New season, new rules. Yes, when the 2018 Formula One season starts in March, we shall see one sight missing. Remember the grid girls who stand in front of the cars holding placards? Well, they are done and dusted.
No, it’s no joke, Formula One has officially scrapped them from this year. Why? Well it believes that using them is neither appropriate nor relevant to the sport itself. In fact, for many, they are just eye candy and apparently having them is objectifying women.
F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches feels it is just one of several areas they need to develop.
“Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport,” he said while speaking to Sky Sports.
“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms,” he added.
“We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
Grid girls are a long standing tradition in Formula One. They hold the marker boards for each driver during grid slots. Also they have roles to play during pre-race parades and post-race podiums.
UK’s Women’s Sport Trust has welcomed the decision as a positive step:
Thank you @F1 for deciding to stop using grid girls. Another sport making a clear choice about what they want to stand for:
“We feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms.” https://t.co/Rrwxf5VcjY
— Women’s Sport Trust (@WomenSportTrust) January 31, 2018
But what about the girls themselves and people in general. Some feel it is a bold step towards feminism. Others find it silly and also point out how many have lost jobs as a result. But the issue itself has attracted attention on the internet:
I don’t care, I’m married with the most beautiful girl on earth! https://t.co/VgpNfQaHUY
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) January 31, 2018
— Natalie Pinkham (@NataliePinkham) January 31, 2018
So the inevitable has happened, F1 gridgirls have been banned. Ridiculous that women who say they are “fighting for women’s rights” are saying what others should and shouldn’t do, stopping us from doing a job we love and are proud to do. PC gone mad 😡 #Gridgirls
— Rebecca Cooper (@rebeccageldard) January 31, 2018
Get me on @thismorning so I can defend us #gridgirls
Because of these feminists, they’ve have cost us our jobs! I have been a grid girl for 8 years and I have Never felt uncomfortable! I love my job, if I didn’t I wouldn’t do it! Noone forces us to do this! This is our choice! pic.twitter.com/PUWcyB5BeG
— Lauren-Jade (@laurenjadepope) January 31, 2018
Podium, grid and walk on girls. Have GOT to go. I’m sure they love their job. It’s not about that. I don’t want my daughter watching men achieve while women are only there to decorate #gridgirls #podiumgirls #walkongirls
— Emmeline (@Emmeline456) January 28, 2018
Women complaining about feminism are losing women their jobs. good job ladies. It’s 22 races. Around 100 women from each race. Let’s round it up to 2000 grid girls across the world won’t be getting paid now (all for helping women) how? #gridgirls
— Aki (@imETRS) January 31, 2018
.@BBCRadio4 #BBCBH Why is this always a debate about a “woman’s choice” to do objectifying “jobs”,not about men’s choice to create such jobs and not roles where women have something material (& equally respected) to do? Why do these jobs exist? #hostessing #gridgirls #walkongirls
— Ming Ho (@Minghowriter) January 28, 2018
— Nancy von Short (@macchinaclub) January 31, 2018
— Lottie (@Cx_lottie) January 31, 2018
— Ross (@LFC_Ross1892) January 31, 2018
— For F1’s Sake Pod (@forf1ssake) January 31, 2018
Good riddance, Formula One #GridGirls, and so sad to see all the men bemoaning their demise as some sort of attack on male sexuality or some claptrap like that. One day I hope we’ll look back on the male attitudes of today like we currently look back on those of the 19th century.
— Tim Wakeling (@timwakeling) January 31, 2018
“Scantily clad furniture”, “sexualising women”, “provocative”, “Id never let my daughter wear a grid girl outfit”… just some of today’s comments, yet people clearly haven’t dont their research as these are my outfits from my 5 years in F1 #gridgirl #gridgirls pic.twitter.com/etbcCPnCC1
— Rebecca Cooper (@rebeccageldard) January 31, 2018
I am more than a little upset about the decision to stop F1 Grid girls.. Here are some memories during my time as a Grid girl in Monaco Monte-Carlo that I will cherish forever 💕🏁 #f1 #GridGirls #walkongirls #RingGirls #formula1 pic.twitter.com/THZ2B8RW3C
— ☆Isabella Worlock☆ (@Bella_Worlock) January 31, 2018
I’m so pleased with F1’s decision to ban #gridgirls. Women should not be used as decoration while men are encouraged to achieve. I want more for myself and my sisters.
— Rachael Anderson (@Rachosaurus123) January 31, 2018
— Mimi griffin (@Mimigriffin2) January 31, 2018
It is certainly a new direction taken by Formula One. With less than two months to go for the new season, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact the move has on the sport.
News credit : Indiatimes