Issuu on Google+

2.

1.

x

3.

over e

4.

6.

5.

posed Intro by Lynne Dickinson | IMages as Shown

9. 8.

7.

2011 seemed to be the year of the scantily clad surfer girl. What happened to the wholesome girl next door image that used to grace the magazine pages; that penultimate “Roxy” girl; fresh faced, smiling and loving life? Of late this seems to have been replaced with a more provocative face of female surfing. I sent out questions to over forty surfer girls which provoked a variety of responses. Some people simply chose not to reply, some expressed their discomfort in answering the questions and others chose to opt our for fear of upsetting someone else with their responses. No doubt, this is a topic that provokes a variety of opinions and responses. It seemed to me, after speaking to many people on the issue, that the appropriateness of these provocative images lay in the motives of the athlete. Most of the girls believed that they were showing their athletic bodies to the world and were proud. Unfortunately the intent or motives of the athlete is often not the same as the photographer or publisher, or even of the viewer. If you think that the guy buying the latest copy of STAB magazine looks at Sage Erikson and thinks “wow, what an athletic body she has, or doesn’t she look beautiful,” then you are just a little naive. I wish it were true to say that if you want positive attention from the surf industry then all you have to do is simply surf well. But the fact that over half the girls on the World Tour lack major sponsors speaks volumes. I’d personally like to thank all the girls who took part in this discussion and really appreciate their insights. My hope is that this article will create conversation and debate and we look forward to sharing your viewpoints next issue. Drop me a line if you have something you would like to share on this topic...

1.Claire Bevilacqua poses for ESPN | 2. Alana Blanchard featured in the No 1 spot for sexiest female surfers on Men’s Health website | 3. Sally Fitzgibbons showing her tanlines in STAB | 4. Wendy Botha featured nude in the 1992 issue of Australian Playboy | 5. Newly qualified ASP competitor, Sage Erikson in the most recent issue of STAB | 6.Stephanie Gilmore posed nude for the ESPN Body Issue | 7. Anastasia Ashley featured in the June 2011 Issue of Playboy | 8. Erica Hosseini in STAB’s new hard cover book | 9. Laura Enever showing her devil side in STAB

22 //curl #32

www.curl.co.nz//23


cori schumacher: Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? From Anastasia Ashley’s photo in Playboy to nude and nearly nude images of Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons, 2011 was truly the year that saw the hypersexualization of female surfers and the image of women’s surfing. Almost as an afterthought, it was also hailed as the year the new generation would overtake the last with their truly inspired, revolutionary surfing. The reasons for the hypersexualization of the female surfer this year revolve around two key developments. The first is a ruefully sagging economy which has compelled surf companies, the surf media, and surfers to push the limits of their marketing to the realm of the absurd. Female surfers and their pro events

display of role models. Moore seems to understand this which makes Moore that much more of a positive role model for future generations of female surfers. Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really care? Yes it really does matter, specifically because of future generations of young girls who are getting into or who will get into surfing eventually. Perhaps we have grown too complacent over the years as a sub-culture, we have allowed fame and popularity to be the highlights of surf culture rather than the beauty of connecting with an unpredictable force of nature. Competition and consumerism have eroded our understanding of this activity so much that what is currently valued is not the quality of the experience but rather the quantity of achievements, advertisements, photos, boards, clothing items, or web-hits. Rather than being so witlessly absorbed in the abject popularity of women’s surfing, or one’s own fame, one’s own “career,” or one’s value to a sponsor, female surfers should focus on the legacy we are leaving future generations of young girls who need somewhere they can go where the body-

anxiety handed down to them by a society consumed by the spectacle of consumerism does not follow them. Anything else you’d like to add? A woman’s story, the story of the unfolding of her life in tandem with the ocean, does more to inspire other girls and women to envelope themselves in a life of oceanic play than any single picture or series of pictures. They used to say a picture is worth a thousand words but these days, the opposite is true: a single word, when spoken from the heart, is worth more than a thousand pictures.

“I think it is very telling and admirable that the current world champion, Carissa Moore, is absent from this trend”

“They used to say a picture is worth a thousand words but these days, the opposite is true: a single word, when spoken from the heart, is worth more than a thousand pictures”

x

posed

Cori Schumacher is well known for her strong beliefs and the 2010 World Longboarding Champion has plenty to say about the issue of Sex in Sport...

are consistently first on the chopping block when times get tough and 2011 was no exception. With resources dwindling throughout 2011, female surfers had to find some way to make themselves valuable to the male-dominated surf companies in preparation for the marked drop in the quality and quantity of women’s pro events in 2012. They are doing this with the same competitive spirit they use in their sport, with a race to expose more and more skin in increasingly suggestive poses. The second is that these women are internalizing sexualized images that overwhelmingly surround them from the society-at-large. Women and girls are bombarded with images of women as sexual objects from all sides. Within a culture that celebrates and popularizes those women who do not swerve from this trivializing trend, it is hard to see viable alternatives that model a different way. You cannot become what you cannot see. Does this help raise the profile and increase interest in women’s surfing? I do not believe it does. Sex sells sex, it does not promote athleticism or surfing. In fact, it does the opposite. Girls and women seeking respite from a society that bombards them with caricatures of sexualized femininity will not engage with a sport or activity that is known for promoting the same. When we are looking at these images and this trend, it becomes important to ask ourselves “Who is

over e

the intended audience of this trend?” Women and girls are not inspired to take up surfing or any other activity, through viewing sexualized images. Neither are men or boys inspired to view or support women’s professional surfing by the hypersexualization. If this were the case, we would be seeing an increase in events and sponsorships for these ladies in 2012, not a decrease. These images promote one thing and one thing only: viewing female surfers as sexual objects to be consumed by a male audience. Since this type of imagery is ubiquitous, it devalues rather than makes salient, professional surfing. Additional proof of this can be found in the male commentary on surf media forums, Twitter, and elsewhere on the web where female surfers who have posed nude or nearly nude are regularly targeted in misogynistic, lascivious, and lewd comments. Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines and media promotion? The internalization of sexualized images from mainstream media plays a heavy role in this. The American Psychology Association completed a study of the sexualization of women and girls in 2010 and found that images were becoming increasing “pornofied.” When looking at this trend in surfing, it becomes important to expand our view to include that of the surrounding cultural environment. Surfing does not exist in a vacuum. Even when disguised as nostalgia or “jokes” (like the photo feature of “EZ Little Hoss” Erica Husseini bent over a bed with her behind in the air and pants pulled down in STAB Magazine) the impact is the same. Instead of focusing on their athleticism, their performance, these women focus on emphasizing their “feminine capital” and this rapidly spreads to their peers. I think it is very telling and admirable that the current world champion, Carissa Moore, is absent from this trend. She allows her surfing to speak for itself and is supported by companies that, though non-endemic, understand the import of valuing performance as primary with highly visible female athletes. A wider perspective, one that extends beyond a self-absorbed, shallow publicity-reflex by athlete or company, is needed to reflect on the impact of each public

24 //curl #32

above: cori schumacher | right: carissa Moore, image compliments of red bull

www.curl.co.nz//25


Rebecca Woods has been surfing on the World Tour since 2005 and has let her surfing do the talking. As one of the veterans on tour, Bec has plenty of experience and seen the change of guards over the years. Her insight is much appreciated...

26 //curl #32

image with it comes pressure to maintain a certain weight and level of “attractiveness” and I feel she lost her leg strength. Alana should still be on the World Tour she is skilled but maybe she doesn’t need to be because her image is paying her way. I say each to their own but if you are young watch out for media exploitation, with some of the crap publications out there in the world for brain dead no hopers who like to put shit on people to make themselves feel better! Anything else you’d like to ad? Bring back Teahupoo, Maui, Hawaii and Cloudbreak. I miss them, I live for getting smashed and maybe making a barrel or two.

left: bec in hawaii, image by steve dickinson | above: surfing sunset, image by asp/kirsten

posed

“Give the women waves to perform in and the buzz will continue; take the waves away and people go to the next best thing and that’s appearance”

x

Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? Sex sells, I think you have to look at the whole of society and its values to really answer this question. When it came to the Snapper final and semi’s I think one thing rang loud and true and that is the girls are ripping. It was all I heard about the Snapper event, everyone took notice of the level of surfing. The women were given a chance to surf in fun waves and they ripped, this continued to Bells and then the momentum died along with the wave conditions. There was more buzz around

therefore I must be balanced and successful’....maybe that is a bit in depth, maybe they just like getting naked? Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? Depends on how tasteful shots are and the type of outlet of media it is. Exposure for the sport is great if the people behind the outlet are not exploiting the athlete. Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really care? Of course I care but I think a lot of people think (well I have had people say to me) Alana is only successful because she wears those bikini’s. I have footage of Alana pulling into 10 foot Honolua Bay Maui and I defend her surfing, she would not be on the World Tour if she sucked! If she is comfortable in those bikini’s and making a good income to live her dream then good on her. The downside and this is just my observation and I hope Alana does not get offended when I say I feel her surfing has suffered because of this, when you take on a certain

over e

rebecca woods:

the surfing then the appearance of surfer’s at the start of the year. I believe what can be learnt is give the Women waves to perform in and interesting to watch and the buzz will continue, take the waves away and people go to the next best thing and that’s appearance. When the waves are crap for the men I only watch a few of my favourite male surfers (these being ones who are nice, and nice to look at) and I am involved in the sport. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles? I feel it does raise the athlete’s profile to a certain degree but it will only get you so far, but an athlete is an athlete, not a model, if you head into model territory it is a competitive game, It depends on which mag you take your clothes off for and the amount of exposure and whether you are doing it for the right reasons. Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines and media promotion? The men do it too but I do feel it is a male dominated sport, maybe women feel that the only way to earn respect for them as a whole being is because of what societies image of feminism is. This is thrust upon us from a young age just controlled conditioning for the greater good of society. The ‘I am good at everything I do and attractive to men. I would be the ideal partner, men love me

www.curl.co.nz//27


anastasia ashley: Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? I think because the age old saying of “sex sells.” I feel like it’s to attract attention to the sport. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles? I think yes , I think showing beautiful female surfers who are talented tastefully but in an attractive light is a positive, however I think too much over sexed images isn’t necessarily good. Does this help raise the profile and increase interest in women’s surfing? I think it does, I think there was a notion that female athletes , can’t be attractive and talented .

Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines and media promotion? I think there’s a pressure to be sexy, and to show femininty, also I think there is pressure from different magazines and media to take certain types of pictures. I think it goes for all female’s who are in any type of limelight, even for actresses, and singers as well. Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? I think it can be if they don’t show the surfing side as well, I think it’s good to have a legitimacy within female sports, if there’s just all sexy photos and no serious surf shots then what are people supposed to think that these girls (female surfers) take their sport seriously? Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really care? I think the more eyeballs the better, hopefully it will attract more sponsors for more girls events! and surfing related promotion.

“I think there’s a pressure to be sexy, and to show femininty, also I think there is pressure from different magazines and media to take certain types of pictures”

over e

x

posed

In 2011 Anastasia featured in Playboy Magazine. Although not nude, she is striking a rather provocative pose. Here’s what she has to say ...

28 //curl #32

“Those who have the talent to occupy a high place don’t need to expose their body, and just lose dignity by this experience”

above: anastasia in mexico, image by daniel russo

above: greta dalle luche, image by Matteo Mangherini

greta dalle luche: Greta is an Italian surfer, sponsored by Roxy. She heard about my email after some of the international girls were talking and felt inspired to comment. These are her thoughts... Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? In my opinion, girls are just trying to take as much as possible from a sick market. Inarguably, popularity brings several advantages in this era. This behaviour won’t make you gain the admiration of your friends and coaches, but it is what satisfies the market. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles? From my point of view absolutely not. But we all don’t judge with the same eyes. Facts have actually proven the opposite. Does this help raise the profile and increase interest in women’s surfing? The interest of whom? Fans: no; advertisements: maybe; male kind: yes, but the kind of interest that deals with the sport. It all depends if you are looking for popularity or admiration. Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines

and media promotion? Because it has become popular. Athletes know that they won’t be judged negatively. Or simply, they won’t be judged. This is unmistakable proof of the decay of our society. Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? I would like to reply that it doesn’t but I’m not sure myself of that. I want to believe that contests are the best reference point for the level of surf evolution, and that their results won’t ever be effected by fashion. If you are a follower you look at the best surfing, not advertisements. On the other hand, ads have much more visibility and their impact on common thinking could be dramatic. Anything else you’d like to ad? If you don’t emphasize the moral side of the matter, the fact that we are talking about a female body, “Sexy surfing” is a way to more easily sell your own image. As soon as the aim of your effort is just selling, reaching this kind of popularity is much more fast and effortless. Those who have the talent to occupy a high place don’t need to expose their body, and just lose dignity by this experience. I believe that knowledge is the best medicine to fight against short-cutting to success. But watching the male-directed marketing I think it is difficult to escape the spreading of this behavior.

www.curl.co.nz//29


paige hareb: Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? I think it’s definitely heading that way more and more. Sponsors want the ‘all round’ person to sponsor and getting your body out there is just part of it now. It’s getting pretty competitive between the women for sponsors and media attention etc. We’re pushing each other out in the water and now we’re pushing each other on land. I mean getting your body out for the camera started off with Alana and her very small bikini bottoms then other girls like Bruna Schmits, Laura Enever and Coco Ho started to follow in Alana’s footsteps. To be honest I thought it was going to stop with those girls and that

over e

x

posed

Kiwi surfer, Paige Hareb, is known for her sense of humour and cheeky personality. Letting her surfing do the talking Paige is philosophical about getting naked for the media.

just be their thing but even girls like Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons have hopped on the ‘bare minimum - I’m not just a surfer’ wagon. I don’t think they needed to but I think it’s cool that they did and can. If I was to sponsor someone I would choose Steph or Sally cause they can do both. It may be harsh but true. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles? Yeah for sure it’s helping, everyone wants to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of someone famous. No one ever really wants to know someone for just one thing do they? That gets boring. Does this help raise the profile and increase interest in women’s surfing? Yeah I think it does, it may be for the wrong reasons but at the end of the day who cares. We are still making money and doing what we love and I guess people are getting a little extra entertainment and enjoyment haha. Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines and media promotion? I think it’s got to the stage where the girls have seen Alana doing it for a few years now and making good money. I mean she doesn’t need to surf to make the money she is getting. I guess the girls have caught onto this and think they can do the same. Good on them too,

“They are only young and hot for so long so might as well make the most of it before we’re all shrivelled up old raisins”

why not? They are only young and hot for so long so might as well make the most of it before we’re all shrivelled up old raisins. Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? Nah no way. I think in a way it’s a positive thing for the person because they are confident enough and happy with their body to be able to put it out there like that for everyone to see. I think it’s good to mix up the surf/model shots. I think it’s a good image that you can be hot, sexy women but still once you hit the water surf amazing and as good as the guys. That definitely doesn’t sound damaging, it might damage a few male ego’s! Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really

care? No I don’t think it matters. Everyone’s got their own opinion so even if we do try to be as sexy as we can be and strut around I think there’s always going to be people there watching us purely because they like watching the athleticism of the sport. On the other hand of course there will be people there watching and being creeps checking out the hot surfer girls too but who cares? Looking’s always been allowed hasn’t it? haha. For me and I think a lot of the other girls, we are there to surf and compete out in the water. We have our minds focused on the job at hand and don’t pay too much attention to the crowd or media so I don’t think it would make a difference to us really.

lifestyle images of paige by sofia mulanovich | surf image by steve dickinson

30 //curl #32

www.curl.co.nz//31


Amee Donohoe spent over ten years as a professional surfer before retiring in 2009. She is now studying at the University of Newcastle and although no longer on the World Tour, Amee is still organising surf events for her local community. Here’s her thoughts....

Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? I read a fascinating article in the New York times not that long ago and it stated the statistics and sex does not sell women’s sports. It doesn’t create lasting interest, or long term fans. If women surfers want a decent tour back maybe they should have a look at what their creating at the end of the day their surfers and there good at it, inspire women and men, girls and boys with your athletic skills what could be more beautiful than that. Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really care? Alana can rock whatever she’s comfortable in, she rips, I’m sure the top 16 are fine watching her throw tail in a steamer of a gbanger. It’s possible warmer locations are preferred by some of the generated audience which is fine, if they’re surf fans though they would be just as happy to see her surf Bells 8ft in the middle of winter.

32 //curl #32

left: amee at home in australia | above: surfing at sunset, image by asp

posed

“Rocking provocative images in a men’s surfing magazine can either be classy or trashy. Are these women creating the right image for their younger female fan base?”

x

Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? I think it reflects differently for each individual female surfer, but the bottom line is they all recognize the value the industry has placed upon having a strong femininity. It’s always been the case, each generation has had their crop of women who capitalize on their image not necessarily their surfing ability. It may be getting more provocative but it has always existed (Wendy Botha doing a Playboy spread in the 1990s) This type of media is known to enhance profiles creating a so called marketable appealing image that society accepts. It is based

upon a highly sexualised perception and the surfing industry is more than willing to promote female surfers as such. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles? I guess it creates controversy and conversation. I mean rocking provocative images in a men’s surfing magazine can either be classy or trashy. Are these women creating the right image for their younger female fan base ? Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines and media promotion? Well I doubt it’s for the money. I think for example Steph did it tastefully and ESPN is a respected a broad wide ranged media communications, which is outside of the surfing industry and of course, reaches a larger fan base and value for herself as an athlete and incorporates herself alongside any well respected female athletes. Then on the other hand, it appears women are doing it for their own self-promotion, they are following a trend that’s been exposed for years, knowing the importance of that getting your gear off leads to a bigger pay cheque off sponsors, more media in magazines, and an image that deflects from any masculine or homosexual tendencies.

over e

amee donohoe:

www.curl.co.nz//33


claire bevilacqua: Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? Because sex has always sold, and being attractive in our male dominated industry is naturally going to get you more attention. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles? Yes for sure, any clean, tasteful promotion is good. Does this help increase interest in women’s surfing? For sure guys like to look at healthy fit women and so do other women. Why do you think that we are seeing more and

“If they keep surfing the girls in shit waves a butt shot is the only thing that is going to catch the eye”

over e

x

posed

Aussie charger, Claire Bevilacqua, is known for charging, however, she is not opposed to showing off the body that she is proud of...

more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines and media promotion? So they can get further in their career and make more money, it’s the same for any athletes and entertainers. Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? I would say they are jealous and need to get a life and get with the times. Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really care? Well yes I would like to think our performance is way more entertaining then our asses but if they keep surfing the girls in shit waves a butt shot is the only thing that is going to catch the eye, not a 1ft onshore pathetic wave trying to be surfed. Anything else you’d like to ad? go girls, stay beautiful.

34 //curl #32

images of claire compliments of asp/kirsten

www.curl.co.nz//35


Aussie surfer Dimity Stoyle is also well known for her often humourous outlook on life. She has been surfing on the Pro Junior circuit and has a pretty relaxed attitude to the exposure of women in surfing...

posed

x

Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? I don’t really know how the surfing world works! Maybe because it’s run by males and I think that is what they like to see??! I think they are only just starting to realise that there are really beautiful girls that surf really well, and that is not a bad thing. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles? Yes, and being surfers/athletes we have really fit and healthy bodies, and work hard to maintain that. I think it’s good to show that off. I think the boys are respecting the girls a lot more now because of how much the level has increased.

“I don’t really know how the surfing world works! Maybe because it’s run by males and I think that is what they like to see??! I think they are only just starting to realise that there are really beautiful girls that surf really well, and that is not a bad thing”

over e

dimity stoyle:

Girls are surfing so much better now it’s out of control! And to show that they are beautiful is the best part, more guys are crushing over girl surfers now haha! Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for magazines and media promotion? It’s almost like thinking outside of the box…it creates so much attention and with that attention comes interest. Win win. Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? I don’t think it’s damaging, maybe if it was fully nude in Playboy or Ralph magazines that would be a different story. But so far it’s pretty harmless. But I think they need to have a balance, good lifestyle shots and good surfing shots Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really care? I don’t really care why people watch girls surfing. As long as they are watching it I’m happy! Because more audience means more attention, more sponsors and more money! Who could complain about that?! I’ve just ordered some brazilian bikinis hahah!

36 //curl #32

images of dimity by steve dickinson

www.curl.co.nz//37


felicity palmateer: Women are now surfing better than ever before and being recognized by their male counterparts. However, 2011 saw a marked increase in provocative shots of female surfers. Why do you think this is? Women’s surfing has come such a long way in the last five years. Women are continually pushing each other and striving more and more to surf like the men. Women’s surfing styles are becoming very fluid and they are continually trying to surf more and more progressively. As the boundaries between men’s and women’s surfing narrows women’s events are attracting bigger prize money and more media coverage. Female surfers are featured in surfing magazines, TV ads and promotional material

over e

x

posed

Western Australia’s charger, Felicity Palmateer is still only 19 years old, yet she has a very mature approach to this subject. She shares her perspective on the topic...

for their sponsors - they have really arrived on the surfing scene. It’s nothing new to publish a photo of a female surfer in a skimpy bikini, but now there are lots and lots more shots of female surfers (many in full wetsuits) in magazines etc, so I think that maybe the increase of media coverage makes it appear that there is a greater percentage of provocative shots being published. Do you feel this is helping to raise athlete profiles and increase interest in women’s surfing? Personally, I do not believe it is necessary to dress provocatively or show more skin to raise your profile and I know a lot of the other girls feel the same way. Yes, I think it does increase the interest in women’s surfing, but I’m not sure it increases the profile of the sport in a positive way. If you look at a sport like women’s tennis (the format for women’s surfing) the players are featured as athletes and positive role models for young girls who strive to be like them and make a success of their life. If there is an increase in provocative shots of female surfers I do not think it will be good for the sport and I do not think female surfers will provide healthy role models for younger girls in particular. Why do you think that we are seeing more and more women surfers taking their clothes off for

magazines and media promotion? Unfortunately, the way the economy is at the moment it’s hard to make a living as a pro surfer if you are not in the top 10, so I think the women who pose provocatively are hoping to raise their profile and potentially make more money because of this. Some people think that using these type of images as opposed to pure surf shots is damaging the image of the athlete and of the sport, what do you say to that? Using provocative images as opposed to pure surf shots is entirely up to the way the athlete wants to be marketed. I hope this type of marketing does not escalate and damage the sport. Does it really matter why people are watching girls surfing? If they are there to catch a glimpse of Alana Blanchard’s tiny bikini pants (for example) or to watch the athleticism of the sport, do you really care? I think it’s each to their own. Some people’s interest in women’s surfing will focus on girls in bikinis and others will watch the sport purely for the athleticism and grace of the surfers. It’s always going to be that way. Personally, I think that people are often driven automatically by what they think society expects of them as opposed to

who they possibly could be and why they chose to become a surfer in the first place. Surfing is a great sport and women surfers can become healthy role models for younger girls. Every woman/girl is unique and needs to learn to accept themselves for who they are and realise that they don’t need to show skin to get places in life. They just need to let their beautiful personalities shine through.

“Every woman/ girl is unique and needs to learn to accept themselves for who they are and realise that they don’t need to show skin to get places in life”

38 //curl #32

images of felicty by steve dickinson

www.curl.co.nz//39


over exposed