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Click title below to follow link to the article written for Surf Stations Girls Next Door website:

GENDER EQUALITY IN SURFING

Women have been fighting for gender equality in the surfing industry for quite some time now, and yet again that familiar spark has been lit.

In July 2013 Roxy release a video showing the female body in a seductive and attention grabbing way, which is typically acceptable advertising in this day and age.

The video begins with a tan, half naked blonde rolling around in white sheets before gently dropping her garments and stepping into the steaming shower. The video continues as we watch her dress, grab her board and head to the beach to eventually paddle out. That is where it ends. We don’t see her face and we certainly don’t see her surf.

What was controversial was that the video was a promotion for Roxy Pro in Biarritz, a contest part of the Women’s World Championship Tour of Surfing, yet in the video not a single wave is rode and no talent is shown.

Skill wise especially, women’s surfing has come a long way and with that being said they no longer hold that image to sit pretty on the beach while the men show their talent. Sex sells and so do attractive bodies and that’s not the problem here. The problem was in this specific case the actual sport of the promotion was eliminated.

Roxy released days later that the original anonymous surfer was Stephanie Gilmore and that just adds onto the problem. Yes, surfers typically have beautiful bodies worth showing off but what about their skills that got them into the competition in the first place. Especially being five-time world champion in the Women’s ASP World Tour, Stephanie Gilmore deserved more than just her body flaunted.

Roxy isn’t the only one to target here. It happens in more places than most recognize. Not only do brands use women’s bodies for advertising but the ladies use their own bodies to get the attention they want. Again, sex sells and women are well aware of this. Take Anastasia Ashley for example, she blatantly shook her goods and got more than enough attention at the SuperGirl Pro tournament in Oceanside, Cali. She claims she was just “in the zone” and not doing it for the attention but regardless, she went from a popular surfer taking titles to an Internet sensation overnight.

So I suppose there might be quite an easy fix to this dilemma. Don’t take out the sex appeal just add in the talent where it matters.

 

Images in the Gallery are photos of article posted to Surf Station Girls Next Door website and video stills from the Official Roxy Promotional video for the Roxy Pro in 2013, which is posted below.

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