Stephanie Gilmore’s Racy Roxy Ad Criticized For Sexism, Voyeurism [Video]
Stephanie Gilmore's ad with Roxy for the 2013 Pro Biarritz puts her body on full display, all the white keeping her face and identity a mystery. Though Roxy claims there was no prurient intent, critics are up in arms about what they see as the objectification of a woman.
The ad begins with Gilmore waking up in bed with nothing but a pair of underwear and her long blond hair in loose waves. She gets up, dons a sheer white shirt, only to let it fall to the floor before entering the shower. Leaving the house, she grabs a surfboard and puts on a striped shirt and tight jean shorts. The camera follows her closely from behind as she makes her way to the beach, where she exchanges her casual wear for a bikini and a pink Roxy rash guard. The closest thing to surfing in the ad is Gilmore paddling her board out to sea.
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Roxy’s advertisement is not the first time a female athlete's aesthics were put before her athleticism – Anna Kournikova, Lindsey Vonn and Lolo Jones have all been used in similar fashions. However, the tolerance for it is quickly running out. On the Roxy Facebook page, commenters had mostly negative things to say, and not just about Roxy either. One commenter wrote, “whew, what a relief….. it was only a top athlete exploiting herself instead of just a model….. CLassY.” Another commentator wrote that, "the ENTIRE ad was like a lingerie advert," and bemoaned the fact that there wasn't any surfing.
Addressing the controversy, Roxy posted a statement on Facebook, which read, “Obviously, there's been much conversation around the video we recently released. We believe all athletes are naturally beautiful, in and out of the water. You certainly don't have to be sexy to be an athlete, and we also believe it's not wrong to be an athlete and to be sexy, if you choose to be.”
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