Emma Shoesmith / Mist Einarsdóttir

“We care not that we have dirty hands, we care not that we look a little scruffy, we care not that the girl next to us is more technical than us. We ride because we ride and because it makes us feel good”
Showing features that are not considered feminine is still a big no-no in media; a set of female hands should not be dirty, bruised and battered from activity, but be clean, manicured and the movement captured should whisper of sensualism.


Emma Shoesmith, UK,

www.emmajshoesmith.com

Emma is a Creator, Inventor, inspired artist & action sports enthusiast. She is passionate about the outdoors, and how to achieve the perfect work/life balance, a project that is forever in effect. Emma loves to collaborate with other practitioners and strongly believes that diversity and gender equality are the keys to breakthrough for both businesses and initiatives. After completing a degree in Media at the University of Westminster Emma is completely hooked by image making, whether it be moving or stills, Emma just love to tell stories. And she is fantastic at it! Currently engaged in the project Board of Media, a social movement celebrating gender equality in action sports, Emma is building a community of likeminded brands and bodies. Board Of Media offers a new way to combat the objectification and sexualization of both men and women in action sports media, and the team just closed a successful crowdfunding campaign to fund their upcoming documentary on the topic.

“Moving or still images, my dream is to capture the essence of freedom and bottle it up with other beautiful things, keeping and collecting transient moments that I wish could last forever. My goal in life is to share these ephemeral moments with everyone everywhere; I learn from the people I meet and am inspired by the people I know. My drive to create art is heavily rooted in my search to discover more about myself and the world we live in.”
When and why did you get in to photography?
“Photography is an important part of my creative practice; it is a visual language that never lets me down. Moments in time that I am lucky enough to share with some of my subjects become more precious to me over time. I love to shoot on film, just the whole process is still seems like magic to me!”
What made you get in to action, extreme or adventure sports?
“I saw my mother and father on windsurfers, bikes, boards and skis when I was young. It felt like it was a very normal thing for me to do. My biggest love is snowboarding; a face full of powder and the perfect tree line is my idea of heaven.”

 

What’s your worst/best/most intense moment related to action sports?
“Best moment: Dropping in to my first big green wave, riding it all the way to the end and smiling all the way! Worst Moment: Being called out in the surf, told to leave a break because apparently I wasn’t “good enough”.
What/Who is you favorite initiative, project, professional, leader, athlete or brand in the action sports sphere?
“The History of Women’s Surfing project is so important to document as women are more often than not left out of surf cultures grand narrative.”
What do you think of the lack of role models for girls and women in male dominated areas?
“The media presents the picture that Men do strength, Women do weakness. However, it is changing! There are a few initiatives that are representing men and women as equals. I would like to see more diversity in the female role models that we are presented with! That’s why the BodiesOfAction campaign is such a great idea!”
How do you see women evolving in the action sports scene?
“Support, support and more support. Girls need to know from an early age that they do not need to wear make up, high heels or have false nails to be somebody or to have value. We need to have a whole curriculum dedicated to teaching young girls and boys to be themselves. The sexualisation and objectification of men in the media is just as bad and harmful as it is for the girls. We are creating a world of men and women with low self-esteem and body dysmorphia! Education is the key.”

 

What are your hopes for the future of the industry?
“A cleaner, greener action sports industry void of sexism and gender inequality.”

 

What is the number one preconception or prejudice people have about you?
“People have asked me why we need projects like Board of Media and assume we don’t. I show them my academic research, and that usually aids in informing them why this is a subject that needs to be addressed!

Do you have a feature or body part that you have been self-conscious about? Do you think low self-esteem in girls and stereotypes in media are
connected?
“As a young girl I worried that my whole body, every single part of it, at some time or another was a little bit, or a lot, wrong. I have fortunately seen the light. Age and Education really is on a girls side when it comes to body image. We are what we are, we are all different, and wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same? ”
Do you think there’s a difference in how women and men are portrayed in the action sports industry?
“Men: Jocks, muscles, sexualised and performing their sport. Women: Passive, naive, sexualised, usually looking directly at the camera more often than not holding there ride. This is a generalization of course, not all action sports brands are doing this.”
What would you say to people who want to get in to action sports, but think they might not fit in?
“You might not fit in to the current stereotype but who wants to do that, anyway? Action sports is about counter culture, creativity and solidarity and unfortunately that is not what it has become. New breeds of athlete’s, aficionados and brands are paving the way, leaving out outdated ideologies behind. It is all about the environment, people included, as long as we protect, nurture and respect one another values we will have a truly amazing future, which may one day be used as a model for global social change.”