Before you start thinking this is an off-shoot of the famous “Pink Ladies” club, it’s not. In fact it couldn’t be more opposite of what the PLC are (a group of tough broads who wear pink). The only thing the two have in common is a color.
The Pink Helmet Posse is a group of young girls from Southern California who love to skate, wear pink, and embrace their girly side. Being so young, it doesn’t seem like such an anomaly for these tweens to wear their fave color. What’s unusual about them is the fact they are serious about skateboarding and refuse to be like the boys just to get noticed.
The New York Times posted an article about a documentary short made by a group of filmmakers, which premiered at the TriBeCa film festival. The film is called ‘Gnarly in Pink‘ and features three (then) 6-year old girls who love to skate.
“In a sport where girls are traditionally underrepresented, the posse proves that despite their nail polish and pink helmets, there’s no limit to what they can do,” says the website about the film’s synopsis.
“As we filmed the girls over two months, we became deeply impressed by their skills and their eagerness to take on any boy standing in their way,” said filmmakers Kristelle Laroche and Ben Mullinkossen to the NYT.
Jason Kenworthy, dad of daughter Bella said people in the community started labeling the girls “The Pink Helmet Posse” so he decided to create an Instagram account (aka your new fave IG account) and online store to promote the girls. While he is just one dad trying to bring some income to his daughter and her friends, what he is actually doing is adding to the growing conversation and awareness of female skateboarders. And the fact that these girls are so young is even better, because they can be seen as role models for others their age.
“Of over 12 million skateboarders in the United States, fewer than a quarter are estimated to be female,” said the filmmakers to the NY Times. “We hope this Op-Doc encourages more girls and young women to defy these odds.”
After Bella was told by a boy that she “can’t even skate”, her mom urged her to just go out there and prove she can. And now the trio are out there on the ramps showing the public that they can be just as good as any guy.
“I want there to be the same amount of girls skating as there are boys. I want to be a professional skateboarder one day,” says Sierra in the film.
Of the 192 competitors in the X Games in Los Angeles in 2013, only 33 were women. By age 14, girls are twice as likely to drop out of sports as boys. These are just a couple of facts issued during the film, yet what we’re seeing with these three girls serves as a juxtaposition in a way that could hopefully transcend the stereotypes.
Just this year Nike signed their first ever female skater, Brazilian Leticia Bufon, 21 which made big news because it shows how much the skate industry is changing and how much girls are making their presence known.
“I never thought Nike would have girls on their team. I am lucky to be in the position to be a role model. I hope other girls start skating more.”
American skater Alana Smith is the youngest medalist in X Games history, and is another girl on the scene changing the name of the game.
“We are working our way up with the guys, to have the same respect that they do,” Smith said to Forbes. “When people see girls skating, they don’t see us as skaters. They don’t think we take it seriously and are willing to go all out. But we are right underneath them working super hard to be where they are at.”
If girls can’t be what they can’t see, then the visibility of the Pink Helmet Posse, Alana Smith, and Leticia Bufon are already doing what most women have not dared to do: be the pioneers and brave the barriers so that others who come after them will have it easier.
We need role models of all ages in all industries. It’s super exciting to see young girls going after their dreams refusing to make gender barriers an issue. Take a look at the docu below and let it be your 7 minutes of girl power today!