I’ll be honest, it took me a few days after this video on the Monster Energy girls published to actually write this. My hands were shaking too much out of anger to do anything for a while. But there’s something we need to talk about—again!—and it’s glorifying the objectification of women in motorsports.
Monster Energy took over as the title sponsor for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series when Sprint’s sponsorship ended after 2016, and with Monster came the Monster girls. They’re the new visual spokespeople for NASCAR, standing on pit road and in victory lane to fill the role that Miss Sprint Cup did under the former sponsorship. You can also find them at other Monster-sponsored events.
But the replacement of Miss Sprint Cup—a title that, while still occupied only by women, that required spokespeople to wear fire suits while standing in victory lane or doing other promotional activities—meant that NASCAR’s new poster girls (not men, never!) would now wear skimpy, tight outfits instead.
The outfits didn’t go over well with the NASCAR audience, probably because of the more traditional, conservative mindset of much of the audience. So, in what seems like an attempt to humanize the women and curb criticism, Monster put together this video about them and released it on Thursday.
Except, the video isn’t really about them—it’s about men from various racing disciplines blatantly objectifying them.
The Monster girls spend more than seven minutes dancing around in slow motion, occasionally answering questions about what they do before being cut off by guys who refer to them as “good scenery” and say how they “can’t wait for summer” so the girls will take some more clothes off.
And yes, the women who participated in this video are just as much to blame as the men. They’re getting a paycheck, and for some reason, this has to seem OK to them. It’s their choice to be in this position, but choosing to do so is part of a larger problem in motorsports and in the auto industry as a whole—the men are in the dominant, respected roles, while the women stand around and look hot.
That, everyone, is why women still have trouble getting into male-dominated fields like the car industry or motorsports. That is why there are some men out there who think I don’t have the ability to review a car, and that is why Reddit says I’m not able to think or form opinions of my own.
That is why I have to wonder if I’ll check my email and have hateful messages about how “any boy” would know something that a person misinterpreted from my writing. (That’s a thing that happened once.) That is why, no matter what, myself and other women still don’t get universal respect in this industry.
I, like other women, have to log onto the internet and see the things said about me. I see the men calling me a “cunt” when I post about why women like cars, I see the objectification and the degrading comments. I have a thick skin, and the comments don’t bother me anymore.
What does bother me is the glorification of the mindset in this video, put out by a large title sponsor for a large series—this glorification of the idea that women are to be looked at and grossly commented on, rather than to be respected as equals in their knowledge of something traditionally dominated by males. That makes it hard for any woman trying to be taken seriously.
We cannot accept the widespread objectification of women in the car industry, or in any other industry. We cannot glorify this, and we cannot just sit around while companies like Monster tell us that this kind of behavior is acceptable.
The addition of grid boys in Formula One last year was at least a move in the right direction to even out the roles, while this mindset toward the Monster girls is about 20 steps in the wrong one.
Perhaps one day, this won’t be a thing anymore. Perhaps, on a widespread scale, we can one day have people of any gender be just as respected as anyone else. It would be a lot easier, believe me.
But until then, thanks for reading—no matter what my gender may be.