Some of you may have seen my design of a woman wearing buns on top of her head, holding a pair of fins, and rocking a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses. Or, you may have seen the design featuring three women of different body shapes looking ready to jump into the ocean. But, who are these women?
These "Shreddy Betty" characters were designed to try and bring new faces to the surf industry. When you look at surf magazines, commercials, and advertisements you are constantly shown this idea of a female surfer. She's tall, thin, and white. Her blonde hair is flowing down her back-somehow miraculously dry, despite her being on a board out in the water. She has a glowing (but not too dark) tan, and is wearing an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-bikini while posing on her color coordinated surf board.
She is one type of surfer.
It is important for the surf industry to highlight all types of surfers. Every person should be able to see themselves in the faces of those representing the surf community. When those faces are predominately white, it gives the message that only white women can surf. This is an absurd idea, especially since it is the ancient Polynesians who are credited with inventing the sport itself. Instead lets celebrate our individuality and show how beautiful an inclusive surf community can be.
Shreddy Betty is small, yet powerful reminder that the ocean is for everyone. The ocean does not discriminate based on gender, race, or appearance. Neither should the surf industry.
Shred the love.