Babes on Bikes: Part 3 – Beyond the brolly dollies
In Part 1 and Part 2 of Babes on Bikes, we looked at the issue of female representation in motorcycle marketing and publishing. Daisy Bell from female motorcycle clothing specialist ladybiker.co.uk has a message for the industry: Stop being so lazy and wake up to the fantastic opportunity getting more women on bikes offers.
Ask all of our husbands and boyfriends here at LadyBiker and they’d all say there’s a place for what they call ‘The Brolly Girls’, even though they admit it’s an archaic and outdated practice and are slightly embarrassed to admit it.
We live in modern times where the majority of sensible men think positively of the female species yet submit easily to their carnal imagination!
It led us to a conversation where if everyone is aware how naff it all is, why even bother? Why don’t Advertising and Marketing departments focus more on skilled, empowered, adventurous female riders?
Funnily enough, these positive female role models are craved by the same men who craved the ladies with the brollies – make your mind up chaps!
Perhaps it’s because scantily clad teenagers young enough to be the customers’ daughters are useful in selling bikes and biker clothing – but are they? Really? Page 1 of Marketing – MEASURE WHAT YOU DO – show us the increase in sales, go on! Didn’t think so.
The people using such tacky imagery in our sector are probably doing so because that’s what they think the market reacts to.
Bike manufacturers: just because you’ve always paid young lasses in orange hotpants to get middle-aged men over to your bike stand, does that mean you have to keep doing it? Why not be brave and try something different? We’re not in the 70’s anymore.
Women riders are achieving as much and are equally involved in motorsport, enduro, advanced motorcycle skills, the list goes on. Let’s see some positive images of female riders that both men and women can admire and both men and women can aspire to, whether they’re currently riding or not. Who’s going to go first and set the bar?
We work on kitting out female riders and pillions every day of the year. On the whole, they’re looking for quality, protective gear – if it happens to make them look good then that’s a massive bonus.
Women still want to look and feel like women and why shouldn’t they? Manufacturers of bike kit out there: this doesn’t necessarily mean putting a pink stripe on a black jacket as a gesture to ‘feminise’ a garment.
Our advice and the advice we adhere to here: KNOW your customers, LISTEN to your customers and give them what they WANT. This can change all the time so it’s best to keep yourself living and working in the here and now and not half a century ago.
Just as one final note, let us know when Johnny Depp’s planning on doing a photo-shoot on his bike with a greased chest and wearing just a loincloth, we might change our mind on this whole subject!
ladybiker.co.uk specialises in motorcycle gear for women.