She Gets It: 13-Year-Old Girl Calls Out Surfing Magazine For Its Depiction Of Women
You know you’ve messed up if a 13-year-old has to tell you how to do your job.
Olive Bowers considers herself an avid surfer, so she was understandably pretty disappointed when all the other female surfers in one of her favorite magazines, Tracks, didn’t seem to be doing any surfing at all.
Instead, the few women in the pages of the magazine — the self-described “surfer’s bible” — were rarely featured even near a beach.
So Bowers took it upon herself to tell Tracks’ editors about the error of the magazine’s ways, and totally called them out for creating “a culture in which boys, men and even girls reading your magazine will think that all girls are valued for is their appearance.”
Read the full letter to the editor below, and you’ll also see how this young woman is better at calling bullsh*t than most.
Dear Tracks Surf Magazine,
I want to bluntly address the way you represent women in your magazine. I am a surfer, my dad surfs and my brother has just started surfing.
Reading a Tracks magazine I found at my friend's holiday house, the only photo of a woman I could find was ''Girl of the month''. She wasn't surfing or even remotely near a beach. Since then I have seen some footage of Stephanie Gilmore surfing on your website, but that's barely a start.
I clicked on your web page titled ''Girls'' hoping I might find some women surfers and what they were up to, but it entered into pages and pages of semi-naked, non-surfing girls.
These images create a culture in which boys, men and even girls reading your magazine will think that all girls are valued for is their appearance.
My posse of female surfers and I are going to spread the word and refuse to purchase or promote Tracks magazine. It's a shame that you can't see the benefits of an inclusive surf culture that in fact, would add a whole lot of numbers to your subscription list.
I urge you to give much more coverage to the exciting women surfers out there, not just scantily clad women (who may be great on the waves, but we'll never know).
I would subscribe to your magazine if only I felt that women were valued as athletes instead of dolls. This change would only bring good.