Surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore has come under fire for a sexy YouTube video that promotes the Roxy Pro Biarritz 2013 surfing competition. Gilmore exposes her backside throughout the sexy video for the Roxy Pro Biarritz 2013, but never actually shows off her surfing skills, leading many critics to view the viral YouTube video as sexploitation. A shorter video for the Roxy Pro Biarritz was released earlier this week that shows Gilmore surfing.
The initial sexy video shows Gilmore rolling out of bed in her underwear, putting on an oversize button-down shirt, and then dropping it to get into the shower. She grabs her board and drives to the beach, where she puts on a Roxy rash guard. The rest of the video doesn't feature any actual surfing, but shows several more shots of Gilmore's backside as she paddles out into the ocean.
Roxy never revealed the identity of Gilmore when the surfing video was posted two weeks ago — they included the hashtag #WhoAmIJustGuess, along with the teaser. But while there don't seem to be many red-blooded men complaining, many surfing fans were left wondering why the Roxy Pro Biarritz endorsed a video for a surfing competition that didn't show any actual surfing. Women's surfing fans also felt Gilmore's video degraded the sport at a time when it's been trying to gain the same credibility as men's surfing.
The Guardian writer Tia Calvo called Gilmore's Roxy video a "voyeuristic semi soft-porn clip," while others went to Roxy's Facebook page to give the company a piece of their mind. "It's hard enough getting coverage for women's [sports], and now there is this fantastic opportunity to showcase this competition and the ability of the surfers — and it has been wasted," wrote one critic. Another detractor bluntly stated that they were bothered that the company would "'promote' a world tour surfing event focusing entirely around a woman's butt."
Roxy responded to the criticism with a lengthy Facebook post that celebrated the diversity of women, but ducked the issue at hand. "Women are complex and multi-dimensional. To ignore this fact is to ignore who we truly are," they wrote. "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, & we also believe it's not wrong to be an athlete and to be sexy, if you choose to be."
The Roxy Pro Biarritz 2013 will be held in the chic French city from July 10–14.