after because they’re sexualized yet also considered “forbidden fruit.” How does modeling influence this? Does it desensitize viewers or worsen the problem? My inner feminist says women shouldn’t have to hide themselves to avoid being sexualized. It creates a stigma around those who choose to model and show the body, that they’re trashy, attention seeking, and deserving of less respect. 

 

But what about when men post themselves up? Most guys pose however they want in front of their car or in general and aren’t called anything condemning. Think about it. But the second that women do it, clothes on or not, it’s attention seeking and they should hide themselves to avoid being considered indecent. 

 

“It’s almost like you’re not allowed to do both. And if you do, then you’re doing it for attention”

- Joanna

 

 

One mechanic I was messaging told me she had waited for the courage to post a picture that had sat in her camera roll for 2 whole months. She absolutely loved the picture of herself but was scared of the response she was going to get from it, she didn’t want to get taken less seriously for showing and embracing her body. I give immense credit to those who confidently and boldly post themselves up knowing there will be trolls there to shoot them down. And to those who choose to shit talk others like this, you have too much time on your hands, go find more positive to do.

 

 

For thousands of years women’s bodies have been over regulated. For example, 50 years ago, if I walked on the beach wearing bikinis I wear today, I would have been charged with public indecency. When women take that power back for themselves, the only people who should be controlling their own bodies, they are empowered by making their own choices. That control is what empowers them, not the actual act of dressing down or dressing up. Having the ~ CHOICE ~ and the ~ FREEDOM ~ to post themselves how they wish is what empowers women. 

 

 

There’s no black and white answer to this situation. You are in no place to tell women how to show themselves, you cannot control what they do with their bodies. There will be women who post up who are:

⁃ proud of the bodies they created

⁃ financially benefiting off their bodies

⁃ using media for clout and attention

It’s hard to differentiate which women do what, it could be all of the above or none of the above, you can’t accurately determine their motive. Nor can you regulate or tell people not to buy into it. If the market is there, people benefit from it. That’s how supply and demand work. 

 

Again, this is a very debated, opinionated, gray area, it’s hard to discuss it without someone getting hurt or criticized. For me to respect someone’s opinion, I also have to be patient and respect their feelings. Try to open your ears, listen to others, only then can you hear someone else’s perspective without insisting your own opinion is the only one that’s right, valid, or true. 

 

What is your motivation to promote yourself modeling in the car community?

 

Faith- I grew up around cars and going to shows so being in the car community is just natural to me. Being a model in the car community is different there’s a lot of hate, competition and it requires a lot of hustle and motivation. I enjoy it because I meet a lot of people and my supporters, so they are my motivation to keep modeling in the car community.

Madi- I wouldn’t say I promote myself modeling, but I love posting modeling photos because I love the way it makes me feel confident and unfortunately pictures with me in them bring more traction to my page.

Sarah- My motivation stems from my love for cars as well as from the positive feedback I receive from so many car enthusiasts! Modeling gives me so many opportunities, I have been able to travel to new places and shoot with so many unique builds. The fan base and love for cars is what keeps me modeling, posting, and wanting to learn and grow within the community. It’s opened my eyes to a passion that I never knew.

Kirsty- Although I am not a fan of modeling myself (I get awkward), sometimes I’ll take the opportunity, because I really want money for car parts (and bills). 

Judy- I don't really see it as promoting myself. I like just taking pictures with my car sometimes. I don't do it often. But when I do, it does boost my confidence quite a bit.

Marissa- I've been modeling for over 8 years in front of the camera but only 2 in the car industry and they're totally different for me, modeling in the car community is totally out of my comfort zone and that's what motivates me to continue to promote myself!

Halina- I'm cute as fuck and I genuinely enjoy cars. They're my passion. 

Sara- I have big plans to track my car and I know that posting myself draws more attention to my account and that has led to many potential sponsorships that will lead the way for track days. 

 

 

WOMEN IN THE CAR COMMUNITY 

 

Personal story:

I had gotten frustrated and bitter at my boyfriend because he had claimed that the primary reason I have a growing audience on social media is because I’m a girl posting myself up with cars. I felt like all my effort in creating quality content was degraded and it made me feel attention seeking. I’ll admit, it was fun trying to figure out how the algorithm worked and my posts blowing up, but I didn’t let it determine my happiness. At times I would get frustrated if it didn’t work, but it’s a trial and error process, that’s just how it works. I helped my boyfriend come up with what hashtags are trending, what pages to tag, and when to post on certain days for optimal engagement, he got a kick out of it too, but he never let it get to his head either.  

 

 

It’s not only him, I’m not singling him out or condemning him for his opinion, many other people I’ve talked to feel the same way about women in the scene. In reality the only reason women are well known and gain that following base in the automotive community is because they are a ~ rarity ~ not necessarily attention seeking. This is a community mostly made up of men, women often find themselves, belittled, degraded, or targeted because they’re found they “don’t belong.” The more men in the community, the more eyes on the minority of women in it. Think about it, a guy with a car is extremely common, a dime a dozen. But someone who makes up part of the less than 5% female population in the car community is treated like a $100 bill. We only catch your gaze because a woman posting up with a car, that she may or may not have knowledge about, is considered different; women aren’t associated with the actual owning or modifying of cars, but rather assumed as only modeling with them. This problem stems from assuming and filtering all women in the car community by default into the same category. 

 

 

What have you experienced when it comes to misconceptions about women/models in the car community?

Faith- I’ve been hated on for modeling on cars because “I’m a girl and don’t know about cars”. If people, especially men, asked before they spoke, they’d realize maybe she does know about cars, she grew up around them and works on her own. Sadly, a lot of people will just think a girl with a booty or boobs near a car, she must have nothing going for her.

Madi- I think a lot of people think you can’t be a model and actually work on your car. But I think after a certain point with followers, people just stop giving you shit and learn how to respect you. It sucks though at a lower level because everything you do, and post is “for attention”

Sarah- The first thing I realized after attending my first car show: not to judge somebody’s online profile because social media does not accurately represent someone’s true personality. Some of the models I looked up to turned out not to be as kind as they seemed on Instagram. While others, even with as many as 500,000 followers, turned out to be the humblest and kindest people I’ve ever met. I promised myself to stay true to myself because authenticity is what will keep the scene alive and enjoyable!

Kirsty- I’ve dealt with many men believing I know nothing about cars, and it can be annoying, but who cares what irrelevant people think of me? I know what I know, and I enjoy what I do. I don’t need validation from strangers. 

Judy- That women are ignorant/clueless when it comes to cars. Men really will belittle or mansplain anything to us.

Marissa- Since I've only been in the car industry for 2 years now, I haven't had to deal with any negative stigmas personally. We all just have one common passion that brings us together and that's the cars.

Halina- It's a big misconception that women are only into cars & modeling for clout. Yes, there's definitely clout involved, but mostly they're just dope ass, cute females with a love for cars. 

Sara- Biggest thing I’ve gotten is “why aren’t you dressed up like you do in your photos” at car meets. It’s annoying but you can’t let anything a man says get to you.

 

 

CAR MODELS AND CRITISISM 

 

Car models take advantage of this market and often sell merchandise or promote themselves as brand influencer to gain sponsorships or free products. They have a right to do this and sell themselves like this, but after talking to my boyfriend about it, I can see why it frustrates some car enthusiast. They see it as something that alters the chemistry in the scene, something completely unrelated to cars that is brought into every event, every show, and is then integrated into the car community culture. To better understand his point, I put it into perspective for myself. I swam competitively for 8 years and I would feel frustrated if something came in completely unrelated to the sport to take away from the hard work, effort, and time I’ve dedicated to it. It’s like someone being on the pool deck or being shown and having the glory given to them instead of the athletes in the water who the sport is made for in the first place. I feel like there is also a touch of jealousy in this, because men cannot benefit the same way female models market themselves. Some of which have “fans only” accounts or premium snapchats where they sell subscriptions to show, arguably most the time, content such as nude pictures. This is often a controversial subject of the respectability of using these platforms as an easy side hustle. 

 

Why do you think models face a negative stigma in the car community?

Faith- Some model certain ways with cars that can be too revealing for an automotive shoot and some model with cars but aren’t car enthusiasts themselves. I always tell females who come to me wanting to be a “car model” don’t model with cars unless you are a car enthusiast, or you will get ripped apart. I’m always willing to help, but I’ll also give them my honest opinion.

Madi- If you genuinely hate on models as a whole then you probably are very insecure. I know a lot of people say “all you do is take pictures next to your car, you’re not a real enthusiast” 

I think people just hate on things they can’t do.

Sarah- I think a lot of women, even outside the car community, who are confident with themselves face negative stigma. I believe people who don’t necessarily like models in the car community believe they’re are nothing but looks. Maybe they believe we do it for exposure but don’t care about or enjoy the car scene. That may be true for some models, but I can’t speak for them. All I know is that the same case does not apply for all of us and people should be more open minded before judging us so harshly.

Kirsty- Many car models know next to nothing about cars (they’re just super pretty), so they are looked at as “bimbos” and “posers”

Judy- People may view them just as dumb girls looking for attention. Without knowing someone's story, people are so quick to judge and make assumptions.

Halina- The way some girls present themselves. I think there's a fine line between girls who are car enthusiasts and girls who are clout enthusiasts. Girls who model for clout sometimes create negative stigmas for legitimate enthusiasts. 

Sara- People think that girls that model with cars are dumb and don’t know anything about cars. I think the older era of “girls and cars” calendars and such really input that stigma. 

 

 

A lot of people in the scene are very quick to condemn those who take advantage of this market, yet they’re the ones who buy into it (sometimes). There’s a terrible double standard present. These women will often be called hoes or thots yet those who say this have screenshots of them in their camera roll or they have their air freshener on their rearview mirror. 

 

It’s THIS SIMPLE: if you don’t like models or what they stand for, just ignore them. 

Don’t support them,

Don’t endorse them,

Don’t buy their merch, 

Don’t follow them, 

Don’t engage with their content,

Don’t comment nasty things on their posts,

Don’t put them down,

Don’t degrade them. 

If enough people do this, it’ll be like they went out of business and they won’t be as prevalent. It’s okay if you don’t understand their motive, but move on from it, don’t judge them or wrongly assume things about them. 

 

 

FEMALE-FEMALE CRITISISM

 

How about the women who condemn other women who chose to model? Where does that problem arise? I believe it is rooted in the societal concept of competition in earning the “attention of men”. This could however create an overly competitive or toxic atmosphere that breeds jealousy, envy, or insecurities. Another. Woman’s. Success. Or. Beauty. Does. Not. Take. Away. From. Yours. True confidence has no room for jealousy and envy. When you’re amazing, you have no reason to hate. We are all queens, embrace who you are and urge other women to do the same. 

 

Why do you think women hate on other women who chose to model and market their image?

Faith- Other women hate on those who model because of jealousy, maybe someone has a bigger butt, more following or is growing faster than them. I’ve dealt with a lot of hate from females and still do to this day. The only thing you can do is focus on bettering yourself and don’t worry about others, if they still have an issue then it’s their issue not yours.

Madi- Hate comes from insecurity and inadequate self-love. I think you can have an opinion on someone’s choice of personal exposure and it’s not considered hate. Like for me, I dislike when women blatantly post overly sexual photos for free but at the end of the day, I won’t hate on any girl for it.

Sarah- To each his own. Not everyone has to be a car model or enjoy seeing girls model with cars or at shows, I don’t find that offensive at all. This is what I choose to do because I enjoy it and it makes me happy, respecting each other regardless of our opinions is key. It’s similar to car builds, you may modify your car in a way that makes you happy and some people may not like it, but that’s okay. It is not their build, it’s yours! Your happiness is most important!

Kirsty- Many women hate car models just because it separates the men from the women even more. We want to be taken seriously in our passion, not looked at as eye candy

Judy- I think it's an insecurity issue. Or out of jealousy. Women can be so nasty to each other I'll never understand it. We should embrace each other.

Marissa- I think women hate on other women who choose to model and market their image out of some kind of jealousy, whether it be because they don't have that kind of confidence or because they're envious.

Halina- There's 2 sides to this. Jealousy and the way women present themselves and their images. Sometimes the way an image is marketed can make female enthusiasts look poorly. However, some female enthusiasts are just straight up haters towards models.

Sara- I think jealousy plays a huge role in any amount of hate people receive. I don’t personally receive a lot of hate to my face or directly, but I know it happens. Either way it doesn’t stop me from feeling good about myself! 

 

CLOUT AND INSTAGRAM

 

Where does the line get drawn? I would argue that there are women apart of the community who give the term “car model” a bad stigma. This bad rap is then later pushed on those with genuine intentions in the industry. When does it create a toxic atmosphere? I believe the answer to this question surround the “clout” in the scene. It manifests itself when these models are idolized in a way that gives them celebrity status and it gets to their heads. Humble individuals become cocky, all they care about is getting their name out there and they’ll do anything to accomplish that. That’s what I PERSONALLY believe, I was never one to buy into the market of celebrities. I look more to how an individual betters the world around them and how they grind to accomplish this. I don’t believe someone should be worshipped based on the outer shell of their body; your appearance doesn’t determine how good of a person you are. 

 

Let me say this once:

INSTAGRAM DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING. 

If you’re living your life to please others, you’re not living your life for you. One day the app will lose popularity and shut down, just watch. No one cares how many followers you have; no one will remember the likes you got, you’ll be left with the reputation you’ve built for yourself and be stuck with the relevance you have offline. Using social media is great to create a side hustle, promote your aesthetic, or to pass time, but don’t let it determine who you are. I think that’s where a lot of models and influencers get caught up, they think it’s determines their success and worth, but that’s not true at all. They let their online fame get to their heads, that’s where I would argue things get toxic. 

 

I sound biased, condescending, and condemning when I talk about this. But. That’s. My. Opinion. I believe girls who act as posers, who do it solely for attention, are the ones who ruin it for all the other women in the car community. I believe it gets toxic when influence gets to people’s heads. Instead of doing modeling and/or things in the car community because they enjoy it, they do it for status, validation, likes and followers, and their ego. Photography and social media could be fun and a way to make money or establish sponsorships, but for the love of god, stop revolving your lives around it. 

 

What do you think about women who post themselves up for clout?

Faith- I absolutely hate people who only do stuff for clout. Don’t do stuff for clout, do it because you love it. Don’t post up a close-up booty pic showing too much just because it will get a lot of likes, it may turn off a lot of brands or companies who wanted to work with you. Create art, have fun, be yourself and you’ll grow.

Madi- I think there’s a tasteful way to achieve more followers. I think most women resort to using their body because well it’s proven to always gain more attention to posts and your page overall. With that being said, I do believe there’s a way to be tasteful with it and not immediately jump to shoving your ass in front of a camera.

Sarah- I view Instagram as a mix between business and personal/pleasure. I don’t believe “clout” is always a bad thing, it could also be considered “awareness” in the marketing world. It’s not exactly the same thing, but it does have to do with bringing awareness to your personal brand and your content. I may not always agree with everything that’s posted, but that does not mean I dislike a person, judge them, or talk poorly about them. If they want to post a certain way for “clout” then that is up to them.

Kirsty- If you’re doing it for clout and you aren’t monetizing it, you’re simply seeking attention. I mostly just feel bad for these women and hope they find help

Marissa- All I can say is it's not for me, I don't have the guts but I'm not one to judge other women's lifestyles.

Halina- Majority of the time, I have no problems with them! When clout models only accept attention from males, it's kind of frustrating. You want to be their friend but they're just not into female attention.

Sara- Girl you do you as long as you’re smiling. 

 

 

Who do you support? Those who embrace themselves, post themselves in a way to promote body positivity, who do it knowing they will be judged but chose to have autonomy over their own body. Or will you support those who create drama, who promote a negative atmosphere, who are solely doing it to gain clout, status, attention, and grow their ego. 

 

The choice is yours. 

 

Some women use this platform to get into the car community. A female enthusiast who I look up to who started as an umbrella girl is Savannah Little. Now she’s a time attack driver with and LS swapped 350z. Whether you like it or not, more women are going to enter this community, modeling, modding, or both. Instead of criticizing them, observe the atmosphere they promote and help or educate them when needed if they want to learn more about cars. I hope this article has cleared the air for people, given them insight they’ve never thought about or encountered. I hope I’ve influenced your thinking and opened your eyes to see things through a different lens than you’re used to. 

 

Interviewees: 

Faith- @itsfaiithmarone

Madi- @evo.madi

Sarah- @sen.cityy

Kirsty- @s2kirsty

Judy- @_judymoody__

Marissa- @marlls__

Joanna- @prbeauty

Halina- @thefiestagirl

Sara- @pepperr_st

 

All images taken off Instagram