I used to hate pink. Loathed it. I wanted people to know I could play around in the dirt, that I rarely wore make-up, and could only throw my hair into a high pony. I didn’t want people confusing me as the “girly” type.
When I started doing more outside, and realized the deficit between men and women in the outdoors, I decided I wanted to stand out. I wanted people to know that I was a woman, and hell yeah I was capable of charging.
The outdoor industry has consistently been plagued with the “pink-it-and-shrink-it,” agenda, which definitely plays into all the pink-shaming. Let’s be honest, how many more items do we need in our closet that are tickle-me-pink or magenta or peach or rose or coral?
Fortunately we’ve come a long way for female clothing and gear. Only a few decades ago women were wearing men’s clothes and making it work—so there’s definitely something to be said for where we are now and the choices we have.
About a year ago I bought the women’s version of the solution which have a pink camo pattern on them. They were my first real aggressive shoe, and I bought them at a time when I was climbing exceptionally harder than I had in my climbing career.
Not long after, I purchased a pair of pink Patagonia climbing capris, and then a pink harness. I bought more clothes with bright colors, and grew more confident every time I roped up.
Because here’s the thing—every time I head out to the crag I’m outnumbered three or four to one. I see groups of men climbing together, but rarely groups of women. I’m most of the time climbing with my husband and his buddies. I tweak out with every lady that passes with an over-eager smile as if to say: be my friend, we’re in this together.
Whenever I head out, I’m conscious about what I wear because it’s a way to prove there are ladies getting out and crushing every single day. I want people to look up and see me trying hard and thinking, damn, that’s a girl leading that?
That’s right. Because who run the world?