Danica Patrick SI Swimsuit

February 28, 2012 by staff 

Danica Patrick SI Swimsuit, Even if you are not an Indy racing fan, you’ve probably heard of Danica Patrick. She is the first woman to win an IndyCar race. She finished higher than any other woman in history at the Indianapolis 500. (She placed third in 2009.) Her debut tonight at the Daytona 500 marks only the third time in history a woman has competed at this season-opening event. Nielsen announced over the weekend that Patrick has become a household name, with a full 30 percent of the United States population recognizing who she is (most female athlete’s recognition levels never climb higher than 9 percent). And to top it all off, she’s also 233 percent more well-known than the average motorsports athlete.

In most cases, this level of notoriety would signal simply that a female athlete is at the top of her game (think The Williams Sisters) or has a really excellent publicist — possibly both. But Patrick’s racing arguably isn’t the reason most people know her. Her fame has to derive in large part from the sxy ads for domain registry site GoDaddy. That means that while her positive impact on the racing world has been noted — The New York Times has called Patrick the “hook that draws sponsors back to the sport” — it’s not so clear whether “The Danica Effect” has been good for women.

On the one hand, the GoDaddy ads are absolutely sexist. This year’s Superbowl ad featured Patrick and fitness guru Jillian Michaels applying body paint to the nu*e body of model Natalia Velez — essentially turning her skin into advertising space, a decal-covered sports car advertising Patrick’s sponsor. The ad’s tagline — “get noticed,” spoken over a slow-motion shot of the model’s body — offered lots of ammunition to those who accuse Patrick of using her looks to get attention that her performance on the track doesn’t.

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