Lewis Hamilton wears kilt to ‘make amends’ for shouting at child
Lewis Hamilton deleted his social media this January, after posting a horrifying video of himself shouting at a child for wearing a dress to Instagram. Now he’s wearing a rainbow kilt to say sorry.
Four-time Formula One World Champion Hamilton has always been an enthusiastic social media user and particularly shared his family life over Instagram stories. Until earlier this year, when he was correctly called out for mocking his nephew for wearing a ‘princess dress’ after asking for it for Christmas.
The video showed Hamilton shouting at his nephew – as well as publicly shaming the child on his extensive social platform – for wearing a dress, saying boys don’t wear dresses.
The video was taken down, after the outcry and Hamilton issued an initial apology – only to be caught ‘liking’ comments saying the opposite on Twitter and called out again.
Hamilton was the first mixed-race driver to reach Formula One and has spoken out about the lack of diversity in the sport. Despite managing to not entirely fall into the kind of 70s-era misogyny much of motorsport remains mired in, he has made off-colour comments about grid girls and occasionally seemed agitated if romance was implied between himself and former teammate Nico Rosberg.
Fans get particularly frustrated by Hamilton, who himself subverts some of the sport’s norms and is happy to discuss his interests in fashion and music beyond the hyper-masculinised world of Formula One, in falling so badly short on issues it seems he must be aware of.
Hamilton fell silent on social media for much of the pre-season period, only coming back to posting as Formula One started racing – and sponsors would have begun insisting – again.
Although he has not repeated the incident and was subsequently pictured taking his nephew, wearing a princess dress, to the zoo it is an indictment of the expectations of sportsmen that ‘not shouting at children for choosing what they wear’ would be seen as repentance.
Now midway through the Formula One season, Hamilton has appeared on the GQ cover wearing a rainbow kilt – designed by sponsor Tommy Hilfiger – in a photoshoot intended to show genuine attrition for the incident.
Talking about the incident in the issue, Hamilton seems to show genuine attrition – and acknowledges that he was right to be called on it, saying that it is important he is held accountable.
He said “I still hold regret for it today, but ultimately I think it’s important in life for people to be held accountable for their actions and particularly their words, and I was. ‘
I’ve been [criticised] quite a lot, although there are things I regret in my life, I wouldn’t go back and change them, because if I did I wouldn’t be the man I am today, I wouldn’t have the mindset I have today.
‘I wouldn’t have grown if I hadn’t fallen and stumbled and gotten back up.’
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The shoot seems Hamilton in a variety of kilts and jewel-adorned pieces, with matching or contrasting capes – from Hamilton’s own collaborative collection with Hilfiger.
Speaking about the plan for the shoot, GQ’s Dylan Jones said it was always their intention to have Hamilton wear ‘something approximating’ a skirt – “As well as wanting Hamilton to address the issue, we wanted him to appear on our cover either wearing something prominently pink or in something approximating a skirt or a dress.”
“Luckily, Hamilton approved of the idea. I am sure much ink will be spilled about Hamilton’s motivation, deconstructing the imagery and asking is this genuine brand realignment or an ephemeral act of damage limitation. At Vogue House we think of the cover as a powerful act of personal conviction, which acknowledges Hamilton’s increasingly brave fashion sense, while offering a very public apology, a multicoloured tartan mea culpa. We hope this reinforces the fact that not only can little boys wear dresses, but also that big boys can too.”