Today, the motorsport world has been divided as the top level formulas have banned grid girls.
The Brolly Dolly, a staple of just about any televised motorsport, will now no longer be a thing in Formula 1, and this will no doubt cascade throughout all forms of motorsport.
I can kind-of see why the decision has been made, but think the reasoning misses some huge factors, and rather than stopping degradation of these women will only hurt them.
First off I should say a few things. Formula Vee does not have any women on the grid holding umbrellas for us. If there are women around the cars at all, they’re normally driving them, friends and family, or taking pictures. There is no point at our level, as grid girls are purely employed to look good and promote a brand.
Despite how everyone these days tries to be politically correct, sex still sells.
And let’s face it, standing holding a flag on a grid isn’t exactly grinding on men in a shady club where they’re at risk of being groped.
Are they being objectified? Maybe – but they’re also earning a lot of money and every single one of those women are there through their own choice because they want/love to do it!
They work hard staying fit and taking great pride in their appearance, and although there will always be a few idiots, most of us respect them and what they do.
These grid girls are feminists and feminine – some are mothers and some hold down high level careers away from their modelling work – some begin or boost their careers by doing grid girl work.
It sounds to me like a lot of the people crying to ban grid girls think by doing so all the girls will suddenly become racing drivers, mechanics, team bosses, marshals etc, or whatever they deem to be a ‘more respectable’ job/hobby/position.
They won’t, because there are already women doing all those things, and grid girls just want to be grid girls.
And they should be allowed to do what they want without being shamed for it, and especially not told they can’t do it by someone who isn’t doing it themselves and probably has no place supporting the motorsport industry anyway.
This is only my opinion, and please feel free to comment whether you agree or disagree – I just feel bad for the girls knowing how excited they get about being given the privilege of appearing on the grid supporting their heros or whatever their reasons for doing it.
By banning grid girls you’re not empowering these women – you’re just putting them out of work and potentially destroying their career.
So who is that helping?