Society

Roxy Ad Offends Viewers by Sexualizing Woman Surfer Instead of Showcasing Athleticism

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A recent Roxy clothing advertisement video has garnered criticism for sexualizing world champion woman surfer, Stephanie Gilmore.

The ad, which Roxy released in anticipation of the Pro Biarritz 2013 surfing competition it is sponsoring, never shows Gilmore’s face and features shots of her body in locations such as a hotel bedroom, the shower and walking on the beach, according to the Huffington Post.

Gilmore’s face was revealed in a second video Roxy made, after masking her identity so fans could guess who she was in the first promotion ad, reports Ad Week.

Some viewers expressed their disapproval of the video in comments on Roxy’s Facebook page and through other forms of media.

Tia Calvo, a self-declared “surf addict,” said the advertisement’s treatment of Gilmore reflects problems with gender equality that are widespread in the surfing world.

"This little voyeuristic semi soft-core porn clip is representing a professional sport which has been fighting a long and ongoing battle for gender equality," Calvo said.

Members of Roxy responded to criticisms of the video in a statement on the company Facebook page.

“Women are complex and multi-dimensional," the statement read. "To ignore this fact is to ignore who we truly are ... 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. We don't judge one to be better than the other [and] we don't believe in excluding one for the other.”

Sources: Huffington Post, Ad Week