As the world changes, so does everything around us. But is change always necessary and is it always for the better?

Formula 1’s owners, Liberty Media, has announced grid girls are outdated and will no longer feature in the sport.

“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,” F1’s managing director of commercial operations, Sean Bratches, said in a statement.

But Formula 1 doesn’t reflect the real world or represent the common man. It never has and it never should. That’s part of its appeal. It’s entertaining escapism.

The glitz and glamour of the pinnacle of motorsport has always been unreal. For 21 weekends a year fans get to follow and enjoy a spectacular travelling circus even the late P.T. Barnum would envy. Where he had his freak shows, motorsport has beautiful women and we’re lead to believe the exploitation of the two is on equal footing.

But how is launching the careers of aspiring models exploiting them? These women relish the role and have nothing but praise for the opportunity and their treatment at races. It doesn’t demean them if they find the experience empowering.

But grid girls have evolved, and correctly so. The former racy outfits have been replaced by more stylish attire in recent years. But whether you like it or not, sex sells. Always has, always will. And fast cars and beautiful women go hand-in-hand.

Now some women aspire to be surgeons. Some teachers. Some athletes or even racing drivers. Others stay-at-home mums. And then there are those who choose to be models. There is nothing wrong with any of those choices. And the key word here is choice.

The move by Liberty Media has been labelled as a breakthrough for women’s rights, but how contradictory. Women choose to be grid girls. Take that choice away from them and where’s the equality?

Image via LAT Images

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Elle Haus

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Seasoned media and communications professional. Tropical traveller. Cocktail connoisseur.