The F1 owner announced earlier this week that the company was to let go of the grid girl tradition because it no longer fitted in with the sport’s new ‘brand’ image. However the decision has caused a stir amongst the sports community, with some describing it as a ‘decision against women.
I do respect their decision to end the tradition, and I think there were only good intentions in the move, but it’s an inconsistency to society. what I mean by this is that although its a weird tradition to begin with, the world is full of weird traditions. These girls are made to look pretty because they want to make the sport more attractive and have a kind of sexier look about it, and parading attractive women up and down the track is an easier way to boost this image than to put bikinis on the cars. BUT if you make the decision to end this, are you also gonna end cheerleading? or modelling? Niki Lauda, the non-executive chairman of Mercedes, joins those criticising the grid girl ban:
“Men have made the decision over the heads of women. This is not doing any favours to F1 and especially not for women. How stupid can they be? Are they nuts?” -She then adds that it wouldn’t be strange to introduce ‘grid boys’ to reinstate the idea that this isn’t a sexist tradition.
Some might argue that the objectification of someones body, whether it’s male or female, should not be encouraged, and personally I think that the Formula 1 industry will gain more respect in their move to ban grid girls. However others might say that it’s doing not much else other than putting these women out of a job, while this kind of thing happens in endless other industries. Theres no denying that it does happen, and for some people it is needed, and I’m sure that for some people it has saved them that they could turn to something like stripping to get quick easy money. But does that make ok? Does that justify it as a useful industry? I’m not making a parallel between gird girls and stripping, but as I said before, to disagree with one role is to disagree with other roles of the same nature or purpose. It’s such a tricky one, but I think its a step in the right direction.