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I can’t believe it’s been five years since this photo ran on the cover of @powdermagazine. I wanted to share some of the back story. This shoot came about when a when a website (not Powder) reached out and asked me if I wanted to be featured in an online gallery. They sent me some sample images. In the shots, the women were in bikinis in a pool, in short skirts and shorts. I quickly understood what they were looking for. The phenomenon of sexualizing female athletes isn’t unique to skiing. Sex and skin sell. It gets clicks, it gets advertiser dollars. Yet, it left me with an uneasy feeling I couldn’t ignore. The snowsports industry and media have a long history of objectifying women for commercial gain. Every time I’ve been asked to do one of these shoots, I insist on being photographed fully clothed and even better, skiing. That said, if a woman wants to take her clothes off and be photographed, she should. But it should be because she wants to, for herself, and hopefully for her profit, not for someone else’s. For the shoot, I spoke up and expressed my concerns to the editor and photographer. I told them I was ok to shoot some shots in the lodge booting up (fully clothed), but that I wanted to make sure we got some shots on the mountain. I also asked for oversight in the final edit of the photos and the captions so readers would learn more about my story. It would have been easy for the photographer and editor to write me off as too difficult or tough to work with and find someone else, but they stuck with me. After the online gallery ran, the photo was submitted to Powder where it was chosen for this cover and won photo of the year. I love this photo because it celebrates a powerful femininity. I stuck to my guns, we nailed the action shot and it catapulted my career to the next level. I learned to trust my intuition and speak up. My aim in sharing this story is to tell up and coming female skiers that they don’t need to take their clothes off to make a name for themselves in the ski industry. And that strong men support strong men. When we listen and collaborate, we go far. PS: today is the last day to vote in the powder awards! Link in profile. ️

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