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When girls aren't pretty or thin enough to ski or snowboard

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#1
This is well worth the read: an article from Miss Snow It All that explores the impact of social media and body image on women who ski or snowboard.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Meh! I learned a long time ago that anytime a person is on the "wrong end of the bell curve" they will have issues with fit. My first road bike was a mixte frame because I was too short for a triangle frame. The second road bike almost worked. My third bike had smaller wheels. The frame was still too big. My 4th bike was custom, built to my physical specs. Finally, 40 years later I was able to get a road bike that actually fit my 5'1" size. Skis and boots have always been a battle and still are. Clothing, of any kind, well, I could write a book on finding clothes to fit. Bra back fat? a proper fitting bra most likely will solve that problem.

I have friends that ski who are big women. They manage to find clothes that fit and happily ski. I've not heard a whimper of a complaint about not finding clothing.

I agree that the fitness industry makes too much of an emphasis on size and looking like movie stars. In my teens and 20's back in the 60's and 70's. I too struggled with weight and size. I didn't have the strong influence of social media but the comparisons were there. I didn't play sports in school because I was deemed too small, too thin, too fragile, always the last chosen for a team. Looks counted, skill did not. Doctors accused me of being anorexic. Twiggy was my role model because I looked like her. Then in my 30's add in the frustration of not be able to find sports equipment that worked well for me. I was told by a fitness professional that I didn't have the muscle mass to be a strong cyclist, or strong at anything else.

Fortunately, I quit listening, except when someone makes a comment about my size, it still hurts. Recently, I've found that my body is very strong. With the proper training by a good fitness professional I've found the strength that I was constantly told I didn't have I do have. I have a shirt that says, "My Body Is Stronger Than It Looks". That's my reply now and I add the fact that I can deadlift 115 lbs.

Accepting who you are and what you are is a journey, like everything else in life.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
Meh! I learned a long time ago that anytime a person is on the "wrong end of the bell curve" they will have issues with fit. My first road bike was a mixte frame because I was too short for a triangle frame. The second road bike almost worked. My third bike had smaller wheels. The frame was still too big. My 4th bike was custom, built to my physical specs. Finally, 40 years later I was able to get a road bike that actually fit my 5'1" size. Skis and boots have always been a battle and still are. Clothing, of any kind, well, I could write a book on finding clothes to fit. Bra back fat? a proper fitting bra most likely will solve that problem.

I have friends that ski who are big women. They manage to find clothes that fit and happily ski. I've not heard a whimper of a complaint about not finding clothing.

I agree that the fitness industry makes too much of an emphasis on size and looking like movie stars. In my teens and 20's back in the 60's and 70's. I too struggled with weight and size. I didn't have the strong influence of social media but the comparisons were there. I didn't play sports in school because I was deemed too small, too thin, too fragile, always the last chosen for a team. Looks counted, skill did not. Doctors accused me of being anorexic. Twiggy was my role model because I looked like her. Then in my 30's add in the frustration of not be able to find sports equipment that worked well for me. I was told by a fitness professional that I didn't have the muscle mass to be a strong cyclist, or strong at anything else.

Fortunately, I quit listening, except when someone makes a comment about my size, it still hurts. Recently, I've found that my body is very strong. With the proper training by a good fitness professional I've found the strength that I was constantly told I didn't have I do have. I have a shirt that says, "My Body Is Stronger Than It Looks". That's my reply now and I add the fact that I can deadlift 115 lbs.

Accepting who you are and what you are is a journey, like everything else in life.
Then there's the matter of a well fitting bra. I've yet to find an American bra company that makes smaller than a size 32 band. UK bra companies make 28-30 bands but the 28 bands are getting harder to find. Technically I'm a 26 band but if the band runs tight I can wear a 28 band. No local stores carry this size so I order online. Women on the other end of the bell curve have this issue too. End of my rant.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
This is well worth the read: an article from Miss Snow It All that explores the impact of social media and body image on women who ski or snowboard.
Pretty rambling. More interested in the organizations she listed at the end of the article, which includes SheJumps.

I checked out the linked article related to Chloe Kim. Hadn't really heard about her before because I don't follow skiing competition. From my perspective, the radio host's comment not only reflects how some men think of young women, it also reflects stereotypes around Asian-American women in N. America. The fact that his public comment on a popular sports show resulted in him losing a job is perhaps a good sign of the times.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
Blahblah blah what a bunch of crap same story different sport. Another knee jerk article with out merit. BTW Only beautiful surfers make it to the championship tour. Was this story written in the 90s?

You are in control of what you or your children do/ view on social media - Either you ignore it or controls you. No one is forcing you to be on social media.

Oh and I call BS on the freeski comps being won by blonds- trust me it has nothing to do with that, instead its all all about how inverted and radical you can get. Free skiers dont do the half pipe in bikinis.
 
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WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
~~~~~
And as the mother of a formally competitive and nationally ranked 1/2 pipe skiing teenage daughter I totally disagree with the statements made in the article.

Go watch some high school or college water polo where every type body shape is represented, and trust me they will be able to kick your ass.... no whinning about being only being picked because they were blonde..... hahaha they are STRONG
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#11
Blahblah blah what a bunch of crap same story different sport. Another knee jerk article with out merit. BTW Only beautiful surfers make it to the championship tour. Was this story written in the 90s?
~~~~~
And as the mother of a formally competitive and nationally ranked 1/2 pipe skiing teenage daughter I totally disagree with the statements made in the article.

Go watch some high school or college water polo where every type body shape is represented, and trust me they will be able to kick your ass.... no whinning about being only being picked because they were blonde..... hahaha they are STRONG
I don't think the article I linked to is about who makes it to the podium or who gets to compete; it's how successful they are in grabbing our attention or achieving financial success after they reach the podium. The ones who fit into a special category -- the pretty girls -- have no problem gaining attention or sponsors, particularly if they parade around in a bikini or look "hot." Male athletes don't have to do this. Their physical appearance doesn't come into play; they're just lauded for their athletic achievements and manage to get sponsors no matter how they look.
 
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#12
Ummm so you didn't watch the Olympics?
I didn't watch any of the most recent winter Olympics coverage of snowboard events. Really didn't watch much except when something was showing on a screen in a restaurant. Combination of a low tolerance for the way American TV coverage of Olympics is done and the fact that I was on a 2-week ski trip to Taos and Telluride during the Olympics. I rarely turn on a TV during a ski trip.

Only half-pipe competition I've watched in person was when we caught a competition at Snowbasin a while back.

/end off-topic
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
I don't think the article I linked to is about who makes it to the podium or who gets to compete; it's how successful they are in grabbing our attention or achieving financial success after they reach the podium. The ones who fit into a special category -- the pretty girls -- have no problem gaining attention or sponsors, particularly if they parade around in a bikini or look "hot." Male athletes don't have to do this. Their physical appearance doesn't come into play; they're just lauded for their athletic achievements and manage to get sponsors no matter how they look.
@ski diva I didn't get that at all from the article. I thought about this AM while surfing and I think what bothered me the most is that you posted this as an article that was "well worth the read."
This is nothing more than recycled content set forth in what appears to be a "paid by the # of words" article written by an Australian woman with self admitted "issues" in a "pretty rambling" (as @marzNC aptly pointed out) and disconnected story. Some of the issues she raises seem to be aimed at the Austrian government and advertising by Australian companies.

Sorry, I know its the middle of summer, and I took the bait on a story you thought might generate some activity on SD, but I think there are much better and more positive articles than this to alert us to as "a good read." Keeping the authors title as the title of the thread just perpetuates the stereotype. Perhaps you could have linked actual "study" on women and sports media https://thesportjournal.org/article...ts-changing-attitudes-toward-female-athletes/ or this article on how media coverage is changing https://niemanreports.org/articles/covering-womens-sports/
or a study that shows participation in sports for teens increases self image http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/ar...lation-playing-sports-better-self-image-girls

Why the need to continue to spin the negative? Sorry I wasted my and everyone's time on this post.
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
The article is a year old so it's a bit of a stretch. I would point out that the reference to "All In" is what stood out to me as old news. That was Matchstick productions ski movie last season and, although it was evenly divided between male and female athletes, this year's film is about 4 guys. The 2019 film is Return to Send'er.
Arguably, that's a bad sign as opposed to one of improving conditions. However, I've said it before in previous discussions, but I just don't buy the only pretty girls succeed BS. The reality is that world class athletes tend to be better looking than your average person because they are in such SPLENDID condition. It's not surprising that sponsors want to send the message that if we use that product, piece of gear, etc., we will end up in that kind of splendid condition. The 3 best known names in male winter sports - at least in the USA- are Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, and Shawn White. None of them are visual slouches in my opinion.
 
#16
I would be curious to know how Simone Biles does with respect to sponsorship dollars. Elite US snowsports competition is overwhelmingly white (Chloe Kim being the obvious exception) so it’s hard to compare. Gymnastics is slightly more diverse. I would argue that Simone is as dominant in her discipline as Mikaela Schiffrin is, and seems like a good point of comparison on this point.

(I love both athletes and would hope that they are both making out extremely well!!)
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
Who determines what athletes get the endorsements? The sports organizations, the media, the advertisers?

Today I watched the final stage of the Colorado Classic here in Denver. It was a 4 day race throughout Colorado. It's the only women's bicycle race in North America. Coverage was awesome. No comments about body size, just what amazing and strong athletes the women were. Or, as the owner of my gym put it, the racers were "super strong". Unlike the men, many of the women have to work full time jobs in order to support themselves and participate in cycling at the pro level.

For several years the Colorado Classic was a men's race then a men's and women's race. The organizers dropped the men's race so that all the proceeds could go to paying the women. The race was televised on our local cable channel. Wonder how many channels carried it nationwide?

Besides funding another issue in women's sports is the lack of media coverage. There are many women's teams in all sports who do well and have lots of followers but the media rarely covers them, even at the local level. We get coverage of the local athletes mostly during the Olympics. During the ski season we get coverage of Shriffrin and Vohn but rarely any other women's snow sports events.

Finally, looking at the comments written at the bottom of this article the readers took this article as another whine about women's bodies and the lack of clothing that fits. Even a man who read the article responded about his issues finding well fitting ski clothing.
 
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