Did You Take Your Top Off, Too?

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They say there are two sides to every story. But when it comes to women and the representation of their power and success, there are so many viewpoints you’re bound to run into differences of opinion. 

In this episode, Jen Gurecki interviews Keely Kelleher, founder of Keely’s Ski Camp For Girls, about what has turned into a controversial feature in Ski Mag about women in the ski biz.

The feature, #BOSSLADY: The Future (of skiing) Is Female, highlights six women who are athletes, and business owners working to transform the ski industry, including Keely. The featured photos in the article shows three women standing on a summit with their tops off, facing away from the camera. At first glance, it's harmless. A moment of celebration between a group of friends. 

However the reaction Keely received from the teenage girls she coaches wasn't harmless. 

“Did you take your top off in Iceland too?”

This quote was shared with me by a teenage girl who attended my Backcountry Ski and Sail Camp in Iceland this past spring. She was asked this question by a few teasing teenage boys in her high school class. The question above is referring to your November article Boss Lady: The Future (of Skiing) is Female by Crystal Sagan, featuring five women, including myself, who are re-energizing the ski industry.

Keely writes in  An Open Letter to Ski Magazine: Women in the Ski Industry Deserve Better. 

But it's even more complicated than that because we all have different opinions on what we consider an appropriate context for nudity and whether it is about empowerment or sexualization (plot twist: The editors who chose the photo are all women with the intention of showcasing strong confident women).

Grab a snack and a glass of your favorite beverage and tune in to listen to Jen and Keely navigate the tricky web of empowerment, sexualization and celebrating women's bodies, or policing them. 

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