Posts Tagged ‘Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins’

This post is a continuation of the discussion on sexism in action sports.  Click here for part 1.

When I first got into action sports, I adopted some of the culture’s misogynistic attitudes without being fully aware of it.  After all, I vehemently supported the idea that a female FMX rider could rise among the ranks of the best.  However, I still joined in the shaming of girls who seemed to be into the sport for the guys.  It’s much like the “fake geek girl” attitude I’ve seen in nerd culture, where attractive women are judged automatically.  Even though no one wants disingenuity, it’s not up to us to determine who is “real” without getting to know them.  Plus action sports wouldn’t be as successful as it is today without the casual fans.  I was lucky to have joined FMX forums run by women in the industry; plus I gave off the little sister vibe.  How we look (or are perceived to appear) shouldn’t matter, but it does.

This brings me to Kim Woozy’s TED Talk:

She made me think about the mixed reactions female action sports athletes have gotten for posing nude for ESPN the Magazine‘s Body Issue.  I am all for anyone embracing their bodies, and nudity shouldn’t be a big deal.  Plus the Body Issue does a great job of highlighting different sizes, shapes, and skin tones, as well as “imperfections” like tan lines and scars.  Nevertheless, Kim and Jen Hudak make good points in their criticisms of sexy shoots.  Why do those get more attention than actual achievements?

One of my friends posted a link on Facebook about the Body Issue, praising the use of Prince Fielder on the cover.  Someone had commented that women don’t seem to get the same treatment, citing Jamie Anderson’s cover.  While the photo of Jamie perfectly captures her spirit and personality, I had to partly agree with the comment.  Jamie’s looks are irrelevant, but the artistic choice for the photo is something to question.  She’s posing (in kind of a stereotypical modeling way too), not snowboarding.  Contrast that with the shot of Coco Ho.  It’s dynamic and more inspiring.

Jamie Anderson.  By Peggy Sirota/ ESPN the Magazine

Jamie Anderson. By Peggy Sirota/ ESPN the Magazine

Coco Ho.  By Morgan Maassen/ ESPN The Magazine

Coco Ho. By Morgan Maassen/ ESPN The Magazine

Now I don’t fault Jamie since she was not in charge of the shoot, but I hope ESPN the Magazine will consider how they depict their cover models (it’s worth noting that the other female cover model, Venus Williams, was also posing and didn’t even have a racket).

Another thing that bothered me about the Body Issue was the behind-the-scenes footage of Travis Pastrana and Lyn-Z Adams Pastrana.  First, I wish Lyn-Z was skateboarding instead of riding in the back.  I know the artistic director probably wanted a fun couple’s shot, but it sends the message that Lyn-Z’s career takes a backseat.  On top of that, they captured Travis joking about how he got to see his “wife’s tits all day”.  Although I’m sure Lyn-Z was not offended by the comment, it’s still derogatory and inappropriate to air.  It reinforces the idea that looks are the most important thing for a girl and disregards the struggles Lyn-Z has faced as a female skateboarder.  I’m very disappointed in both ESPN and Travis Pastrana.

These are little things that have a major impact.  They contribute to the misogyny that women in action sports (whether they are athletes, industry folks, or fans) face.  When male skaters and riders call each other “pussy” or “bitch”, they are associating femininity with weakness.  That, in turn, alienates the women who are already fighting this double standard of having to be attractive to get attention but not too pretty to where they won’t be taken seriously.  One thing I disagree with Jen on her critique of sexy shoots is how much it will injure a female athlete’s career. It’s less about the photos themselves (because after all, we remember the achivements of Danica Patrick and Elena Hight) and more about that ridiculous double standard and the constant objectification of women by the media and even by their peers. Who cares if some of us wear no make-up and have grease stains on our clothes while others of us wear heels on weekends and are willing to pose nude? Our love of actions sports should be what matters, and until that is the case, I will not stop fighting for more feminism in the culture.

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer  (excluding  non-melanoma skin cancer) among women in the U.S.  One in eight women will be diagnosed with it at some point in their lives.  October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the women of action sports have dedicated themselves to raise awareness and support the fight against breast cancer.

After losing her mom to the disease, motocross racer Laurie Cary started MX Ride for the Cause.  This annual event takes place in Cahuilla Creek and features much more than just riding and demos.  There’s a bra parade, an auction, a raffle, food, and a dance floor.  Proceeds go to Michelle’s Place, a breast cancer resource center in California.  This year’s MX Ride for the Cause takes place on Saturday, October 1.

Another California-based organization, Boarding for Breast Cancer, is raising awareness in the snow, skate, and surf communities.  It was founded by snowboarders Tina Basic and Shannon Dunn, video game producer Lisa Hudson, and writer Kathleen Gasperini, all of whom had a friend battling breast cancer.  B4BC makes appearances at many events, including the X Games and the Warped Tour.  It also sponsors some of the top boarders in the world: Hannah Teter, Tara Dakides, Lyn-z Adams Hawkins, and Mary Osbourne.  Be sure to check out the B4BC website for information on future events, survivor stories, and how to protect yourself and get involved in the fight against breast cancer.

Remember: check your breasts monthly (at around the same time) because no one else, not even your doctor, knows your body like you do.  If you’re 40 or older, be sure to get an annual mammogram.  Guys, keep an eye out for suspicious lumps on your body too because men get breast cancer too.  The key to winning the battle is early detection.

While FMX riders may laugh in the face of danger, I bet they still find marriage proposals to be frightening.  About a month ago, Travis Pastrana popped the question to his skater girlfriend Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins at the Nitro Circus show in Vegas, and he was so nervous that he wound up doing it earlier than planned.  The video clip is pretty spectacular; leave it to the moto guys to take a more unconventional approach to proposing.  I’m a sucker for romance so here are my top 3 proposals by (or to) FMX riders.

3. Adam Jones gets down on one knee post-competition.
Photobucket Photo from EXPN.com
I was looking through pictures of an WFA contest a few years ago, and I came across a shot of Adam’s proposal. It was so cute that I saved it. Random fact about Adam’s wife (whose name is slipping my mind): she is the girl who smells his armpits in the “double pits to chesty” Axe commercial.

2. Travis Pastrana proposes to Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins on the Mega Ramp.

I’d say that was the best stunt of the night. Congratulations to those two! For a clip of the full proposal, go here.

1. Pink pops the question to Carey Hart in the middle of the race.
Photobucket Photo from People.
I’m a fan of unconventionality, and it was pretty awesome that Pink wrote her proposal on the pit board (plus “I’m serious!”) and then told Carey to go back and race since she wasn’t planning on marrying a “loser”. Recently they welcomed a baby girl, Willow Sage, into their family so congrats to them!