In a recent interview on Australian national television 19-year-old surf sensation Ellie-Jean Coffey from Queensland (supposedly one of the sports future greats) has admitted to using sex appeal to further her pro surf career while highlighting the importance of social media and branding yourself. Off the back of Steph Gilmore’s controversial Roxy ad from last year, the new interview has apparently ruffled a few more feathers (at least in Australia).
Ok, she’s probably not quite up there with Steph or Alana so we weren’t even sure anyone would actually care. But going from the stream of comments we got on our Facebook page, it looks like we were wrong. For example, one concerned mum (among many) commented the following:
“As the mother of daughters, I find it sad that female athletes feel they need to mug for the camera in overtly flirtatious and sexual poses to ‘brand’ themselves for sponsorship opportunities. Do Mick Fanning or Kelly Slater have to pout and hair toss, or wear a G-string for the sponsorship $ ??? Even if it’s not x rated or r rated, it’s a cheap ploy, it’s degrading, and it’s buying into the objectification of women.”
But hey, it wasn’t just other girls that were upset, the men too were at it.
John Becker commented, “Not even sexy”. Ouch! While one other disgruntled reader commented “I’m not convinced that women who do these sports really just hang out in a g string wherever they go. Is this appealing as a sport? It just clicks for compulsive masturbators? I’m not against them modeling and stuff, but when it’s so obvious what they’re trying to do I’m tuning out. If I want to beat off I’ll watch porn.”
Which begs the question, has Ellie-Jean actually go it all wrong? If you feel like you’ve got something to add on the issue of sex in surfing we’d love to hear it. Fire away, either in our comments section below or on our Facebook page here.