"I ♥ dick in my ass"
"Suck or f**k me"
"US Open your legs"
"I give head no teeth"
Just some of the provocative, slutty even, slogans that young bikini-clad girls were writing on their bodies just over a week ago at the Vans US Open of Surfing.
Kelly Slater even sort of blamed them for this year's Huntington Beach riots on theinertia.com saying:
When you have underage girls in bikinis walking around with unacceptable things written all over their bodies and throw alcohol in the mix after a long week, weird things, inappropriate things, happen.
Underage for what though? Holding a pen? Having “suck or f**k me" written on you, is there a right age for that!?
Chris Nieratko wrote a piece for Vice on "Ed Templeton's Huntington Beach" saying this in his intro:
Even the ones with very adult messages written on their bodies like “US Open your legs," “free blow jobs," “stick it here" (pointing to their ass), “rape me," “free rim jobs," etc., etc. told me they were only 15 or 16 (and I’m quite certain they were lying about their age). For the next four days I kept my head down and looked at the sand as if they were all Medusas. I’ve felt less creepy while on gang bang sets.
As one commentator on the live surf feed said: “It makes you glad not to be a parent of girls!"
I find it pretty worrying but also quite fascinating. What would make you want to write those words on your body?
My teenage self wouldn’t have come close to considering it but then I didn’t live in southern California or probably have enough confidence to strut about in a bikini. Let alone write such attention-seeking words about my torso.
I mean I liked wearing bikinis and mostly followed my own advice from this "Do you have to look hot to wear a bikini?" piece but I’d have certainly kept it for the beach and not Main Street.
I wore it for myself and not the drooling gaze of others.
Or did I? There is a moment, or perhaps more accurately a series of moments, when you’re growing up and you realise that you’re attractive to boys and men (and/or girls and women) and you don’t have to be smoking hot for it to be the case.
And I think it’s kind of natural to play with that power a little in say how you dress, how you act and so on while you’re working out who you are and who you want to be.
But while this is playing out in your own head you’re probably not thinking of the consequences of those actions and how others might view them.
So could this whole sexy self-graffiti thing just be a manifestation of that? In a more extreme and slightly warped 2013-stylee. Maybe or it could be one of these reasons instead…
a) The last reasonable act of rebellion for a self-respecting teen in the third millennium. How else are you meant to shock parents who already have tattoos, piercings and probably even recreational drug habits
b) A political act. As with the Slut Walks from 2011, reclaiming the word slut as a positive thing
c) A tribal mating ritual. They can’t help themselves, it’s primal urges and animal instincts man
d) The thrill of a clique within a crowd
e) No reason. It just seemed funny at the time
Regardless of the why these actions did have actual consequences such as guys thinking that because the girls were in bikinis with sexy slogans written in sexy places it was ok to grab a piece of their ass as shown in this Ed Templeton pic below or slap it. Which it of course wasn't and isn't. Ever.
Cori Schumacher also noted the links between sexualising the sport and "setting up the expectation of what ought to be on display at a surf spectacle."
While Britta, our fashion editor, is actually far more alarmed by the army slogans and brand brandings as she discusses here.