Stephanie Gilmore is a world champion professional surfer but her talent is taking a backseat – so to speak – to a racy ad to promote part of the Women's World Championship Tour of Surfing that has created significant backlash.
Done for Roxy Pro Biarritz 2013, which of part of the championship tour, the racy ad has been ripped by critics for showing more close-up shots of Stephanie Gilmore's butt than of her surfing, according to the Daily Mail
. Critics say, in fact, if it was not for glancing shots at Gilmore's surfboard, no one would know what the commercial was promoting.
"Usually, I’m of the opinion that if a girl (surfer or otherwise) is comfortable with herself and wants to pose for a racy photo or video shoot, and people want to pay her money for it, more power to her," Janna Irons of Surfer magazine
wrote on the magazine's site July 2. "But this isn’t a sexy editorial video or a promotion for a brand’s clothing line, it’s the vessel for sharing with the world what women’s competitive surfing is all about. And yet not a single wave is ridden."
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Criticism of the ad rained down on Roxy's Facebook page, with charges ranging from missed opportunities to highlight the sport to sexploitation.
"It's hard enough getting coverage for women's sport, and now there is this fantastic opportunity to showcase this competition and the ability of the surfers - and it has been wasted," wrote Marlaine Read on Facebook July 7. "Sitting on your bed in your undies and sexily undressing for a shower is in no way a 'dimension.'"
Facebook commenter Wendy McGirr added: "I am not bothered about sexy commercials, sex sells as do attractive bodies. She's a pro surfer that is what their figure looks like. But I am bothered you 'promote' a world tour surfing event focusing entirely around a woman's butt. Aimed at who?! Not women that's for sure."
Some, though, said they felt Roxy was marketing surfing in a way that will attract the most people.
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"Pro surfing is a business, like Coca Cola and Taco Bell they want sexy people to advertise their brand," posted Michael Andrew on Facebook Monday. "Why is everyone so upset at this tactic? This is not a non-profit that donates their income to charity."
UPI.com reported that Roxy later released another version of the advertisement, which did feature shots of Gilmore surfing.
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