Sometime last year I saw an advert for a brand that was looking for ambassadors. That brand was Pearl Izumi. From the information available it sounded pretty sweet.
“We are looking for a diverse group of athletes…”
“Successful champions will receive limited edition Pearl Izumi kit, online discounts, invitations to exclusive events, entrance to races, monthly fitness goals and expert tuition to really test themselves.”
So I threw my hat into the ring and applied. I was successful. Wopeee!
“For the 2017 season, you will be pink, black & hi-viz yellow (women) and blue, black & hi-viz yellow (men).”
Now these kits are the same as what had been shown in the promo shots. Perhaps foolishly, I assumed that they wouldn’t do that again! I mean who is that backwards to make that mistake twice?! Turns out Pearl Izumi is that backwards.
So today I requested to withdraw from the programme.
I am not willing to be an ambassador for a brand that requires/encourages individuals to wear colours that are assigned to them according to their gender.
People are individuals. We are not defined by gender. Yes I wear pink and I am a woman but this is a choice. Not all women wear pink, some men would like to have more choice of pink kit. Some people don’t identify by the gender they were born with, or with any gender at all! We should not stereotype and we should challenge those that do. Research shows that giving children blue or pink to wear affects how others treat them. Gender stereotypes can lead to little girls thinking that brilliance is a male trait. Over use of pink in advertising campaigns actually renders these campaigns less effective at targeting women. The cycling industry has a huge diversity problem. How are we supposed to build an increasingly inclusive cycling community when we reinforce gender stereotypes?
Gender and stereotypes are not a black and white matter. Nor are they blue and pink.
In other news, anyone looking to sponsor a ‘difficult’ woman?!