So the new Sports Illustrated features a photo spread of open wheel racer/cheesy hussy Danica Patrick. That in itself, is not a story. After all, this is the same press-hungry Indy Driver who acquiesced to the post-adolescent idiocy of the past few years of godawful Go Daddy commercials. No, this story springs from the routine photoshopping that the magazine did to Ms. Patrick’s photos. Again, not a real story since almost any attractive person you see in a magazine has been photoshopped to have whiter eyes, smoother skin and a more flattering figure.
Danica however, had her lower back tattoo removed. And apparently without her knowing. The editorial staff at SI determined that ink on her sacroiliac would either offend or disinterest their readership and so they removed the design altogether.
I won’t bother arguing whether this kind of photoshopped revisionism is a good or a bad thing. Certainly if I were modeling, I’d like every possible visual enhancing technique brought to bear and I would thank the good Lord that I had the fortune to be born in this, the digital age. However, what I do take umbrage with is that the twentieth century’s most gorgeous and powerful example of automotive power–the Shelby AC Cobra–serves as a mere backdrop for this crass cultural footnote.
Look Sports Illustrated–you want sexy? Lose the cheesecake altogether and just show that car…
One thought on “On Transparency, Authenticity, and Tramp Stamps”
It sounds like your reaction to SI’s swimsuit celebration this year was akin to mine–get your “love-me-for-my-mind pumps” off the hood of the Cobra before someone gets hurt. As the father of two girls, my disappointment with Danica extends far beyond her tramp stamp. Only her win at Motegi last year prevents her from fully realizing status as the Kournikova of the Champ Car series.
The reality of the situation is that the Go Daddy sponsorship money is probably the difference between having a state-of-the-art car to put on the grid and trying to nurse a two-year-old car into the field, like Sarah Fisher does. So, if GoDaddy says to dress as if heading to a casting session for a Cinemax movie, well, we saw the pictures. Meanwhile, Ivory Girl Sarah Fisher keeps starting further and further back in the field.
But I know who my daughters and I will cheer for Memorial Day weekend.
As for the car in Danica’s Glamour Shots, I once got to ride in a real 427 Cobra with the side-oiler transmission. The car was brutally fast. The owner called the accelerator the “near button.” Push it down and anything far away suddenly became near. Time and space seemed to fold around its aluminum fenders. And yes, those fenders were what Dave Letterman calls “easy on the eyes.” I would love to own one someday, but the reality is that even if I could afford it I doubt I could drive it. There is simply no room for my Lincolnesque legs under that beautiful wood steering wheel.
Here’s hoping Sarah Fisher eventually becomes the Sharapova to Danica’s Kournikova…