In recent weeks, we’ve heard the news that an institution within the motor racing world has been arbitrarily excised. Perversely, this has done in the name of equality.
Grid girls have been part of Formula 1 and racing in general since the early days of motor racing. Far from being mere ornaments, the role of Grid Girls extended beyond merely holding up signs on the starting grid, they were an intrinsic part of the Formula 1 scene. Socialising and conversing with visitors, providing witty repartee and filling in the gaps in conversation when the ‘stars’ of motor racing proved less sociably skilled off the track than they were skilled on it.
The choice of ladies to choose to work wherever they want and however they choose has, sadly, been arbitrarily and hypocritically stripped from them under the guise of protecting them from sexism. A decision taken ‘for’ them, without consultation, or assessing how they felt about the work they do. A decision taken, it seems, without any awareness of its irony.
Ladies love racing too
Motor racing isn’t a sport in which only men are interested, had the Grid Girls been consulted, as they are being now in the news, it turns out that many of them are keen motorsports enthusiasts, who enjoy being around some of the fastest and most technologically advanced cars in the world and describe being treated like royalty by the people who drive them. The drivers, it has to be said, are no longer exclusively male, nor are the pit crews.
Had the former Grid Girls been asked, their answers might have been surprising to those who’ve robbed them of their voice, to those who’ve ignorantly assumed that beauty and brains are mutually exclusive. They’d find that the gorgeous grid girls counted University students and graduates amongst their number, also mothers and business owners. Intelligent and attractive ladies who are overwhelmingly of the opinion that they felt neither sexualised or exploited and instead, thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being a Grid Girl.
We choose to look good, don’t hold it against us
When attractive ladies dress up to enjoy a night out in the trendiest bars and clubs the City has to offer, our choices of evening outfits allow us to show off our figures as much as we’d like to.
One of the rewards for having worked hard to achieve a fit, healthy figure is the ability to wear the most flattering and attractive little dresses when partying at the weekend. The ban on grid girls, whose outfits were often flattering, classy and no more unsuitable than those seen in any City centre during the evening, does not represent a triumph for feminism. How can a decision which immediately makes an exclusively female group unemployed be hailed as a victory for equality?
The erstwhile ladies of the grid were not forced against their will to participate and seemed to almost exclusively enjoy the work, the attention and the lifestyle it brought to them.
It seems the right of ladies to choose our own destiny has been subtly curtailed, by those who ostensibly don’t believe we have the strength or the ability to choose for ourselves. Something that’s far more offensive and discriminatory than being a part of the thrill and glamour of motor racing.
Lovely Ladies of the Lanes, Gorgeous Girls of the Grid, sisters, we salute you.