Part of the research for my graduate thesis involved “trying on” the different roles that currently existed for women in the car racing scene. The Carwash Bikini was made to call attention to the ridiculousness of the female car show model as spectacle. Car shows often use female models or bikini car wash contests to increase attendance. This particular image of women affects how women within the car scene (but not into modeling) think of how they can participate.
The Carwash Bikini is meant to be used to show your love for your car, not to show off for an audience. The video shows a woman using the bikini to wash her car and she is caught on a security camera. Her actions are decidedly un-sexy, even utilitarian. The Volkswagen GTI in the video had just been released and this video went viral claiming the #1 viewed spot on YouTube’s auto channel a few days after its release.