Sunday, December 6, 2015

the pro climber vs the top model


So, how exactly do I write about a climber like Sierra Blair-Coyle without adding a picture? Well she isn’t the typical female climber out there. I mean, when I think of female climbers I think of rugged outcasts, tough gals with scruffy hair, strong shoulders and lots of callus on their hands or hands that are just completely ripped up. You know, the type of girl that is fearless and will happily take a shit in the woods and possibly fight a bear on her way back to camp. Yeah that kind of girl! I also think of people like Lynn Hill who wouldn’t mind sleeping in a tent on a porta-ledge for various days in order to free the nose of El Capitan!  I don’t really imagine a hot climbing babe in a bathing suit posing on a boulder. Well… except for, you know, in my private dreams…
Alright, meet the first ever pro-climber / top model in history. Sierra Blair-Coyle is the first actual pin-up pro climber.  How does she not bruise her body for the afternoon photo shoot? I seriously don’t have a clue. Perhaps this will be for a future article. I mean, yes she is pretty sexy and she’s climbed up some serious boulder problems, up to V13. It’s cool to have more women mediatized and recognized in the climbing world. I have the utmost respect for all the female crushers out there. But am I the only one that thinks this here is a little strange. Maybe, it’s because I am the son of a feminist mother. Maybe I’m just ranting for no good reason and I should shut-up. I’m just not sure what the focus is? It feels like the sexiness is gotten a little overboard.

Okay I really can’t do this without pictures. I just wonder how we got from this…



To this…


All right, maybe this is a bit of an exaggerated contrast and she’s definitely not the only climber who uses her personal image for profit. I can think of many more. But I feel like Sierra might be attracting the wrong kind of attention to the sport. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on just one person. Or maybe I should...
Just kidding.

Thinking of all the young beautiful sponsored female climbers that could easily act like Sierra frightens me a bit. Imagine Paige Claassen or worse, 14 year old Ashima Shiraishi competing in a bikini at nationals. I found out this is already happening. I fell onto one of Alex Johnson’s posts on Deadpoint Magazine. Here is what she had to say about the annual bouldering competition: 
‘’It was unbearably hot, as the desert usually is in August, and the scantily clad girls were out in full force. I understand how dreadful the summer heat can be, but some of the outfits are beginning to cross the line. It’s out of respect for my fellow female competitors, and the respect that I hope they have for themselves, that I wish for the provocative attire to be taken down a notch.’’

Well said Alex! I totally agree that climbers should be recognized for their abilities, their personalities, their morals and professionalism way before their body!


This is obviously a bit of a touchy subject. Best of reasons to talk about it! This might even be the reason why you found this website! It doesn't matter what you think, I’d be interested about what you’ve got to say? Do you believe this is the start of a pin-up era in the kingdom of rock-climbing? Be rad, please leave a comment!


Vincent 
Rad Climbers