Pretty Faces - Pretty Important!

Pretty Faces – Pretty Important.    

by Shaun Nauman

For the past year professional skier Lynsey Dyer has been trying to get a project off the ground, an all women’s ski film. Before you roll your eyes and have images of a La Femme Warren Miller production – keep reading.

Despite women’s presence in: 40% of the skiing population 30% of the adventure sports film viewership Only 14% of athletes in major ski films were female this past season. Additionally, last season’s 14% was record female representation, up from 9% the previous season.

This project isn’t about female athletes trying to one up their male counterparts, this project has a much deeper meaning and cause. To fully understand this we need to back up and go behind the scenes of just how sponsorship for the industry works. Sponsors go for the biggest returns, the biggest bang for the buck. The female population of the snowsports community is often left out of this. Lynsey Dyer is out to change that and give girls a role model to aspire to through Pretty Faces.

Last year the original trailer of Pretty Faces was released. Most of the footage was from cutting room clips funded mostly by Lynsey Dyer out of her own pocket. Below is last year’s trailer for Pretty Faces.

The beginning of the Kickstarter Campaign

In December Lynsey took the project to the next level in a 30 day Kickstarter campaign which is crowd sourced and crowd funded. The project needs to break $60,000 to be funded.

Pretty Faces - Kickstarter
Pretty Faces – Kickstarter Campaign

In fact, in our Western culture the stigma is that women should be portrayed as something pretty, or something of an ornament. Just walk by any newsstand and it’s glaringly obvious. Many women drop out of sports at an early age due to this stigma. The female population is underrepresented in the snowsports genre, and I don’t think it’s due to lack of desire.

We are all members of the outdoor snowports community regardless of gender. It doesn’t matter if we ski, or ride — inbounds or backcountry, hike, or ice climb. We are all brought together under a common interest to enjoy probably the most amazing things we have ever done in this unique respect for the mountains that we enjoy. We are all better than making this an argument of sexism, quotas, or agendas in the media and corporate sphere of influence.

The snowsports community really needs to take a hard look at this and to look at our own values. We need to inspire the next generation of female athletes and give them something to look up to, and send a clear message that their dreams can become reality.

Fact: United Nations Commission
The gap between sports participation widens during their time at school as many girls opt out of physical participation due to lack of confidence in their sporting skills or, as some girls indicated in a research conducted by Loughborough University, due to a lack of female sporting role models.

The participation of women and girls in sport challenges a multitude of gender stereotypes. Stereotypical attitudes can also fuel inequality in wages, prizes, and other financial incentives. In general, in the area of commercial endorsements and sponsorships, women receive far less support than their male counterparts.

The social benefits of participation in sport are thought to be especially important for girls, given that many girls, particularly in adolescence, have fewer opportunities than boys for social interaction outside the home and beyond family structures, according to a UN study on women, gender equality and sport.

In addition to generating physical and mental health benefits, sport can be an effective platform to provide women and girls with leadership skills they can transfer to other domains, such as civic engagement or professional life. Strength, perseverance, commitment, team spirit, solidarity, negotiation, and respect for others are values that are central to sport but also to the pursuit of gender equality. 

Pretty Faces is in the homestretch of the campaign with just one week to go. The project needs to break a $60,000 threshold to be funded. I am confident in my outdoor snowsports peers that this project will happen. It’s about time we show the industry where our values stand.

I would encourage everyone in the outdoor community to take a hard look at this project and do what you can to support it. It is only the beginning but we really have to start somewhere.

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