Honestly, what is Danica Patrick thinking?
Patrick has an impressive racing resume as the most well known female contender in the Indy Car series and the ARCA Racing Series in recent years. She was the first woman to win an Indy car race with her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan Race and her 2009 third place finish in the Indianapolis 500 was the highest finish in the event’s history for a woman. Patrick is on track to make her debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this coming weekend.
In that respect she is a great role model. She’s a capable, determined, gutsy lady breaking down barriers. And she and/or her managers are smart enough to market Patrick elsewhere while she’s a hot commodity.
But beside her late night talk show guest spots, most of her appearances outside the racing world – including two Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues (like this one from 2009), numerous racy photos shoots and the GoDaddy.com commercials – seem more apropos to a centerfold wannabe than a race car driver.
It’s not that I mind a sexy looking woman in a bikini – and she certainly looks good – but it infuriates me to see a woman break through into one of the most staunchly male-only sectors of society, only to turn around and play the role of stereotypical sex kitten.
And certainly Patrick is not the only talented or famous lady to go this route in recent years. Beyonce, Rihanna and Britney Spears were all very successful before shortening their skirts, their hair, or list of sexual inhibitions surrounding public displays of affection.
But as a sports star female in the public eye, doesn’t Patrick have a responsibility to the young girls out there who consider her a role model? What kind of message is she sending? Success is great, but you haven’t really made it until you flaunt your body? Breaking barriers is good stuff, but no matter how talented you are, the truth is society will never view you as more than a pin-up girl? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Maybe I’m a prude. Maybe I’m getting old.
Or maybe not ….. the rankers in USA Today’s 22nd annual Super Bowl Ad Meter agreed. The GoDaddy.com commercials ranked in 61 and 63 place out of 63. (Small aside? LOVE the fact that Betty White and Abe Vigoda scored the number one spot!)
End result for Super Bowl Sunday 2010?
Score a massive win for New Orleans and their beloved Saints. Post a major loss for poor taste.
Now that’s a Super Bowl Sunday worth cheering!