CHICAGO, February 26, 2012 — There were two positive outcomes of Danica Patrick’s frightening crash Thursday in the final lap of a qualifying race for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
First, she walked away from it without a scratch. Second, it diverted attention from her “stop-the-presses” comment a few days earlier that the ultimate Go Daddy Girl doesn’t like being called “sexy.”
The biggest headline to come out of media day at the Daytona 500 this year was that Patrick, who earns big money for her team by wearing very little clothing for her GoDaddy.com sponsor, would prefer to be called “pretty.”
Patrick believes “sexy” has a “negative connotation to it.”
She also takes issue with the fact that her male peers are not generally described in a sexual way. Of course, they also do not generally do television commercials wearing animal print bikini tops and four-inch heels.
Considering the lack of press concerning Tony Stewart’s win in the race that Danica crashed out of, though, he may want to consider that bikini top,or bottom.
Another pretty face coming to terms with her sex appeal is Kate Walsh, star of ABC’s Private Practice.
Walsh poses nude on the upcoming cover of Shape magazine. “Right now, I feel really healthy, confident, and sexy,” she states. This does not sound like a woman at odds with being sexy. But the 44-year-old actress goes on to question her motives.
“Is it a mid-life crisis? I do drive a Porsche, so maybe it is!” Walsh justifies her sexual confidence by half-jokingly writing it off to a mid-life crisis.
Two gorgeous women, one trying to tone down her sexy image and the other ramping, or vamping, hers up a notch.
But neither one is quite ready to own it.
A closer look at Danica Patrick’s recent Go Daddy adds reveals that more often than not, she’s not the one flaunting her sex appeal.
She is spending most of her time in the ads feeling awkward as other pretty faces strut their stuff for her trying to prove that they have what it takes to be a Go Daddy girl.
But Danica’s awkwardness isn’t what brings in the viewers. Sex appeal does.
And even if she’s completely covered by a towel on a massage table or wearing a jumpsuit while applying body paint to someone else, Danica Patrick is sexy.
And sexy is bringing major money to back her racecar. The simple fact that Danica drives, and occasionally crashes, a racecar is sexy. You can’t escape it, Danica. Deal with it.
And even if Kate Walsh’s hide-everything pretzel pose on the Shape magazine cover is awkward and rather un-sexy, it took guts to do a photo shoot completely naked. “I was terrified, but I really wanted to do a naked cover — especially with SHAPE, because the magazine is about loving yourself inside and out.”
That does not sound like a mid-life crisis. It sounds like a strong woman wanting to stretch her comfort zone a bit. Confident on the inside and sexy on the outside is a powerful combination.
And there’s the secret. Like it or not, sexy is powerful. In this age of massive financial struggles across the board, including NASCAR, “sexy” is helping to fund Danica Patrick’s car. And at a mid-life age when many people, not only women, are beginning to question the choices they’ve made in life, “sexy” helps bolster self-confidence.
Dismissing it as part of a mid-life crisis or trying to separate ourselves from it may make us less self-conscious, but it doesn’t diminish the power of “sexy.”
Sexy is not powerful on its own, however. The attention “sexy” brings will not last unless there is something else there to support it. Both Danica Patrick and Kate Walsh have put years of hard work and perseverance into developing their careers.
Now they’re using “sexy” in two very different ways for the same ultimate goal: to continue doing what they love best.
Is that a bad thing?
To contact Julia Goralka, see above. She is currently contemplating whether a pole dancing class would somehow enable her to continue pursuing a writing career.
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