I would like to start off by saying a massive big old thank you to Still Stoked and the article they recently posted on their webpage. It was so great to hear that other athletes and riders feel the same.This blog entry are my ideas on the matter. Original article Link at the bottom.
Also a shout out to Jessica Oundjian who alerted me to the article in the first place, also an athlete in every way, a girl I admire too! I met Jess on the Freeride World Qualifier circuit in winter 2014/15- My first season competing. We are both British girls in the freeride scene so we naturally started following each other online; Since though, I have avidly stalked Jess on all her adventures as she is a total babe and certainly an excellent role model for what “Wild” still means, what is stands for and what an actual FREERIDER is, they ride FREE. Also, I have not yet seen her tits and or ass, knowing Jess even as little as I do, I still feel qualified to make the assessment in saying, I doubt we ever will. . . . . But that is how it should be.
Do you all remember in Zoolander, when they are at the awards ceremony and Fabio is getting his award for the “slashy”; He is a ACTOR/MODEL “And not the other way around”. That is what springs to mind when I think about the idea of SEX SELLS in the context of females in sport. From what I know of all the female pros I ride with, we are not Skiers or Snowboarders/ models, therefore when heading to their Instagram, I expect to see pictures that embody them as people, as athletes and as a marketable product. Don’t get be wrong, in this day and age of social media and having the best and most grabbing images at your finger tips, when a company offers a sponsorship, or wishes to use my material, they want it to grab, they want it to fit their profile and it has to have the potential of increasing sales/notoriety. But does this mean posting pictures of my cleavage and my back side online to increase likes and followers, as that’s what it’s all about afterall?
Okay, this is all totally hypothetical, but I hope after the last few years and having a few “Sponsors” come and go, I think I understand what they want. The article touched on the very important point of marketing. That is what you are essentially, you are a product and the aim of the game is that by sending you their products, you will in turn, post online and show your dedicated following why it works and how it works; a technical backpack, an app or an accessory. In an ideal world, you would have a following of just other skiers and snowboarders who think you are totes amaze balls and want to be just like you, or admire your opinion and will be influenced by your choices; after all you are not just sponsored because you like the free stuff!- right but because you believe in the company and hold a level of integrity? Your sponsor wants someone who has the same mountain philosophy and beliefs; if a company is all about the bright colors, loud prints, big smiles and even bigger sends, you should mirror that is how you post because that is why they carefully scouted you. Sponsors have thousands of people to choose from so when they do say, “Hey, we would love to send you something”- you know your earned it.
If I thought my sponsors had selected me on the premise I have big boobs and a marketable face; first off I would say, are you joking and I think you are mistaken but also I think I would be sad. I realise I am blessed, so you won’t find a pitty party here about how self conscious I am but I also realise I am nothing like Alana Blanchard or indeed (Sorry to say) Silje Norendal- as much as I think this gal is rad, she is an ideal example. Silje has more selfies and pictures of her faultless bod that she does of her riding. She poses for magazines all over the world and has big names sponsors that transcend the snowsports industry. Does she reflect what the snow sports industry is about? I am not sure she does any more. I wish her the most success in the world but I don’t think I would be comfortable if it were me. I have been wracking my brain the last few weeks about what the hell am I to post about this summer. I am winter, winter is my life so I want to keep that as the underlying feature of my social media. I looked at Silje online and I checked out my absolute idols Aimee Fuller and Kjersti Buaas, their pages were all very different. Aimee and Kjersti are how I imagine a true athlete, posting about working out to stay season fit. Other girls go with bikini shots cuddled up to other girls in a suggestive manner and shots of their beautiful faces or worse, a double chocolate ice cream covered in sprinkles. However, I have tried that in the past, but my most popular pictures are of me riding and I won’t lie, I don’t eat those big ol ice cream cones as I just can’t if I want be able to ACTUALLY compete in ACTUAL competitions. I have nearly 3000 followers on insta for example but the majority of likes and comments come from within the snow sports industry. I often check the profiles of my likers and I am so overwhelmed with happiness to find so many girls. Typically I see girls with a few hundred followers and images of them and their mates but in the descriptions it will read something like ”
Name 17yrs old, love snowboarding, pizza and my friends, from Hertfordshire UK”. When I see that I feel I have done my job as an athlete. I obviously have a few aging men who have no connection to me what so ever but that is so be expected sadly as I have a vagina and that is the reality of social media.
So NOPE. I am not interested. I will not be posting pictures of me in just a bikini, chilling. If you do, for whatever reason, see me in that amount of clothing it will be to show-me working out or being active. You will not see me in tropical locations holding a fruity alcoholic drink (as what is becoming more and more apparent is I cant drink alcohol when I am working out, workout wins 5 times a week, sorry vodka). You wont see me fooling you either that I am on a non stop holiday. I am at home at the moment-working 3 jobs, I have to, I don’t have massive endorsement deals that fund my lifestyle. You will see pictures from the winter reflecting what I am about, you will see me train and sweat my butt off. Thanks to the original article and MTB rider Anneke Beerten, I will not shy away from showing you how; red, hot and sweaty I get because I am trying, and try f**** hard I do, so that I am not ashamed or feel like a total impostor when I stand next to these amazing riders at the start gate. I want my sponsors to think: she has a massive smile and is always happy, she has enthusiasm by the bucket load and is genuinely grateful for the sponsorship. So to Vaude, Gilson, Fatmap, Caxton FX, Snooks, Mojo Clothing, SunGod and Panda Optics, thank you guys for seeing me for me and not as a mannequin. I hope that my followers see your incredible products and realise I love you guys because of the love and care that goes into your company.
Check out the original article here: