Carib Girls shake up perceptions

By Dave Douglas

Sexy and controversial, the Carib Girls promo group is the brainchild of Pixie du Coudray.
Sexy and controversial, the Carib Girls promo group is
the brainchild of Pixie du Coudray.

In 2000, Pixie du Coudray, Trinidadian businesswoman, media personality and public relations specialist, worked at Carib Brewery Limited as a promotions co-ordinator when she came up with the idea that created the now famous brand ambassadors, Carib Girls.

Her first thought was to use, as she describes in an interview with OMG magazine, “nice young women dressed appropriately to go to bars and give out T-shirts and hats.” The idea came about in response to the “pretty boring job” barmen in the industry were doing with regards to product promotion.

“If you do not have a young person coming to tell you about a new product, what it entails or something is happening in Trinidad, you are not going to get sales,” says du Coudray. “They get paid to go to cricket, they get paid to go to concerts, where all their friends are outside lining up to get tickets, and they are VIPs; onstage, backstage, offstage – it’s a very thrilling experience.”

In 2014, Caribbean Premier League CPL hired du Coudray to establish and train cheerleading teams throughout the Caribbean islands. Women were contacted by ads placed in the newspapers and on social media and if they were interested in becoming a cheerleader, they had to submit a photograph and a video of themselves dancing to Caribbean music.

“We want to tell the whole world … we have a hundred million viewers, so this is one way to promote the Caribbean – we are all different colours. The girls are very enthusiastic; they want to do it, not only do they want to promote the Caribbean, they are thinking the opportunities here are endless. Just being seen by a hundred million people, you may get a job as a model, you can get a job as an actress … you never know and it’s a cool thing,” du Coudray emphasizes.

Carib Girls
Carib Girls

Not everyone looks upon her Carib Girls, or as she prefers to call them Promo Girls, as a good, ethical business practice. There are those who share a negative notion that the girls are just loose bimbos with pretty faces being used and exploited as sex objects, and considering that most women’s pro-sports teams still struggle for recognition, that notion makes a good argument.

On the other hand, du Coudray sees her position on the issue in a totally positive light and has made a strong stand to dispel the negativity. To make her point, the former Trinidad & Tobago carnival queen says that the young ladies are all at university and are not doing it just as a job but are off for the holidays and why not! It’s a girl thing!

In a past interview with the Trinidad Guardian, du Coudray addressed concerns that girls were being overworked with long hours and low pay. She had this to say: “It really depends on the event. A press conference, one hour; a football game, three hours; a fete, four hours; a parade, six hours. No longer hours than normal people who work an eight-hour day.

“But they are paid well and pampered with meals, drinks, breaks and transport home. And they have fun! They get to go to football, cricket, concerts, fetes and great events while being paid.”

In Toronto, sports fans and the public in general are becoming more aware of issues of exploitation and inequality in women’s sports and as a result, the situation is slowly improving. For instance, CBC news reported that members of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak call themselves dancers rather than cheerleaders and “definitely make more than minimum wage,” according to Dance Pak choreographer Amberley Waddell.