Over the weekend, I joined the multitudes of people who tuned into the Indy 500 race. This time I watched it live from northern Indiana. That was a first for me, since I’ve always been at the track or in an area where the race was blacked out.
Leading up to the race, I watched the interviews that were being conducted with Danica Patrick. If you had asked me three years ago – if I was hoping Danica would win the race, I would have said “YES” without pause. This year, eh – not so much.
Surely I’m not the only one who has seen Danica use her looks to completely sell out the sport? Right?
I’ve been a fan of racing for over 30 years. I’ve seen it go from a true spectator sport to one that is increasingly driven by sponsorships. Sponsors are hording up the tickets to send prospective clients or loyal clients they wish not to lose to the race – whether they are race fans or not.
When I was a buyer for a convenience store chain, I was one of those clients – but for me, racing is a passion that runs deep. In fact, I’ve had people tell me if they were to cut me deep enough, I’d likely bleed racing fuel. As I attended the races though, I saw people who were there entirely for the social aspect and the free beer and food.
That’s ok – I suppose, BUT when it takes up the majority of the best seats, why should someone who doesn’t appreciate the sport get seats over someone with a deep rooted passion?
So anyway – I’m watching the race and every single commercial break was all about Danica and GoDaddy.com – As an avid GoDaddy customer, I support the product, but frankly, what they are doing to the image of Danica is not so great! Sure it may be appealing to guys – but what about the internet professionals who keep that website going? What about the women? Are we not important to where you’d want to lend a bit of appeal to us as a market?
Finally – my BIGGEST beef with the whole Danica image is what about our young girls?
A few years ago, I believed Danica was great for the sport – a great roll model for our young girls – in that she was showing girls can do anything. But then she had to take racing and totally sex it up! What’s with that?
Why can’t the sport – JUST BE the sport? Danica was/is pretty – she’s glamorous when she wants to be – but is it really necessary to take her to the extremes she’s being taken?
Our teen girls have such a struggle with their self image the way it is. While I was at the lakes this weekend, I saw young girls wearing very skimpy clothes that were attracting the WRONG kind of attention. Girls are made to feel that kind of attention equates to love and admiration.
No wonder so many girls struggle with eating disorders, depression and self esteem issues.
Am I wrong in thinking life in general is being sexed up to levels that REAL girls and women will never be able to compete with?
I can only hope that Sarah Fisher remains true to herself. Go Sarah!
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