Surfwear brand Roxy attacked for “sexploitatation” of female surfing.

July 8, 2013, 11:14 am Alice Ellis Women's Health

New advertisement from Roxy comes under fire for double standards

News & Events

A snapshot from the Roxy advertisement

Australian women’s surfwear label Roxy has been slammed by gender equality proponents and Twitter commentators for “sexploitation” of female surfers in a new YouTube video promoting a womens' pro surfing contest, the Pro Biarritz 2013, that it runs and sponsors in France this month.

Surfing, as a sport and lifestyle, has always been sexy, but some have deemed the clip, which starts by showing a young woman half-naked on a bed, and often focuses on her undie-clad bum, “soft porn”.

The video asks #WhoAmIJustGuess and never shows the woman’s face, though it’s presumed to be five-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore.

Perhaps the most disrespectful part of the video: that it never shows this champ riding a wave – something that would probably never be left out of a men’s surfing promo.

Catharine Lumby, Professor of Media at Macquarie University, points out that while there’s nothing wrong with “celebrating” female athletes’ fit bodies, this looks more like a voyeuristic lingerie ad and has little to do with the sport it’s publicising.

A clip from the Roxy promotion video

The Australian Sports Commission has also come out saying that they discourage sexualised images of female athletes for promotional activities.

It’s been stirring up mixed reviews on Twitter – some love it, others stress that it “does nothing for women in surfing being taken seriously".

Related: Vote for our Women In Sport Awards

There’s no arguing that the video is provocative – but is using sexy images to sell female sport really such a bad thing if it means they’ll generate conversation? After all, the debate surrounding this clip means it’s been viewed by far more people than it would have if it was less sexy and controversial. And there’s no denying that women’s sport needs more publicity – is any publicity good publicity in this case?

Take a look and tell us what you think:

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  1. Ju-LIAR04:33pm Friday 12th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    How pathetic are the little kiddies at Yahoo7 ? This piece of trash was run as a 'news item' four days ago ! Check the dates of the first comments for yourself ! Who pays these lazy twits anyway ? They certainly don't deserve anything because they do VIRTUALLY NOTHING !

  2. Alex09:04pm Tuesday 09th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Iran says an old one ... Listener should be wise. We are in a free world. It is better to look closer. Coming to see. Always see the full cup .Thank you

  3. Alex08:46pm Tuesday 09th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Persian English Spanish In my opinion., This is the kind of publicity. I am blessed to intelligent management of the company. More excellent work they have done for their promotional sales., With a beautiful photo of a sexy woman. It is an art. Thank you .alex.jahani

  4. Honest Mike08:25pm Tuesday 09th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Wow! I thought there'd be SOME sexist thugs, but not this many. I'll spell it out for the backward dimwits (SOME of them might wake up). 1. Promote womens' surfing - show women surfing. 2. Using sex appeal (and not surfing) to promote surfing, lowers women to just being sex objects - and that's dumb. (See, it aint rocket science!) Common? Yes. Popular? Yep. But it's still DUMB. Can we do better than dumb? Nope. This thread proves it.

  5. Andy07:15am Tuesday 09th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Real shame :( These professional women are trying to promote their sport showing that they are just as good as anyone else, and all they can do is show a bit of T & A, sad!

    1 Reply
  6. Michael05:04am Tuesday 09th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Grow up this is the 21 century, get your head out of the victorian era and move with the time, Take most of the updated pop videos of to day. If they are not using the F word or selling sex they don't make it. I feel a lot of you just can't cut it so you pick on them that can. Then having said that, that is what sums up most prudes.

  7. Steve04:42am Tuesday 09th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    More sexism From the Noted Misanthropist Catherine Lumby

  8. cocles chimeira04:37am Tuesday 09th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Roxy must be thrilled over the success of their ad. The PC fuddy-duddies, aka anal retentives, who whipped themselves up into a lather over this nothing are the ad agencies greatest assets for generating optimum publicity for their clients.

  9. Donitsky11:29pm Monday 08th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    We all know sex sells (particularly to us males) however, with these abuses and offensive remarks it is no wonder that others believe that there is a problem with these types of images being used in this way.

  10. Enough10:30pm Monday 08th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    this is just drival spewed up by ch ssseeeveeerrrn's kochie the cochead and his rags all for the braindead


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