Sexism in Surf advertising – the backlash starts here?


Roxy seems to have scored a spectacular own goal in releasing its trailer for the 2013 Roxy Biarritz Pro. Its an orgy of soft focus, slo-mo product placement which purports to present a serious athlete going about her business. It’s been roundly condemned by many in the surf industry and has been excellently lampooned in a spoof video.

Of course, the Roxy video is just the latest of countless uses of sex to sell surfing. It is shocking because its a woman’s brand that I thought stood for freedom and independence. espouses freedom. In the latest edition of Surfers Path, Catrina Davies writes a powerful ‘Agree to Disagree’ piece criticising the bonkers WikiHow guide to be a surfergirl. She rightly points out it’s a symptom of today’s obsession with image. This is particularly prevalent for girls.

It despairs and angers me that the prevalent images my 7 year old daughter is faced with is the omnipresent blandness of Kate Middleton and Kim Sears (Andy Murray’s girlfriend) as society’s image of ‘beauty’. I go out of my way to point out that we all come in different shapes and sizes and differences make us beautiful. It’s not what you look like, it’s what’s inside – how happy you feel when you surf – that’s important.

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