Brazilian Surfer Who's 'Not Pretty Enough' For Sponsorships Speaks Out Against The Industry's Beauty Standards

It all depends on your definition of a "babe."

Meet Silvana Lima.

The 31-year-old Brazilian woman is a professional surfer. Twice a runner-up in the world and eight times No. 1 in Brazil, Lima surely knows how to ride a wave. 

However, for the first 13 years of her career, she couldn't get any full sponsorships — all because she wasn't considered "pretty enough" for the industry. Especially in Brazil, stereotypically associated with tiny bikinis and curvy women.

In a recent BBC profile, the Brazilian surfer spoke of her troubles getting sponsorships due to her looks, shedding light on beauty standards in the industry.

"I don’t look like a model. I’m not a babe. I’m a surfer, a professional one," she said.

"The surf-wear brands, when it comes to women, they want both models and surfers.

"So if you don't look like a model, you end up without a sponsor, which is what happened to me. You're excluded, you're disposable. Men don't have these problems. I started asking for sponsorship and got many 'Nos' ..."

That was when the Vice world champion started breeding French bulldogs to be able to support herself competing professionally. In 2014,  Lima also launched the campaign #FreeSilvana to raise further funds for surf competitions.

"I could get breast implants, dye my hair, wear contact lenses to make my eyes blue. But it would be so weird, nobody would recognize me. It wouldn't be me," she added in her interview.

Well, you'll have to define "a babe" for us, because we believe that anyone with so much talent sure is. The surfer has now secured a full sponsorship, Konbini reports, but the brand's name is still to be announced. 

You can watch the entire BBC interview below:

Way to go, lady!

(H/T: BBC | Konbini)


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