Surf culture has a big diversity problem in terms of race, gender and body standards. Throughout the history of American entertainment, there has been a consistent depiction of surf culture. Surfing’s origins and early beginnings actually goes back to ancient Polynesian cultures, Surfing was an integral part of Polynesian culture as a recreational activity. This activity spread to the likes of Hawaii, where the concept of “surfing” was “discovered” by Europeans in the 1700s. Despite surfing’s historical roots with people of color, it is still largely regarded as a white sport and this can be attributed to the images constantly projected within the media which suggests this idea. Almost everyone is familiar with the young, white, slim, toned and tanned man, with his sun-bleached hair. But the reality is, that there are people all over the world of different backgrounds, socio-economic classes, races, genders, body types and religions who participate in surfing; however, they are often excluded from the media representation of surf culture and the surf community. Diversity in surfing is much needed!
These three women on Instagram are on the mission to change the surfing narrative and are the most impactful Instagram influencers for inclusion in surfing.
Bo Stanley (@bostanley) is a California-based professional surfer, model, and body activist. Her mission is to empower female athletes, surfers, and women at large to be strong, bold and confident. She was featured and sponsored by Billabong and was seen in magazines like Vogue and Women’s Magazine.
Nique Miller (@nique_miller) is a professional surfer based in Oahu, Hawaii. She is a passionate longboarder and brings diversity in surfing culture. Nique is regularly featured on the Instagram page of MelaninBasecamp. She is a brand ambassador for Billabong Women.
Amaliny Hasselbeck (@thatboheme) is a San Francisco-based surfer. As a mom with Srilankan-German roots, it is her mission to encourage and inspire fellow moms, underrepresented races and body types to surf. Amaliny is a brand ambassador for IsleSurf and Outdoor Voices and an ocean activist.
All of these women send a positive message and have the mission to encourage people of different shapes, color and stories to go surfing.