I’m going to let you into a little secret. I like cars. I specifically like muscle cars that are loud, have shiny bits and are fast, but I have an appreciation for most vehicles in general.
And you might be surprised to hear that there are plenty of situations where I’ll still receive raised eyebrows and the standard comment “but you don’t LOOK like you’re into cars” response whenever I mention that my hobby is drag racing and car shows. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the blokes who make this comment, it comes equally from both men and women.
So it got me thinking as to what exactly does a person who is into cars look like? Are they really expecting me to turn up to a wedding in a black t-shirt and covered in grease? Or are they trying to picture what I’d look like in high heels and a bikini?
As a drag racer, when competing, I am generally seen in the most unflattering of all outfits. The one-piece multi-layer fireproof race suit. It’s thick, it’s hot, it has no shape, and after a couple of laps in the car … it smells like me. I choose not to wear makeup (because it only rubs off inside the helmet anyway), and I wear a hat to cover my helmet hair, which chooses to either stand on end or be plastered flat to my head.
Dressed like this at the track, and with 2 other females on my crew, interested spectators walking through the pits will still choose to approach my husband for information about the car or to talk about the previous race. I will always remember the response from my husband when asked at a car show “what does it feel like to race this beast?”
His response was to point to me and say, “I don’t have the balls to drive it, you’d best ask her.”
But it’s not at the track or even at car shows when I receive the raised eyebrows the most, it’s when I’m networking as a business owner.
One of the most annoying things about being a female who likes cars is that there are still a lot of blokes out there who think we’re doing something special and unique and that we need to be congratulated just for trying. I am here to say that rarity does not make me special and does not qualify me to be put into a separate category. I’m here to be better than you and to be faster than you and to have a great time doing it.
Take a look around the car community, and you’ll notice there’s actually quite a lot of us who are constantly looking to get better at what we do.
We do not what to hear you say “it’s great to see you (as a girl), mucking it in with the boys”. We have a strong passion, and want to join into the conversation to receive constructive criticism and useful advice on what we’re doing.
Trust me, if you find a girl out there who wants to hear she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, you have a whole ‘nother problem on your hands.
So while we’re on the subject of actually talking the talk with girls who are into their cars and bikes, be aware that this kind of girl usually has a highly sharpened BS-meter. We may not say anything out loud, but if you start telling me about how you had the rear wheels of your mom’s FWD Camry lit up in the greatest burnout ever… don’t expect me to stick around for the rest of the conversation.
So next time you get chatting to a person of the female persuasion, and she mentions something about cars, bikes, racing … try talking to her like you would another bloke who is into the same things. There’s no need to test her knowledge (no matter how subtly you do it), and there’s no need to impress her with wild stories of your exploits.
I look forward to having a real conversation with you next time we meet. And be warned, I might just not look like a car person on the outside … but race fuel runs through my veins.
Note: Not everything you read on the internet is accurate. While I make every effort to check my facts and stats, this article is base on my opinions from over 30 years in the printing, marketing and advertising industry.
Graphic Artist & Designer