In Defense of Paris Hilton

Paris_HiltonSince Paris Hilton’s announcement of ownership in the 125cc MotoGP Spanish racing team, SuperMartxe, bloggers and pundits have been logging overtime rolling their eyes. (If you Google the terms “seriously?” and “Paris Hilton”, you’ll get a page full of snarky links about the story.)

And its not just the celebrity media – it’s the biker world too. There’s a general sentiment that the venture is doomed for an embarrassing crash landing, even before it’s begun. Seems a little cynical for a community that prides itself on, well… its sense of community.

The bosomy, blonde mogul looks like a prototype for motorcyling’s ubiquitous “biker babe”; no one would have batted an eye to see her on a chopper spread or over the month of January hanging in the parts room of a bike shop. So why all the noise now that she’s jumped off the page and into the owners box?

I think it’s time to hit the reset button on public opinion.

When you ask a twenty- or thirty-something female why she doesn’t ride, you’ll get one of two answers: “Too dangerous,” or, “Never thought of it.” Getting young women to just think about motorcycling is half the battle of expanding the sport to include them, and that’s where the star power of someone like Paris Hilton is a major trump card. It’s why we should be applauding her as loudly as we can instead of hissing from the shadows.

PR’s most basic tenet: Celebrities influence people. Hilton is a trendsetter, and she’ll no doubt bring motorcycling into the spotlight just by way of association and entrepreneurial savvy; she may have been fed on a silver spoon, but she’s laid her own foundation for a massive business empire that has more shoot-offs than Wikipedia can track. And when she was painted as a generic Hollywood pop princess during the 2008 elections, she pulled a hilarious counter-punch with the “Paris for President” YouTube video (that immediately went viral). She’s experienced in defying expectations.

I say, let’s drop the attitude. You might not like her Barbied-up pink, white & blue bike, but you don’t hear her complaining about frilled leather vests and bald eagle tattoos.

On behalf of Lady Moto: Paris, a sincere congratulations on your new team! We wish you the best.

Courtesy of

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