Ski Like A Girl
They were blue and white, and I plastered them on everything. Ski Like a Girl stickers were on my car, my skis, helmets, street signs…any flat surface I could find. I was 15..and the “skiing” part was actually nordic skiing (but don’t let that judgement stop you from reading further). I was proud to be an active girl, and I would say that I still very much am.
But, being the classic over thinker that I am, there is something that bothers me about the focus put on gender in the ski industry (and every other industry for that matter). Aren’t we all just, “skiers”? And when we separate ourselves from the guys, aren’t we adding to the original problem?
Even during my nordic nerd days, I still watched every ski movie that came out. And while I loved watching Seth huck, Sage float, and Candide spin, I would spend the most time rewinding any segment with Ingrid, Kristi, or Sarah in it. I can’t help but think when watching a girl ski, that “I can do that too” and I think that feeling becomes a valuable source of inspiration. Whether it’s seeing Kaya Turski, Anna Segal, Keri Herman, and Maude Raymond oozing style in the park, or Angel Collinson, Lexi Dupont, and Michelle Parker breaking into the big mountain films, or Leah Evans, Rachael Burkes, and Lynsey Dyer helping unsponsored women explore their own boundaries through skiing…the list of females killing it is growing exponentially-both in size and talent. (and even picking just 10 girls to highlight was difficult and leaves out every single female whom has ever put themselves out there and registered for a Freeride World Tour event,)
But why is it, that I let myself become frustrated with the women who are showcasing their looks before their skiing; especially since when you look at the numbers, there are at least 30 girls ripping for every one modeling. And while those ratios aren’t necessarily translated into equal sponsorship deals, film budgets, and publicity, one would hope that at some point the industry would come around.
Furthermore, I don’t want to be out there “hating” on anyone. We certainly all have different preferences and life goals and as long as we are all being honest in our efforts, I think there should be some flexibility in letting people, well, do what they want. We all find inspiration from different sources, and that’s okay.
So I guess the question is, what do we do from here. Freeskiing certainly is not the first platform in which gender issues have come up, but I think it’s a sport so new in it’s origins and so open in its concept, that it could provide a stage for an equaling out of genders. I think, every time a girl clicks into a pair of bindings and puts their all into their skiing, we become one step closer to not having to put the focus on whether someone is a good female skier, but rather just a good skier. And at the end of the day, while I believe that working your hardest at everything you do is important, we are all just sliding down frozen water on pieces of wood and metal.