When I was about ten, my best friend's dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I told him I wanted to be, and I quote, a "pitlane blonde".
He was just a tad surprised, and my mother was mortified.
Now, please, let me clarify....!
I didn't mean that my life's desire was to be scantily clad whilst holding an umbrella. I didn't mean that at all.
All I saw with my innocent little eyes, was that there were ladies that got to spend all their time in the F1 pitlane/paddock/grid. They got to be around beautiful amazing racing cars, in amongst the exciting racing and all the people that make racing happen. I wanted that.
I still want that.
What I ACTUALLY meant, back when I was ten, was "I want to work in motorsport". But my response had been warped by the fact that the only women I'd really seen in F1 were the ones holding flags or car numbers. (Other than Louise Goodman... when did she start?)
All these years later, I still want to work in motorsport. More than ever. And luckily, now I know a bit more about what opportunities there are out there, I've got my sights set on something real.
Give me a few months. Maybe a year or so. I'll get there.
And I'll make sure to come back and quote this blog when I do.
PS - Don't get me started on my rant about the grid girls (and other fairly undressed girls scattered around all car-related events). It's not so much the 'oh, objectifying women, how disgusting' thing, as I'm not very good at angry feminism, and the girls have made their own choice to do it... it's the fact that (some) men are just so *stupid*. A lot of these women aren't actually beautiful - admittedly some are, but a lot of them simply aren't that good looking, they're just wearing skimpy clothes. But guys fall over themselves to have their photos taken with them (and - worst of all! - have their primary-school-age sons have photos taken with them!!!) as if they're the most stunning women on earth (and even then, that'd be weird). I just... hmm.... It creeps me out massively. [/mini-rant]
PPS - In other women-in-motorsport news, it's nice that Lee McKenzie will get to host the Japanese GP and become the first woman to host an F1 show. I think she'll be really good actually, and it'll be fun to see her keep DC and EJ in check. I look forward to it. (Although I'll miss Jake. I've adored him since his CBBC days, but more on that another day. I need to make myself a cup of tea now.)