Staffer compares Roxy ad to 'butchy lesbos' past

Alexandra Pleffer, ninemsn
2:15pm July 13, 2013
July 09, 2013: Surf wear giant Roxy has used an ad featuring voyeuristic scenes of a scantily clad female professional surfer to promote a surfing competition in France.

A senior Quiksilver employee has come under fire after claiming on Facebook that those who thought a controversial Roxy ad campaign belonged in the past didn't understand that "butchy lesbos" used to represent surfing.

The ad campaign for the 2013 Biarritz Roxy Pro, which shows scantily clad surf star Stephanie Gilmore waking up and getting ready before going to the beach, has been described as "voyeuristic" and compared to a lingerie ad.

Quiksilver Surf Program Manager Chad Wells from California in the US posted a link to the controversial clip from Quiksilver's sister brand on his Facebook page and commented that people who thought it belonged in the past should "do their homework".

"Some butchy lesbos were representing surfing – not rigged out sexy women who are in touch with their sexuality and know exactly how they are represented and marketed," Mr Wells wrote.

"1 well ridden wave at the end of this clip would've made the critics happy."

Mr Wells later posted comments praising modern-day female surfers for their abilities.

July 11, 2013: Roxy reveals five times world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore was the athlete featured in a recent teaser video and has joined their team.

"The reality is the girls now have THEE (sic) largest fan base/audiences they've ever had!" he wrote.

"Mostly due to … the fact these women pros are hot and RIP!

"The 'average' dude may be drawn in by the sex appeal but anyone that loves surfing watches the women's heats now because they are RIPPING!"

Professional surfer Cori Schumacher accused Mr Wells of "lesbian baiting".

She said Mr Wells was suggesting overtly heterosexual women were more in touch with their sexuality than lesbians and that female surfers from older generations were all "butchy".

"Chad Wells' comment is not surprising, though his brash openness certainly is," she told ninemsn. "This just cements how invasive and endemic this type of thought is in the surf industry.

May 25, 2012: Four-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore has appeared in US Vogue, bringing her relaxed Aussie charm to the fashion magazine.

"My mother had to deal with this sort of industry talk, I had to deal with it and it pains me that this new generation of women is still dealing with these limiting and constrictive stereotypes.

"That three generations of female surfers have had to navigate the limitations of lesbian-baiting ought to bring us pause when considering the unapologetically sexualized image of female surfing we are currently receiving from Roxy and elsewhere in the surf industry.

"Reclaiming the narrative of women's surfing from that which is controlled by the surf industry, one that is constantly on the defence about sexuality, is the first step in truly advancing women's surfing."

A ninemsn reader who contacted us about Mr Wells' posts also said they couldn't believe "not one person has called (Mr Wells) out for this remark".

Quiksilver have been contacted but have not yet commented on Mr Wells' posts.

Author: Alexandra Pleffer. Approving editor: Nick Pearson.

Sources: Chad Wells, Cori Schumacher

© ninemsn 2014
Do you have any story leads, photos or videos?