September 21st, 2012

From The Ladies Room…. Of Bikinis and Babes…

By~Kirstie Pike, CEO Prois Hunting Apparel for Women

 

 

 

Social media is indeed an integral and useful part of any business in this day and age.  At Prois, we heavily rely upon the traffic that social media avenues drive to our business.  It is a useful tool in terms of opening up the world of hunting, as well as our products, to women across the globe.  However, I am noticing another trend through social media- an overt sexifying (ok, so this is my word…I like it.  Maybe I will send it to Wikipedia) of the image of the female hunter.  What is even more interesting is that women are doing it to themselves.

What a world.

While I have truly tried to be outraged by this, I have to be honest…I find it completely humorous.  Not the kind of humor that causes one to give a cheeky half-grin.  I am talking the kind of humor that causes one to giggle out loud and call the co-workers to the computer screen.  For those who are not familiar with that which I speak, I will take you on a tour of Facebook.  Fasten your seatbelt.

A female hunter who shall remain nameless recently posted new photos of the doe she  harvested with her bow.  While I was looking at the photo I couldn’t help but notice…this woman posted two separate photos.  One with her shirt dangerously unbuttoned.  I’m not sure, but I think she should check for ticks, sticks and debris.  In the next photo it would appear that this poor woman must have been very, very hot because she apparently removed her camo pants and replaced them with some incredibly short cut-off’s.  I’m unclear as to the need to then straddle the harvested animal, but apparently John in Alabama thought it was “hawt”.  Neat.

Mom always said, “Just because you can does not mean you should”.

Oh.  Here’s one.  A young lady has just posted a photo of herself in a camo bikini, in a treestand with her bow at full-draw.  Where to start?  Despite the obvious, I have questions for her.  How did you get up there without shoes?  Who in the heck took that picture?  Is it really uncomfortable to wear a safety harness over that bikini?  How in the heck are you able to produce so much cleavage at full-draw?  (We tried to replicate this in the office…it is quite a feat!)

I don’t think her mom is on Facebook.

Wait- here is another one. Here is a girl who posts that she is ready to get out and hunt today.  She must be ready to go hunting as she is holding her bow at full-draw.  Don’t we all walk around with our bows at full-draw?  She is wearing dangerously tight camo pants.  (It is true- I worry about blood flow to her feet)  AND she is wearing, you guessed it, a camo bikini top.  While I am certain she went trudging off into the vast wilderness to harvest her beast- I wonder if she was able to find her way off of the train tracks she was straddling.  Lord knows there is nowhere to carry a compass.  Comfortably anyway.   John from Alabama did not comment, but I think he would have approved.

How artistic.  And pensive.

I can only wonder if these ladies truly feel that this image is beneficial.  I for one think not.  I believe that the true image of the female hunter is that of the mom, wife, daughter or grandmother who works hard to hone her skills and knowledge while still passing the heritage on to others.  She respects wildlife, the outdoors and most importantly…herself.  She is a role model.  She is a conservationist.  She stands on her own merit.  She is you or me.

…and she wears clothing while she hunts.  Just saying.

 

As a side note…on 10/19 we changed the cover photo from this blog to feature a photo of one of our employees.  With some concern out there that comments about the message of this blog were directed at the model in this stock image- we chose to change the photo to one of our own employees with her approval.  We believe the message of this blogpost remains the same.

By the way…we have repeatedly inquired as to why she (our employee) was indeed wearing a tube top and shorts while shooting this AR.  She mentions something about wanting to impress a hot military guy.  She also confirms she got the guy.  As a sidenote…NO AR’s were violated in the taking of this photo.

 

 

 

42 Responses to From The Ladies Room…. Of Bikinis and Babes…

  1. Alwyn Ladell says:

    A call for balance.

    As a red-blooded male, who is passionate about hunting, I have no problem with images of good-looking women promoting what we do in the outdoors, but sometimes they seem to go too far. Kirstie Pike’s moderate article has provoked a storm of debate ranging from accusations of bullying to sexploitation. The problem is that we all have our own ideas of good and bad taste, but even they will vary according to context, and we evolve our views according to mood and maturity. Whilst we may agree on the extremes of blatant porn and repressive censorship, there are no clear divisions in-between. We may however, reach a majority consensus somewhere in the middle. A clothing company needs to market its wares and, whilst avoiding steamy images, it is reasonable to employ attractive-looking people to draw customers.

    As a child of the 60s, though barely aware at the time, I grew up in a society that was throwing off inhibitions and repressions, in a way that was both shocking yet thought to be healthy. What caused great offence then would seem very mild by today’s standards. The 70s were still very misogynistic and the exploitation of women, especially in advertising, was a key plank of the feminist movement. By the 80s, punk rock and related genres were pushing acceptability to breaking point and, in the 90s, the reaction against extreme materialism meant that pendulum of fashion began to swing back in favour of more subtlety. And so the wider debate, about what is decent and what is not, is bound to continue regardless of hunting.

    The image of hunting was once beloved of all; but the moves towards urban living have, for many people, severed their connection with the outdoors, causing widespread ignorance. This, in turn, led to the delusions that gave rise to PETA and similar groups. For years PETA fed the out-of date image of hunters as ugly, overweight, misogynistic, irresponsible men in dirty orange vests, blazing away recklessly at anything that moved. This suited their purposes very well but, over the last fifteen-or-so years women have been quietly revolutionising the hunting scene. Whilst there are certainly still too many prejudices, the chauvinistic strain – that can’t adapt – is on the way out. The rise to prominence of women in the outdoors is bringing many benefits. One of those is comfortable clothing and accessories, long neglected by machismo and bravado, but bringing much-overdue relief that we can all enjoy. Another benefit is the improved image of hunting. Images of presentable women, often working mothers, who care for their families and put meat on the table, are destroying the propaganda-image that PETA has peddled for too long. These are women who care for their planet, who hunt responsibly, are involved in conservation, and provide healthy food for their families. This cannot be wrong.

    Where it begins to unravel is where the image moves towards “hunting porn”. These are the dangerous waters where differences of opinion begin to cause friction. It is a given, that we cannot always expect to agree on matters of taste, and even I am torn in two directions over this. I cannot deny that I enjoy images of good-looking women in hunting settings: I’m a normal man and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. But I have to examine my motives and the consequences. I take no pleasure in images of women pressured into posing by a misogynistic society – that is a form of abuse. The things that make me cheer are images of women genuinely succeeding in what is still a male-dominated field. I know that adrenalin rush, I know the effort that goes into making it happen (and the many disappointments along the way), and I know that it is still that much harder for women to break through the prejudices to get there. I have seen that prejudice at close quarters, I know how wrong it is, and how damaging it can be. So I am strongly biased in favour of women who hunt and will naturally applaud such images. There is even a subtle symbolism, which is not appreciated by all, but which resonates: that is the hint of pink in the camo, the bothering to look good, the little signs that underline that this is a WOMAN who can hunt – she’s not just “prettier” she’s succeeding against greater odds. If you can clean and prop up your harvest for the camera, why can’t you brush your hair or even change your sweaty top? Personally, I prefer authenticity but, so long as the scene is not over-staged, I see no problem in a good composition with a trophy, for the family album.

    BUT, and it’s a big “but”, I have to look over my shoulder and consider the wider world. What does this picture say to the non-hunting world or, more specifically, what will PETA do with this image? When does a glimpse of cleavage become smutty and degrading, and when will it undermine the image of hunting if used out of context? As I said at the beginning, we all have our own ideas of good and bad taste, but that need not prevent us from keeping in mind the potential for images to be misused. Heaven knows, this is something that PETA has done for decades: pretending road-kill foxes were torn apart by hounds (despite the tread-marks), pretending 1960s film-clips are from a modern fur farm, or images from China took place in your own back-yard. It has also been found guilty of staging images to suit its stories. Some may argue that, with so many images in circulation, the cat is already out of the bag – so what is the point of any self-discipline? The point is this: in living memory, hunting has never been so popular, but never been under such pressure; we all, regardless of gender, have a responsibility to guard our heritage and hand it on in good order. As the internet expands exponentially we must bear in mind that the future of hunting is in our hands and take care that our contributions are positive. I’m no kill-joy, and emasculating the sport would destroy it just as effectively as banning guns and bows, but we must exercise some discretion. This is not a call for censorship just a plea for awareness of how our images maybe used. Provided that the vast majority are in good taste (and we will have to decide that as responsible individuals), the exceptions will be seen for what they are – exceptions.

    Post script:
    Kirstie’s article has been almost hijacked by extremists reading into it what they would like to see. That’s always a risk, and I don’t claim that my view is the only correct view. In fact her article seems well balanced: in her own words “I have truly tried to be outraged by this, I have to be honest…I find it completely humorous.” In her final paragraph, before the footnote was added, she questions whether an extreme image is beneficial and thinks not; and this is followed by a quick sketch of a good, normal, female hunter. It has been suggested that her descriptions of unidentified images amount to bullying but I truly cannot see this (and I am genuinely opposed to bullying). Even if the subjects of the descriptions had been named, the commentaries are no more than wry observations; they are mildly critical, but not censorious or hurtful. I am probably more relaxed about such images than Kirstie, but I certainly subscribe to her sketch of the role-model hunter: “she wears clothing while she hunts” – and, if she’s lucky, it may have come from Prois!

  2. Karin Tryon says:

    I’ll be the sacrificial lamb here and say this….women do not pose with weapons in bikinis because they are trying to cheapen the sport or portray a real hunting scenario. Published pictures are geared toward hunters…people who know that you will never see bikini clad women hanging out in the woods. Companies have the freedom to choose how they want to market their products. It doesnt make the models “sluts” or “tramps”. Are we going to protest bikinis on the beach and the “harlots” that wear them in front of our families next?

  3. Kelly Heard says:

    LOVE the article, Kirstie! couldn’t of said it better myself…although, as you know, I’ve tried!! Hunt well, my girlfriends!!! :)

  4. Les Booth says:

    Just when my granddaughter was coming of age to take hunting and being introduced to hunting community – the woods became a near pornographic hangout; in all imaginations of that phrase!

    Thank you for Kristie for standing in the doorway and so remindin’ the girls to ‘put their clothes back on and couth-up their act’!

    You not only get what you pay for .. but you end up with what you troll for, too. Yes, that’s the correct word here: TROLL.

    Prois is professional. You just reinforced what we already knew. I want my granddaughter and little grand-niece to wear Prois, as long as Prois stands for decency in and out of the woods. Looks like they’ll be well dressed in the years to come. “. )

    KUDOS!

  5. Where I come from, real women do not dress like this while they hunt! REALLY! These people are not really hunters or huntresses (if you wish). It is a joke. I don’t see guys posing in their speedos or briefs with their kills! Thank you Kristie…I loved this article.

  6. I couldn’t agree more! I get so frustrated with the way women hunters are depicted in the media. I have a camo and pink bikini I absolutely love but the only place I wear it is when I’m swimming and no one is taking pictures! If I showed up to hunting camp wearing anything like that, I would get laughed out of hunting camp. It is so unrealistic and just portrays the wrong image. I’ve been writing a Women in Hunting Series on my blog this fall as a way to encourage more women to hunt and fight back against this stupid stereotype. I’m definitely going to mention this great post and link to it and pin it on my “women in hunting” pinterest board!

  7. Are you kidding me? Dang I just bought a new camo bikini for bow hunting season and a blaze orange one for rifle season, in Nov. in WI…shoot I guess I will have to get rid of them…I was wondering where the hand warmers fit in it and how to keep from getting frost bit…and speaking of bit…the mosquitoes would have a hay day…crap…Guess I will just have to return it and go back to wearing Real hunting clothing…like my PROIS! My husband thinks I am sexier in Prois than…oh that is a whole different story!

  8. Luke Johnson says:

    HA! Too true and TOO funny! You crack me up Kirstie! I have often wondered the same thing…although a certain part of my “male makeup” might appreciate these posts at times…I too find myself wanting to do two things: 1. laugh out loud and 2. feel sorry for the girl in the picture. She either has major “daddy issues” or some other self esteem issue that she has to flaunt her body instead of her personalty. Maybe they are one in the same? I don’t know…but, yeah! LOL.

  9. O.K…that was hilarious. Thank you for the good laugh. I always have to chuckle to myself when I see photos like that posted and I’m so glad you wrote about it…needed to be said. I’ve noticed lately that it’s getting a little carried away. It’s kind of embaressing for those of us women who take hunting seriously. Great story – thanks!

  10. Brandy says:

    Kristie,

    THANK YOU! I was just on a hunting trip in the NWT and had a very heating discussion with a group of men on this topic. I’m a hunter, a blogger and I struggle to see many of these women who are pushing the hunting industry towards this perception that all “huntresses” throw on our bikini tops and sit in a tree stand or grab a fly rod and head out for the day. Their comment was I was being an unsupportive female to women who want to take up hunting, but unfortunatley I feel it is the concept we need to be taking pictures in our daisy dukes that is leaving us ladies at a disadvantage and diservice. I love fashion and love being girly and think you can be a kickass outdoorsman and a lady at the same time, but I try my hardest on the blog to also show how unrealistic it is to wear tight, inappropriate clothing, makeup and have your mind on task to be successful in the outdoors.

    Sorry for the rant, you’re post just struck a chord for me.

  11. Jana Waller says:

    Forget the LIKE button… where’s the LOVE button?? WAY TO GO KIRSTIE for keeping it real!

  12. Alex says:

    Thank you for speaking up about this. I agree that sex has infiltrated hunting. It is unreal. It is also disheartening that we as women, are bombarded with the idea that taking off our clothes to promote any product is a good thing.

  13. Carrie Zylka says:

    While I certainly don’t have a problem with a woman looking attractive or “sexy” while hunting, some of these photos don’t really serve a purpose.
    What exactly does a photos of a woman in a tree stand in a bikini say?
    What story does it tell? Because that’s the point of photos. To tell a visual story.

    As a photographer, a woman in a bikini holding a rifle (implying that the curves on the stock match the curves of a woman or something like that, or the tag line “nothing but the best” – actual storyboard advertisement) for an advertisement going in a men’s magazine – totally makes sense. You see half naked women in Maxim and not Cosmo for a reason.

    All women want to feel attractive and sexy, there’s no law that says just because you hunt means you have to look ugly doing it.

    I always say “The deer don’t care if I wear makeup in the stand but the camera surely does”. I wear makeup and try to look attractive at work, at home, so it stands to reason I would wear it in my passionate pursuit as well.

    But you’ll never catch me in my tree stand half naked in November. Because that just doesn’t make sense! It’s not something I’d normally do.

    And it wouldn’t tell an accurate story of what I’m doing up there.
    I’m killing animals not working on my tan.

  14. Andrea Fisher says:

    Well said! Rock on!!!!! Those bikinis belong on the beach. But you won’t catch me in one. I will be hunting……in the woods.!

  15. Marilynn says:

    AMEN! I’m not a fan of Hardee’s myself.

  16. Britney Starr says:

    AMEN, sister. I applaud you for posting this. It seems like this kind of behavior has been rampant lately. And there are just as many males in the industry that are promoting it. Last week I got in a huge fight on twitter with a guy who posted a picture of a girl with her bow, in full draw, COMPLETELY TOPLESS. I kid you not. After I gave him the smack down for posting it a few other people couldn’t understand why I was upset. REALLY?! Can we say mysoginistic?

    Don’t even get me started on the girl that was asking if anyone wanted to trade a deer hunt with her in exchange for some new BREAST IMPLANTS.

    This kind of crap makes the legitimate women in our industry have to work twice as hard to break the stereotypes that are in place. I’m proud to be a part of Prois, where our actions speak louder than our boobs. ;)

  17. Nancy Jo says:

    If you are keeping a collection for future humor….I have one sent into Ladies in Camo for the Featured Huntress of her kneeling on her knees, slap-dab in the middle of her bed in white lace panties, a Demi sweater with only one button properly buttoned with her VERY expensive “Store Boughts” busting out in every direction with a bow graciously posed in the photo! My first thought was, “You would think if she could afford those “PUPPIES” she would have a better quality bow. When I asked that out loud and the hubby looked at the picture confused….he agreed!! (YES, I do love that man!)

    WHY would any FEMALE send a photo like that into a LADIES group along with a hunting story????? You are correct in saying…What a world!?!?

  18. AMEN, KIRSTIE! THANK YOU – from a fellow REAL huntress :)

  19. Elizabeth Gates says:

    Agree totally with you. I would like to see if those same women really do sit in a goose pit or deer stand for 8 hours or more wearing their bikini top too funny. I still remember my very first goose hunt. Got to the club at 5:30 in the morning full camo boots hat and 12 guys looking at me going what is she doing here. It was me and a good friend of mine. The guys were really givings our guide a hard time taking two women out. Long story short we had our limit by noon and we were the only ones that got geese that day and in lay out blinds to boot. It was one of the best days of my life. We just want to be taken seriously.

  20. Nikita Dalke says:

    Love it! Its about time someone said something lol!

  21. Katie says:

    Someone needed to say it, and I don’t think I could have said it any better!

  22. gretchen says:

    applause!!! applause!!!! applause!!!!!

  23. Stacey says:

    Great post.. I don’t see any controversy here at all :) Always a lady of class Kirstie.. thank you for that!

  24. Steve Meyer says:

    Very nicely done.

  25. Kayoss says:

    GREAT article – so very well done! And nice response from Surveyor Steve.

  26. Surveyor Seven says:

    Well stated, I’m a man and I enjoy the appearance of an attractive lady as much as anyone. But thank you for accurately describing a “trend” for the lack of a more offensive description of behavior that degrades every woman. I am also a Christian, husband and father of a very beautiful 30 year old daughter. Neither of them would ever put themselves in such a demeaning presentation. They always “snarl” when they see those type of advertisements. They especially hate Hardee’s commercials, do I need to say any thing more.

  27. trevor norford/mossyoakproperties says:

    AWESOME!

  28. Ok, I was seriously laughing out loud at work as I read this~ Love this article!~ Great job capturing the humor!~

  29. Doug says:

    This article without pictures is worthless. LOL.

    My wife thinks Im looking at porn half the time. I tell her its facebook and I have no control over what people put on their page.I dont put it on mine. huntingarkansas.net

  30. Teresa McCullough says:

    Well said.. I agree with you.I dont believe in the half naked pics.., I do think it is for her benifit to attract men..She may be beautiful, and a bit insucere. I hunt with camo from my head to toes…You cant find me anywhere..lol..I am hidden from the deer or what ever animal I hunt..I do agree sex sells, and they want attention to be drawn to themselves, and thats what they get..I am a Mom, and a lady hunter,full camo when I head to the woods.and my shirt is buttoned.lol..Great story!!!!Teresa—AKA Lady bowhunter…

  31. Lisa says:

    Half naked women are always going to look good holding a weapon. However, real women, skin, pluck and/or gut.. lol

  32. sue tabor says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Until these companies take the female hunting customer more seriously, I’m afraid it’s something I just have to tolerate. In the meantime, I carefully choose which companies I purchase equipment and clothing from.

    The least they could do is feature a “hot” shirtless guy in camo boxers to appeal to the hunting female market.

  33. Tracey says:

    Love you! I share your veiw on this trend. I LOVE hunting for thr great sport that it is not for the attention I can get. Thanks for the great read Kirstie.

  34. AMEN! preach on, sister!!!

  35. Stephanie says:

    Kirstie,

    Well said! I continually snicker and shake my head at those pictures as well, and ask constantly, “Really!?” Great post!

    SB

  36. Shelly Ray says:

    Kirstie,
    I tend to yell at the screen when I see one of these scantily clad women. As we travel and do shows around the country I still occasionally get the older man who will walk into our booth and say something like” well I’m not sure I agree with women having weapons” These barely clothed women just put us back several steps with those ‘good ‘ol boys’ every time they post. I am so glad we have companies like Prois to show the world what us women who really hunt wear in the woods! Thanks for keeping us warm and dry!!

  37. Couldn’t agree more. I love the ones who think they are models, but obviously lack the qualifications, yet think that posting trampy pics is THE way to get ahead in the outdoor industry.
    If that IS the case, I’ll get some pictures of myself in a camo Speedo up right away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  38. Tom says:

    Thanks for the morning laugh – in a sad sort of way :-)

    Now I suppose I’ll have to stop wearing my Speedo in the woods! Dangit – and it was SO practical…

  39. I cannot believe you found all my sexy pictures… NOT – even if I could, I wouldn’t… some things are for home, and in the words of Chris Rock “20 year old cleavage – community cleavage— 40 year old cleavage — YOUR MAN’S CLEAVAGE, nobody, I mean, NOBODY else needs to see that”… course he was referencing Janet Jackson’s nipplegate, but I always think of that, for some reason… LOL (and yes, I cleaned that phrase up a bit)… no, boobs do not quantify hunting skills… and the LADIES who hunt know this… ‘course, boys love their toys, and that’s what “Those girls” are going for, in my opinion….

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