on being a girl who just skis for the instagram" - sexism in the ski community

On Being A Girl “Who Just Skis For The Instagram”

I posted a lighthearted video on TikTok yesterday afternoon while hanging out at home on my rest day after skiing all weekend with my friends. (See the video here.) It’s about the ski resorts in Utah and their stereotypes, and I am in no way dragging on any of them and honestly it was all a set up for a joke about Alta.

And someone commented this:

gatekeeping sexist comments towards skier women

I’m usually not the person to call people out because I think that’s what these totally nonsensical people want… a reaction. While yes, their comments are rooted in hate, misunderstanding, and probably insecurity, I still try to understand both points of view. But for some reason, this flipped a switch. And I wanted to use this opportunity to give my take on some things I have noticed since growing my social media accounts as an outdoor action sports woman.

skiing at deer valley utah pre season with baist gloves
photo: Nic Carnazzo

First, I don’t have to anything to prove to anyone. I do showcase all my outdoor achievements and adventures through social media, specifically Instagram and TikTok these days, but this doesn’t mean I owe any person any sort of personal explanation as far as my abilities and accomplishments. I know I’m not a professional athlete or anything, but I am out here having fun with my friends, while also trying my best to progress in sports that I love.

curating ski content for Baist Gloves and Wildhorn outfitters
Photo: Nic Carnazzo

Second, I genuinely love curating content. I spent four years educating myself on art, marketing, and business, and I believe I have grown my personal brand into something that I am proud of. And honestly it’s all for me. This blog closely resembles a personal journal, and while I do hope that I can resonate with other people in the outdoor, sustainable, or plant-based community, I mostly do it as an outlet for myself because I sincerely enjoy it. And if you haven’t noticed, my friend’s are amazing photographers, so I love spreading their art to my other friends and followers as much as I can.

Third, I am so grateful for the friends and family that I have who support me in everything I do. My snow and dirt lady shredders who love to link up and have gals’ nights practicing skills. The men who genuinely cheer me on as I progress in new and old sports. Women who lift me up when I stomp new tricks, and guys who aren’t intimidated by my advancing skills and proudly tell others of my efforts. I genuinely would not be the woman I am today without these people.

charilift picture friends skiing at powder mountain, utah
Picture: Ben Moisen

And lastly, while women are being showcased more and more in the outdoor media (as they should be, because women are rad, and still rise above in male-dominated communities and sports), it’s also clear that trolls still feel comfortable going out of their way to discredit women and their presence and opinions.

After sharing this comment on my Instagram for literally thousands of people to see, I was so happy to get so many supportive messages from in-real-life friends and internet friends alike. But it was also frustrating that there were so many women that had similar experiences as they have been documenting and sharing their progression in action sports like skiing and biking.

Photo: Nic Carnazzo

From commenting rude things on videos to literally someone going out of their way to email sponsors saying that the girls they support are just pretty faces. When in reality these ladies probably could have hiked up a mountain and made some turns using the time that trolls waste making negative comments.

And these words don’t go unnoticed. And as much as I try to ignore bitter comments, sometimes, it’s all I can think about.

I think about all the ways that I can respond.

If I should respond in a polite manner because they are hurting in some way behind the screen.

Or if I should comment a sarcastic comment (that could easily be read wrong) because that’s how I cope to negative situations.

Or if I should be completely petty and roast them with my quick witted writing skills.

Or if I should just delete it off my post and move on.

I normally pick the polite version because it makes me feel better to spread positive vibes rather than feeding off negative energy.

But I hope this is a learning moment for this poor person that completely shamed me for making videos that I think are entertaining (and I guess so do 12,000 other people who took the time to follow me) that happen to be centered around sports that I know and love.

And I guess I am discredited because I have an Instagram that does well and gives me lots of opportunities to create content and showcase my abilities as a rad motherfucking woman in the outdoor industry.

A skier girl that only skis two days a season who has a fabulous Instagram feed,

AJ

Follow my Instagram if you want to see me reposting pictures from two days of skiing.

Follow me on TikTok to see me pretending to be a good skier while trying to spread knowledge and good vibes.

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