It's about life - not "lifestyle"
|IT'S ALL GOOD, RIGHT?
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES EITHER GETS IT WRONG OR RIGHT
|The caption for the above photos reads:
"THE NEW PACK: When the swell is down, female surfers take time for afternoon photo shoots, left, for the surfwear company they represent, and when the swell is up, they find waves."
|A front page Sports section article about women in surfing titled "Real Women Have Curls: Female Surfers Are Letting No One Stand In Way Of Their Waves" by Pete Thomas ran in the January 6, 2003 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
Oh Brother and Sisters, he times we live in. I'll admit this article was set on the North Shore of the post-Blue Crush era, where it's all about money, but this article portrays something not of the surfing world, and the people it does the worst disservice to are the women themselves.
Let's start off with the article subtitle: "Female surfers are letting no one stand in way of their waves."
Their waves? Does this really need further comment? If it does you've been spending too much time counting your money. Go do some volunteer work somewhere and get over yourself.
There are fair and decent points made throughout the article, to be sure, because this is a real journalistic outlet and not a teen Tiger Beat surf magazine. But it's so perfectly illustrates everythng that is wrong and divisive in contemporary surfing, and the article is in such controlled and limited release given the wide open www, that I'd like to give a nice quote from it.
"Roxy maintains the most visible presence, having leased a sprawling yellow house on the beach at Sunset Point, overlooking surf spots Freddy's and Velzyland. The women, who range in age from 18 to 24, live a dream lifestyle, surfing when the swell is up and going on photo shoots when it's down. They're given vintage beach-cruiser bicycles on which to get around. Most sleep upstairs in the "Barbie room," which is painted pink and stacked with bunk beds.
'They get to style us out and then we just go do what we do. It's cool how it works,' said Kassia Meador, 20, of Westlake Village.
These are the people selling the sport to future generations and 'bringing a happy energy to the water,' Meador said."
What is a 15 year old girl in the throes of total surf lust supposed to get from an article like this? I would point out that the photos don't show any ugly girls (or girls in an ugly manner) or probably anybody with a body fat percentage over 7%. The article points out that some are better models than surfers. This is the fucking image machine in action, 100% about making money, about "branding", about getting their hands in your and your parent's pants. The subjects of this article, and the subject of this article, has nothing to do with riding waves. It's divisive to the sport, short-sighted, and will leave all the young girls high and dry.
Money can't validate you as a surfer. Anybody who tells you it does is a liar, and probably a thief, and what they're stealing is is your soul.
|Copyright (C) 2003. All rights reserved.