Thursday, July 7, 2011

No, Women.

If you have not yet seen the above photo, it ran in this months issue of Windsurfing Magazine under the title "Should Windsurfing Be Sexy" and has sparked quite a bit of controversy (although it would make a great beach clean up ad for surf rider.)
First and foremost, it's masterminds were offended that it was taken out of context, that the picture was ran without the corresponding article, found here. And secondly, that why should we have to debate if attractive women in bikinis should be acceptable in our sport?
I found the original article interesting, and yes I read all of it despite my short attention span and all those awesome, blissfully distracting photos of women ripping it up. Certainly there are plenty of articles about why we love windsurfing and how Maui is paradise, but I think that fact that the article was cut attests to a larger issue than people seem to be grasping. "Should Windsurfing Be Sexy" is not asking sailors if there should be more pictures of women published, (that's a yes) but should they be objectified the way they have in other action sports publications?
Let's face it, there are only two major sources of print for windsurfing in North America, Windsport and Windsurfing Magazine, and they both do a fine job of including women in a meaningful manner. It's been a long time since I picked up a surf, snow, ski, or wake magazine and seen a picture of a women doing anything else but standing in a bikini on the beach to sell some kind peripheral product. Mean while, the author of "Maui Maids", Shawna Cropas is featured in a full page ad in June's Issue for Vela Resort doing a nice aerial and Anne-Marie Reichman's (also featured in Maui Maids) has full page ad sailing for Starboard in July's learn to windsurf feature (which had one of the Moreno sisters on the cover), crediting not just the magazines but the Industry as a whole for their use of women to promote the sport and products in a meaningful way. Not to mention that there was great coverage of a trip to Tahiti  only a few pages back from the photo, featuring: you guessed it, a women windsurfing!
"Is it such a man’s sport (and mag) that an article about windsurfing women couldn’t find space between gear testing and Jon Sassone throwing a f*#k you flaka at a kiter?" as blogger Rebecca wrote on the magazines website, but did she not notice that page 45 of that same gear test has a picture of a young women, gear testing? As for the flaka, well that's just two pages of straight up sex appeal. Sorry ladies.
So, should windsurfing be sexy? No!
Sexy is the Reef model selling sandals to surfers. The only time she's ever touched a board is on the beach during her photo shoot. Sexy is the girl in the bikini advertising the wake boat, she probably doesn't even know the term "clearing the wake." Than Lange girls strutting around in ski boots and bikinis?(Pam Anderson was once a Lange girl, FYI) Only recently did Lange start using actual athletes, but wouldn't you rather see them in action? I'm not opposed to it in other sports, but women who windsurf are not subjected to any of that because Windsurfing is as it should be, real, and if it turns some heads in the process who gives a flying F*#k, which is exactly the point Shawna intended to make with that picture in the first place, isn't it?

As a disclaimer, I invite all women who disagree with me to discuss their point of view over a beer in the hot tub...after a sailing session of course. If you're a man just post in the comment section.

1 comment:

  1. jon - enjoyed your blog. wish there were more women windsurfers for you. come to maui, sometimes on the water we out number the men. in the end the editor is getting what he wants = more attention to the mag. he says he has some sucking up to shawna to do. btw great shot (I'm lucky to tack) think I owe you a beer. happy sailing - rebecca