LILLY POLLARD: Bold Statement Offends World, But Enough Is Enough. Barrels vs Boobies & Butts
OPINION // LILLY POLLARD
Barrels vs Boobies & Butts
Due to an overwhelming response (some good, some bad), I just needed to clarify why I made such a negative bold statement and drew a penis on a bodyboarding magazine with #boysclub, and posted it on social media.
Yes, barrels and butts are both an awesome part of women’s bodyboarding. It is when I see a blatant imbalance in the promotion of these, that I get upset. Even worse still is not seeing any kind of promotion for the women at all.
Yes, It was a bit rash and controversial what I did, but it wasn’t meant as a personal attack on anyone in particular, and it came as a result of my polite methods of recognition for women being ignored. I did target the APB tour and Movement Magazine and I apologise for the negative feelings this brought up in a lot of people.
There have actually been so (SO) many other incidences of sexism from other parties too, that I can’t list them all here.
Yes, I agree that both APB and Movement have somewhat supported women’s bodyboarding and I’m grateful for that, but I believe that there has not been quite enough positive support and that there have been way too many butts featured compared to performance riding.
After my post, I had top professional male riders contacting me to say that they agree with my statements, and sadly I even had a girl contact me saying she dealt with sexism and homophobia in her own Bodyboard club which drove her to leave.
Since when is it ok to treat girls in sport like this?
These are such simple human rights that I can’t believe I’m having to address in 2017!
Women deserve to be recognised in bodyboarding.
Women deserve to have events in good waves with fair prize money.
Women deserve to have their quality bodyboarding photos printed.
Women deserve to have their best waves (NOT just their butts) used in promotional videos.
Women deserve to be recognised for their riding without their sexuality being ridiculed.
Women deserve the right to speak out when they feel there is an imbalance, without the fear of being called a “whinger” or worse.
Every other sport has been so inspiring this year and really stepped it up with promoting and supporting women equally. Bodyboarding needs to do the same. As I’ve said a million times before, when bodyboarding learns to embrace the women, rather than put them down and find fault, it is going to make the sport stronger for everyone.
United we’re stronger. It should never be a “Us vs them” mentality.
Thanks to everyone for your feedback, thanks to Ryan and Leah Hardy (of Reeflex and Hardyshapes) for being insane supporters of female riders. And thanks to those who actually reflected on my harsh criticism and are working on those changes. I myself promise to play my part in better promoting myself and women’s bodyboarding and uniting the girls as a stronger force.
I urge you, girls, to work hard on your riding, keep going in contests, keep working with photographers and send your pics and vids into all media outlets. I urge the Bodyboard brands to step back and look at your advertising. Are you supporting the women in a positive way?
Finally, thanks to Alex Leon for offering me a spot in the 2018 Shark Island Challenge. I promise to go hard to represent the women, even if it’s 10 feet.
Finally, I’d love to see the women have events alongside the men, like Teahupo’o, I’d love to see greater prize money and participation for women. I want the young girls that first get into bodyboarding, be able to look up to girls shredding in the waves and aspire to be just like that, not getting sucked into just being a beach model, because beach models get more “likes”. There’s so much more to life than that! I want them to feel they can do anything they want, I want them to be connected to the ocean like I am, and know that they will have that network of kindness, support and encouragement from everyone all around them. Whatever their level, whatever they ride, just ultimately having fun.
Lilly Pollard is a professional bodyboarder and instructor. Despite a horrific accident in the water and breaking her back she has returned to the sport as a competitor, additionally, she has worked hard to put together and build the Bodyboard Acadamy in Cronulla, Australia. Lilly has charged at some of the world’s heaviest breaks including Pipeline and Teahupo’o. She is a strong, inspirational and positive advocate for women’s sport.
Lilly has won world championship events including Pipeline Hawaii 2014 and Encanto Pro in Puerto Rico 2011 with her best result a third in 2011. She is the six times Australian Pro Tour Champion.
The Mermaid Society strongly supports Lilly and women’s bodyboarding to further enhance and develop the sport from grassroots participation to the professional level.