It’s that that time again. Gleaming new automobiles are being previewed at auto shows, and pretty young girls are leaning on them. This symbolism sends messages you won’t find in manufacturers’ specifications. Men: buy this car, get that girl. Women: buy this car, be that girl.
Back in the last century, when the USA manufactured real products instead of just bad business deals, the auto show circuit started in Detroit, the Motor City, and fanned out around the country. Today the auto industry is globalized, and so is the car show circuit. The U.S. may not sell many American cars abroad, but the Girls-Leaning-on-Cars concept is a hot export. Compare the ladies of the Detroit, Delhi, Tokyo, Geneva, Guangzhou, and Qatar auto shows.
The meme has permeated all levels of American culture. See selected Flickr images from family photos, movie mags, and amateur hot rod shows in these galleries.