Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Meanwhile, on the Internet
Tribune Reporters
'Meanwhile' is a collaborative blog about all the crazy stuff on the Internet. Here, reporters from various Tribune desks tell you what you (almost) need to know about topics ranging from technology to YouTube sensations. Contributors: Michael McFall, Dave Newlin, Matt Piper, Brennan Smith, Erin Alberty. Edited by Sheena McFarland.

Subscribe (RSS)




(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jen Hudak hangs in the air coming off the half pipe during a practice run for the SKI Superpipe Women event Wednesday February 9th at Snow Basin. Snow Basin will host the Winter Dew Tour Thursday February 10th through Sunday February 13th.
Utah skier Jen Hudak decries hottest freeskiiers list

Freestyle skier Jen Hudak (who lives in Salt Lake City) is none too fond of the emphasis that Freeskier Magazine puts on the looks of her female peers.

On Nov. 29, Freeskier.com published a list of the 10 "hottest women in freeskiing right now," from Ingrid Backstrom to Brita Sigourney, "who would be just as rad to shred with as to take out on a date." Most of the entries make some mention of the women’s skills on the slopes (though sometimes only in passing), but Hudak took to her blog the next day to share her concern that the media focus on their beauty distracts from their accomplishments.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Looking to another sport, Hudak used NASCAR star Danica Patrick as a case in point. "Danica consistently gets criticized for having bought her way into NASCAR for her marketability (ahem, hotness) and not for her driving ability," Hudak wrote in the post. "The fact of the matter is, that woman is fast behind the wheel of a car … But because of how much she has allowed her appearance to be exploited, people actually lose sight of how talented she is."

To further make her point, Hudak encouraged her readers to Google images for Patrick, Kristi Leskinen and Lindsey Vonn, then do the same for male athletes like Jimmie Johnson, Tom Wallisch and Ted Ligety, and see the difference in the results. I did, and what comes up for the women? Sexy photo shoots. For the men? Athletes practicing their sport.

"It can get really frustrating as a female athlete to put thousands of hours into your craft, and not get deserved exposure for it," Hudak wrote. "At a certain point, it feels that these opportunities are the only way we can share what we do!"

Lynsey Dyer, featured on Freeskier’s list, wrote an open letter to the magazine on her Facebook page on Dec. 2, the day after Hudak posted her blog entry. Dyer sympathized with Freeskier’s desire to get more web hits in a competitive environment, but asked the magazine to avoid appealing to a lower denominator and try harder, just as her fellow athletes do. Women skiers are performing at a high level and getting recognized as legitimate athletes, "beyond their value as models to sell a product," and producing their own shoots without objectifying themselves, Dyer wrote.

"After all, [that would] be the easy way, but they didn’t fall in love with skiing because it was easy," she added.

In her blog post, Hudak does not firmly place the blame for the bias on any one party, but added that Freeskier’s focus should be on the sport and to leave objectification to the likes of Maxim.

Hudak hopes to join the U.S. Olympic team in the 2014 Sochi Games. The Park Record spotlighted her in a recent profile.

Michael McFall



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
 
Jobs
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.