Surprise, surprise. Another list of female athletes praised for their “hotness” rather than their athletic skill.
It may not be shocking, but I have to admit this trope is getting a little tiresome, to say the least. Some people in the ski industry share my sentiments. Lynsey Dyer (a pro skier who also happens to be on this list) and Mike Rogge (Author at Powder Magazine) both have some great responses to the article:
I know none of this was personal, I know you were probably trying to hit your numbers to appease your advertisers. I know that when the pressure is on it might be hard to remember that “hits” or “likes” come from people. You may have forgotten that a photo on a computer screen is connected to a living breathing human, just like you. A human, just like you, who is doing their best to live in integrity and authenticity without selling out to the man.
I know there’s a lot of pressure from your competition, who get their page views up by playing to the lowest denominator. This is a pressure every one of us feels at some level. As women we know we can play the “hot” card any time and our number of fans will sky-rocket.
If I wanted to play that game I would have put that picture up myself long ago. Instead, it’s a daily challenge to be true to the person I am striving to be over what I know will get the “likes”. I have a motto that says “Be so damn good they can’t ignore you.” I offer it to you now.
I challenge you to be good Freeskier, be so damn good in your clever posts and progressive photography, in your writing and forward thinking that people can’t help but follow you as a leader. I know it’s not the easy way but I know for fact it is what Freeskier Magazine was founded on back in the day. I challenge you to be the progressive, forward thinking magazine your founder set out to create. The magazine all of us was inspired by and dreamed to be showcased in for our talent.
For a little insight, one of the most progressive trends in skiing today is that of women rising up as legitimate athletes beyond their value as models to sell a product. The ladies are creating their own luck without waiting to be recognized or invited. Many established and up and comers are performing at a higher level, producing their own trips, shoots and content without objectifying themselves though I know it crosses their minds a lot. After all, tha’d be the easy way, but they didn’t fall in love with skiing because it was easy.
Just sayin’…If you’re a dude who might someday genuinely want a girl he can be active with, it’s in your best interest to support women’s skiing for the SKIING over the pin-ups. You’ve known plenty of “hot” girls but finding one you can do stuff outside with, now that’s harder to find. The more we encourage the ladies to participate the more they will feel welcome in this community; directly addressing that ski-town guy-to-girl ratio issue some people like to complain about.… get the picture? Good, can we just go skiing now?
So Donny, maybe you were tired of opening day edits and galleries from outerwear press trips, and that’s why you posted your story but here are a few story angles you could’ve pursued instead. Don’t worry about using these. To paraphrase Lil Wayne, “I got so many of them, I give that shit away for free!” Here goes:
-Ingrid? What hasn’t she done? She’s done so much, in fact, that just this month two other major babes (in a literary sense), Heather Hansman and Megan Michelson, penned excellent features on her many accomplishments, struggles, and victories. This one writes itself. And Ingrid is one of the most professional, kind, and thoughtful people you’ll ever interview. Give her a call.
-Meanwhile, Lynsey Dyer, while never one to shy away from the camera for a bikini photograph, is hard at work on a two-year film project. In talking with her, Lynsey doesn’t want her film to be a “statement” or “women’s issue” silly thing like that. She wants to make a rad ski movie that just happens to have only women in it. I wonder how that’s going? Maybe give her a call. Use the telephone. See what she says. Write it down and post it.
Who knows? Maybe, in your job as a magazine/website editor, you could lend her a hand or put her in touch with good connects. People helping people. It’s an awesome feeling, man, and one that makes me want to work in the ski industry for a long time.
-And while that adorable photo of Caroline Gleich in roller blades is certainly one of her many modeling photos, the December Powder Cover Skier is on her way to the summit of 20,702 foot Chimborazo in Ecuador. That’s the tallest mountain in the country. You’d know that if you did a little research instead of Googling the always terrible Female Pro Skier Name + the word “hot.” I’m actually Googling Ecuador now because I only vaguely have an idea where that country is on a map.
-Keltie Hansen? You mean one of the rising stars in Canada’s already stacked halfpipe program? I wonder what her experience is growing into an Olympic athlete in the shadow of the legendary Sarah Burke?
-Or how about Sierra Quitiquit? Maybe talk to her about what it’s like to be a polarizing figure in a male dominated sport where women struggle to get, really, anything and she’s riding a wave of success in both modeling and skiing? I did, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Check out mine on ESPN’s Freeskiing page, see what I missed, then make me look like an idiot that doesn’t know how to ask questions.
Okay, that should get you started, Donny.
Well said, on both accounts. As far as progression for women in athletics goes, you have to take the small victories when you can get them. And for every increasingly boring “10 hottest women” lists there are, there are more and more great responses like these, by women and men alike.
As a sidenote, I happened upon an awesome group called She Jumps, a non-profit with the mission of increasing female participation in outdoor activities. Find ’em on Facebook HERE! For more awesome girl power also check out TiTs DEEP, a group of “ladies charging in extreme sports” and Female Wolfpack, Rachel Burk’s website to increase female visibility in action sports.