of a Car Girl...Part 4
I'm not a blatant
feminist, I wear dresses, like shopping and
think Paul Newman in his 70's is still a
hottie. But the one thing I feel strongly
about is the role and perception of women in
motorsports. I have used the term "pit
biscuits" and "track fluff" to describe the
women at races there not as fans but as
decorations. I've often questioned the
validity/value of these scantily dressed young
women in increasing sales of an automotive
product or service when used in advertising
But why bring it
up now? Well, it was my surprise of
seeing a promotional *racing* product poster
with such "female decorations" plastered in my
favorite team's trailer. I am not
talking art poster - I am talking a dozen or
so young women draped over the hood of a race
car wearing not much more than a smile and
well..... an outfit you could floss with.
Now one may assume
I complain because I am envious of these young
Barbie-like women - and yes they may make me
realize I am no longer eighteen or a size 4
BUT what they DO make me realize is that
gender equality in the racing world still has
a way to go.
FACT: Women are a
large consumer group. They are better shoppers
and play a majority role in the decision
making process of buying goods and services.
They number more than 50% of the population
and have more of a disposable income now than
decades ago. Ignoring this consumer group is a
MYTH: Sex sells.
Now before all those marketing types say yes
it does - let me stress that type of
generalization will be your downfall. It does
NOT sell all items and services. For
example: Brittany Spears in a spandex outfit
will NOT influence my tire buying decision. My
choice will be made by quality, durability,
safety and price of the tires. Would you buy
aspirin because a pretty girl is selling it?
No, you would buy it because it works.
Am I being too
sensitive? Should I make it known that by
allowing for such poor taste in advertising we
are disrespecting the many female race fans
and the many female racers. I understand the
struggle and hard work of gaining respect as a
true racer/race fan both on and off the track.
I was disappointed with the American Le Mans
Series to have the Hawaiian Tropic Girls be
"spokespeople" for the series. I could
think of better ambassadors - or at least some
wearing more clothes. A full page in a
recent race program was devoted to these
tanning babes but how about a tribute to the
safety crew that have a REAL purpose.
Is this just a
part of racing? Should I just grin and bear
it, while they grin and bare it? You
comments, feedback and just plain greetings,
feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com
or AOL IM "racernika"