American Cars must become the Pretty Girls

By Noah Graff

One of the main criticisms people have of GM and Ford is that their cars are not aesthetically pleasing. Sure, they need to improve their quality on the inside too (don’t we all). But still, have you ever met a girl or guy who was just so damn hot, that no matter how annoying, stupid, or even mean they were, you wanted to give them a chance. The American car manufacturers are trying their damndest to become that hot thing that people just have to give a chance, but right now, aside from some trucks and Buicks in China, they’re still not getting that many suitors.

So why is this? Why can’t the American companies design a car that looks like something that people would want to make love to – er drive? Personally, I think some of the newer American cars do look kind of interesting. They have a certain style and flare, but still just aren’t my thing. I prefer a Lexus or an Audi to a Cadillac or a Lincoln. So beauty really comes down to personal preference doesn’t it? But where does that preference originate from? Does my brain innately like the color red while my friend in Italy innately likes the color black? Or do I like red because I grew up around a lot of people that wear red, and the media makes me think that red is the color of love?

I like how tighter, more fitted clothes look, and my dad always tells me my clothes are too small for me. I didn’t use to like tight clothes, but one day I just saw the light. Or, was it that when I saw everyone at the club wearing tighter clothes and people on MTV wearing tighter clothes that I decided tighter clothes were awesome?

It is easy to condition the brain to see things in a certain way through repetition. Studies show that people are physically attracted to others who look like them and that they often marry people with similar personalities as their parents. Humans respond to repetition and love to emulate each other, especially people who they idealize.

So what can the car companies do to make people think their cars are the pretty girls they want to take for a spin? I see two ways. First, take the “can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” way. People like a car that looks like a Lexus, so design a car that looks similar to the Lexus, but just slightly different. This could get them into trouble though if it looks like they have no originality or identity. And then what happens when the cool Lexus you emulated changes? Are you going to copy the new one too?

No. Instead of just trying to conform to the cool kids, do your own interpretation of the trend but stay hip and unique too. Then, the brainwashing must start. Use as much product placement as possible. Pay movie studios to have all the latest car models placed in films. You want the Chevy Malibu to be the car James Bond is driving. Get all the rappers and basketball players and celebs to drive the cars and flaunt them as much as possible on camera. That’s why the Cadillac Escalade is one of the most successful cars GM sells. The car could be a Yugo, but if P. Diddy, Jay-Z and  Lebron James drive it, the car automatically becomes sexy – and something everyone must have. That’s all it takes to become the pretty girl – I mean car.

Question: Do you think American cars, on the whole, are more attractive or less attractive than foreign models. Why do you think that you feel that way? Can you describe something you would change about American cars?

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One thought on “American Cars must become the Pretty Girls

  1. swarfblo

    So you think the bad rap on the US car designs is unjustified. I agree with you that for the most part beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have poled several people and several of them have said that their favorite designs were American. They also said that they associate the cars with what they’ve known over the years. Sentimentality and familiarity.

    In my personal opinion, as it applies to American cars vs… When I have rented American cars, I disliked the driving experience in comparison to the toyotas and hundieas I’ve driven. I didn’t like my visibility in the back, I felt the car wasn’t as responsive. I felt the plastic panels inside were cheap.

    Recently I rented a Dodge Charger. Ugg. That thing sucked to drive. It was so unresponsive. What a bitch to park. Not to mention I felt it was quite Garish. I was self-concious driving it. It’s just not my thing. Yes at least it was interesting. But I wasn’t into it. I find other stuff Garish too, or boring. But I won’t label everything. Some cars at least aestically seem pretty cool.

    Glad you have had good experience with American Cars. I’m rooting for them. Our magazine advertisers depend on them to thrive, thus we depend on them to thrive. We need more people with taste like yours.

    I guess they just aren’t producing what the majority of Americans want, because doesn’t GM advertise more than anyone? Or maybe they need better advertising.

    I also noticed that almost all your cars are Trucks or SUVs or vans — all which the Americans are already aclaimed for. How do you feel about American sedans?


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