Formula One star Lewis Hamilton is on the cover of British GQ wearing a kilt, apparently as a sign of deep contrition for publicly shaming his nephew for wearing a dress.
In a Christmas Day video last year, the British racing driver told his more than 5 million followers on Instagram that he was “so sad right now”, turning the camera to the happy young boy wearing a purple and pink dress and waving a wand.
He said, “Look at my nephew,” before asking the child, “Why are you wearing a princess dress? Is this what you got for Christmas?” Hamilton went on to shout, “Boys don’t wear princess dresses!” causing the child to cover his ears.
After being (quite rightly) lambasted on social media, he removed the video and apologised, but still liked posts by supporters who accused his critics of being overly PC.
Now, to make amends and show he’s a changed man, Hamilton has posed in a kilt, designed by Tomm Hilfiger, for the magazine’s August edition. It’s meant, we imagine, to show that he’s in touch with his more feminine side – presumably because, well, a kilt is a kind of “skirt”, right?
British GQ asserted that the cover was “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.”
In an interview with the magazine, Hamilton 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.”
The gesture might be well intentioned, but not everyone is convinced. The Sun’s Howell Davies pointed out that wearing a kilt is not actually a particularly brave or subversive thing to do.
“A kilt isn’t a skirt. It’s an item of masculinity. So this defeats the object entirely. Try again,” he said on Twitter.
According to Wikipedia, a kilt is a knee-length garment originating in the traditional dress of “Gaelic men and boys” in the Scottish Highlands. Frankly, we’re not really buying it either.