It was the video above that did it for me. It had me wondering if Kevin Flanagan, the VP of marketing for REEF would want his daughter's thong-strapped ass up there promoting all their tacky products. Now I've no idea if Kev has a daughter, wife or girlfriend - presumably he's had a mother unless he's been hatched from sort of weird corporate cloning factory (less unlikely as the years roll by) - but you get my drift.
Excuse me if I get my conker out (translation - "it's an old chestnut") - but sex sells and boy does REEF exploit this fact. Take a look at their site and check out the REEF girls, why don't ya? Why they bother to name the girls is beyond me. Whether it's Karissa, Vanessa or Eva each girl (all white I notice) is posed so she faces away from the camera and we are "forced" to focus on their backsides. OK, so it's not really a struggle to look at those shapely behinds. In fact this Beach Bum appreciates a derrière extrodinaire as much as the next bloke - if not more so. But why give them names at all? Surely Ass 1, Ass 2, Ass 3 would work just as well. And there's the rub.
Personally, I've given up trying to delineate the exact point where my moral compass switches from N for "naughty but nice" to S for sexploitation but REEF's antics are firmly pointing S for sucks.
Then on to Karina Petroni, the ASP surfer that sounds like an Italian beer. I'll quote the Observer review of "Why you'll love sport in 2008". They write of Karina - "another month, another blonde surfer chick. But 5ft 11in Karina Petroni has more going for her than her looks." Oh yes? Then Karen is purportedly quoted as saying, " I've never had a boyfriend - why have one when you can have 10 in every country?" I chuckled then on reading her top heavy photofied website where the biography section reassures us that "Karina sets a high standard and fine example for other young hopefuls who want to surf competitively. With her strong convictions, Karina is devoted to her family and Christian upbringing."
But picking holes in Karina's site is not the point. In fact, she's not only an accomplished surfer but she's obviously a caring, loving daughter who took time out from surfing to look after her Dad when he suffered a life-threatening aneurysm. What struck me is the way that she's been roped, sold and branded like a top shelf bimbo. I'm sure she doesn't see it that way. But she's out there promoting VANS - another brand owned by, you guessed it, VF Corporation who also own our ass fixated friends at REEF. Still, at least we get to see her face ... progress of a sort, eh?